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‘Incredible’ Talent Shown in the Angel Food Cake Contest at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show
1/8/2012

Harrisburg – Lehigh County’s Catharine Ache baked her way to the top of the Incredible Angel Food Cake Contest during the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show with her raspberry themed confection.

Second place went to Belinda Myers of Adams County, third place to Jean Muiznieks of Lancaster County, fourth place to Christina Bell of Indiana County, and fifth place to Shelley Pokiva of York County. 

An array of 66 flower, fruit, nut, and colorful icing-coated cakes provided a tough set of choices for the judges – Brenda Buffenmeyer, Pat Krome, Jim Purdum, Martha Ebersole and Nancy Wiker. 

The cakes were judged based on a list of criteria, including surface texture and color, inner texture and lightness, smell, taste, flavoring, creativity, and topping or icing. 
Pennsylvania’s Egg Farmers sponsored the event, providing the gift bags and monetary awards for the top three winners.  The Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs organized the event.  The PSACF is proud to celebrate its 100th anniversary this year.

Angel Food Cake with Raspberries
Cake Batter:
1 cup cake flour
1 ½ cups Confectioners Sugar
12 egg whites, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup Superfine granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375°F. Stir together the flour and Confectioners Sugar, sift three times and set aside. 
In a large grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy.  Add 1 cup of Superfine granulated sugar very gradually, beating on high speed of electric mixer until meringue forms and holds stiff peaks.  Add the vanilla and almond extracts.  With mixer on lowest speed, gradually add the flour/Confectioners Sugar mixture over the beaten egg whites and gently fold in until all the flour disappears.  Push the batter into an ungreased 10” X 4” angel food tube pan.  Cut through the batter with a knife to break up any air bubbles that may have formed.
Bake in a pre-heated 375°F degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly.  Remove from the oven, invert cake pan on a funnel or the neck of a glass bottle and cool completely before trying to remove from the pan.  When completely cool, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan and carefully remove cake onto a serving plate.

Icing:
2 pounds of Confectioners Sugar
2/3 cup boiling water, less 4 teaspoons
4 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
¼ teaspoon orange extract
½ cup butter, room temperature
2 ½ cups white vegetable shortening
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened

Combine and mix first six ingredients in electric mixer for five minutes on high speed.  Add butter, Crisco, salt and cream cheese.  Beat an additional five minutes.

Filling and decoration:
24 ounces of fresh red raspberries plus icing from above recipe

Assembly:
When cake is completely cooled, run a long, sharp knife along the edge of the pan.  Carefully remove cake from the pan.  Place on wax paper-lined plate.  Brush off loose crumbs.  With a long, sharp serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into three even layers.  Place each layer on wax paper until ready to assemble the cake.  Place the first layer on a serving plate.  Spread cake with one cup of icing; place raspberries on top.  Repeat process with second and third layers.  Ice the top and sides of the cake.  Pipe a decorative border on cake and decorate with the rest of the raspberries. Sprinkle with edible glitter, if desired. 

The 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring more than 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 7-14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. For more information or a complete schedule, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
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For photos, click here.