In the spirit of all things Irish this month, I thought I'd experiment with a twist on an old favorite – Angel Food Cake.
Irish Cream Liqueur may be made at home or purchased as a manufactured product. It does contain whiskey derived from gluten-containing grains, but the distillation process removes all gluten, and (lucky for us) renders the drink gluten-free.
There are several brands available, but only some that are willing to state that they are gluten-free. Bailey's Irish Cream is not one of them. Despite the fact that there should be no gluten-containing ingredients whatsoever in Irish cream, Bailey's is unwilling to make any statement that it is gluten-free (despite my repeated attempts to get information from them on the gluten-free status of their product). In stark contrast to Bailey's corporate policy, St. Brendan's Irish Cream clearly states on its website that it is gluten-free.
While it is unlikely that brands such as Bailey's contain any gluten (in fact, they state that their whiskey is triple-distilled!), there is no reason to patronize a brand that refuses to take the time to determine whether or not their product contains gluten. Reward companies which acknowledge the importance of their gluten-free consumers; go directly to brands like St. Brendan's if you want to purchase Irish Cream Liqueur. I have also posted a homemade recipe for Irish Cream Liqueur below the cake recipe, if you'd like to go head-first into the Irish spirit!
You can make this cake as written, or feel free to substitute orange or lemon juice for the Irish Cream Liqueur and lose the cocoa if you don't want that either. This recipe is a great foundation for whatever taste you're seeking, any time of year!
Angel Food Cake - Irish Style
6 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated cane sugar
½ cup confectioners sugar
1 ¼ cup Jules' Nearly Normal GF All Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons cocoa (optional)
3 tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur
¼ cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 300 F convection or 325 F static.
Sift the All Purpose Flour, cocoa and confectioners sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
Separate the eggs, beating the whites until stiff peaks form, then set that bowl aside. In another bowl, beat the yolks and the granulated sugar until light. Add the boiling water and Bailey's next, beating until blended. Finally, stir in the flour-confectioners sugar mixture until incorporated.
Fold the beaten whites into the other mixture by gently stirring with a rubber spatula. When mixed, pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube or spring form pan. Bake for 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 325 F convection or 350 F static and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Invert the pan and allow to cool before removing the cake by sliding a knife around the outside of the cake to release the cake from the sides.
8 oz. cream cheese (can use fat free or Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup heavy cream (can use half & half, but use less than ½ cup or use Soyatoo Soy Whip)
Chocolate shavings (optional)
Whip the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then slowly stir in the cream to make spread-able consistency. Drizzle over cake and sprinkle chocolate shavings on top.
Recipe for homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
1 ¼ cup Irish whiskey or bourbon
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons gluten-free vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee or espresso
In a blender, blend all the ingredients at low speed until smooth. Refrigerate in a tightly-sealed bottle for up to one month. Shake or stir before serving over ice or in recipes.