Cinnamon angel food cake filled with rhubarb strawberry vanilla bourbon curd

2 July 2017

Reading: Langston Hughes - from Helen Keller: "She, in the dark, found light brighter than many see..."
Listening: Leon Bridges - favorite song - "Home"

Rhubarb Strawberry Vanilla Bourbon Curd & Cinnamon Angel Food

Here, it is the golden hour of warmth; summer is officially all around us. To me it always slips away far too fast, like sand through my fingers. Old habits and such. Instead I try to revel in each ruby-kissed cheek, a garden thick with the scent of lilies and garden roses, and fresh produce that tastes like the sun. I don't have an edible garden of my own yet, so the next best thing is the "pick-your-own" farms.

We took Henry for his first strawberry picking and he did quite well for a 1.5 year old. By the end his fingers and mouth were stained red and his little belly was full (oopsie). Once he realized that these little red orbs were far too good to drop into a basket, we were doomed. I hope to keep the tradition going yearly and that it is something he will eventually look forward to.

Fresh strawberries like these pretty much have to be used immediately, they are not as hearty as the grocery store variety, but that is a small price to pay. You get much more of a variety of flavors because the berries are a blend of ripeness unlike a uniform red forced from a too early plucking. I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to make, but I sometimes make a stew of rhubarb, strawberries, bourbon, sugar and vanilla bean, which is pretty heavenly over vanilla ice cream (especially with some crushed up Biscoffs). However, I really don't like the texture of rhubarb once it has broken down. This led me to wonder how I could capture the same flavors, but without the mushy chunks, so I settled on curd.

I have a pretty good formula that I use for curd recipes, which allows me to change up the fruit, but still get a texture that is nice and thick. I decided to create a dessert centered around this, so that is what you will find below. A layered cinnamon angel food cake, with curd, cream cheese filling and a honey crumble in between the layers. It is summer to me, I hope you enjoy it! Also, please don't be overwhelmed by all the parts to this recipe - I tend to make each item on separate days, only because it is what my schedule allows (cake last). So that is an option that works nicely with this recipe, if you too are pressed for time.

Cinnamon angel food cake filled with rhubarb strawberry vanilla bourbon curd

Recipe for cinnamon angel food cake filled with rhubarb strawberry vanilla bourbon curd and cream cheese frosting and honey crumble.

Recipe for cinnamon angel food cake filled with rhubarb strawberry vanilla bourbon curd and cream cheese frosting and honey crumble.

Prep time: - Cook time: - Total time:
Yield: 8-10S


For Vanilla Bourbon Rhubarb Strawberry Curd
- 4 cups rhubarb, chopped
- 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
- 1.5 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 t vanilla extract
- 15 egg yolks (save whites for cake)
- 3/4 t cornstarch
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into cubes

For Cinnamon Angel Food Cake
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 t cream of tartar
- 1/4 t salt
- 2 t cinnamon
- 15 egg whites (2 cups), at room temperature
- 2 t vanilla

For Cream Cheese Filling
- 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar

For Honey Crumble
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or all-purpose
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/8 cup honey

- About 3- 4 cups of sliced strawberries (for in between layers)
- Small berries or edible flowers for garnish (optional)


For Vanilla Bourbon Rhubarb Strawberry Curd
This step is optional, but I pour about 1/2 cup of sugar over sliced strawberries and let them sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes.
Then in a medium sauce pan, combine rhubarb, 1 cup sugar, strawberries, bourbon and vanilla and heat until mixture comes to low boil over medium heat.
Reduce to med-low and let simmer until rhubarb and strawberries break down.
Then remove from heat and let cool, then blend and strain through fine mesh sieve.
You should end up with about 5 cups of puree.
Take about 1/2 cup of puree and add back to sauce pan with cornstarch and whisk until there are no lumps.
Add the rest of the puree and heat over medium and stir until it begins to slowly bubble (burp), then reduce heat to low. Take about 1/2 cup of warm puree and whisk it into the egg yolks.
Whisk another 1/2 cup of warm puree into yolks, then put yolk mixture back to pan and whisk constantly until mixture thickens (it should coat the back of a spoon when done).
Turn off heat, then add about 4 pats of butter into the curd at a time, not adding more until the previous four have melted.
Pour into 13x9x21 glass baking dish, spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and press against curd and chill until completely cool and thick.

For Cinnamon Angel Food Cake
Preheat oven 350F. Sift together flour, 1 cup of sugar, cream of tartar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
Beat egg whites and 1 cup of sugar until soft peaks form, then add vanilla and beat in completely.
Fold in flour mixture, but don't over mix. Pour into ungreased 10" tube pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Turn pan upside down on cooling rack and let cool completely in pan.

For Cream Cheese Filling
Beat butter and cream cheese, then add powdered sugar and mix in completely.

For Honey Crumble
Combine all ingredients until mixture sticks together like wet sand.
Form mixture loosely on baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes at 350F. (see photo below for reference)
Let cool then break mixture into crumbles.

Final Assembly

Cut cooled angel food cake into three sections. Then in between each layer, dollop curd and cream cheese filling and sprinkle crumble over filling to desired amount, add next cake layer and repeat until top layer has been added. Decorate top of cake with cream cheese filling and/or fresh strawberries. Enjoy!

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