Angel Cake, #recipesfromtheheart

Today's Cancer & Hospice Awareness Campaign event is being hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita's Cocina. They teamed up with their blogger friends to help raise awareness and support for Cancer and Hospice. We also would like to encourage everyone to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society and also to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

Lung cancer snipped short the life of my Great-Aunt Mabel. The cancerous smoking habit which claimed her life was probably born from a need for relief from the stressors in her life.

Like many caregivers, Aunt Mabel was an angelic presence to all who encountered her kind countenance.  Her warm hug meant the world to my five-year-old self who had traveled many hours with a hired chaperone from Tokyo.

Years earlier, Aunt Mabel embraced my mother as a daughter,  saving her from an abusive stepmother and neglectful father. She took on the responsibility of child rearing on a single income. (According to my great-uncle, Aunt Mabel’s husband preferred drink to work.)

One of Aunt Mabel's many roles:
Executive Assistant to the President of Montgomery Ward Department Store

Despite the pressures of finances, raising her niece (my mother) and dealing with an alcohol-loving husband, she delivered hot dinners to the table every night. She never complained and smiled frequently. Aunt Mabel also sacrificed her one luxury of tennis lessons and gave them to Mom. 

Aunt Mabel

My mother is Dorothy Head Knode. She is a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist. In the 1950s, in the US, Mom ranked among the top ten US players. My mother was inducted into the Southern California Tennis Hall of Fame in August 2011. 

Thanks to Aunt Mabel's sacrifice of her own tennis lessons, my mother enjoyed a successful career.

Multiple Grand Slam winning tennis champion, Billie Jean King, in her induction speech sited Mom's tenacity on the court. Apparently Mom was an inspiring figure in Billie Jean King's youth.

Mom, Billie Jean King & the Ninja Baker,

2011 Southern California Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

But without Aunt Mabel’s present of the tennis lessons, Mom might have never experienced the prestige and travel that accompanies a prominent player. Mom’s confidence must have been buoyed, too, by all the love Aunt Mabel poured into her famous angel food cake. No family recipe remains. My mother loves to eat but never spent much time in the kitchen. (Her best dish is scrambled eggs.)

According to Mom, angel food cake was one of
Aunt Mabel's best desserts.

Fortunately, I was introduced to Julie Richardson’s Vintage Cakes, which features a grand recipe for angel food cake. The book even includes a whole page dedicated to whipping up egg whites which are crucial to the heavenly dessert. (12 were needed for the Vintage Cakes version.)

For the topping, I whipped up 2 pints of heavy cream with a ¼ cup of powdered sugar and ¼ cup of a Japanese peach yogurt drink. The peach yogurt did not translate into any peachy tastes.

A Popular Japanese Peach Yogurt Drink

However, the combo of whipped cream atop my angel food cake works well. I took the cake to dance class and overheard a fellow classmate declare, “This is one of the best she’s made.” (The cake texture is as light and lovely. And the whipped cream topping slides smoothly down the throat into the tummy.)  My dance classmate also commented on my edible flowers garnish.“It provides a nice crunch."

Edible flowers add a surprise crunch
to angel food cake with whipped cream frosting.

Out of respect for the author, I will not reprint the recipe here. However, very similar how-tos abound on the internet for angel food cake. Food Network is one source. Martha Stewart as well as the Joy of Baking both have instructional videos.

I do believe angel food cake is the best way to honor Aunt Mabel because she was a real life angel to Mom and all who knew her. Including yours truly.  Maybe with better funding of cancer prevention programs, others can avoid succumbing to cancer like my Great-Aunt Mabel. And whilst the war is waged against the Big-C, thank goodness for all the selfless hospice caregivers who are also angels. 

Angel food cake in a Japanese Tupperware mini cake taker

Read on to see others' tributes to loved ones.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Home-made Strawberry Topping by Cravings of a Lunatic Chili Verde by Juanita's Cocina
S'Mores Brownies in Jars by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Dark Chocolate and Orange Muffins by The Dutch Baker's Daughter
Boston Cream Pie by Pass The Sushi
My Fathers Day Recipe Round Up by Curry and Comfort
Tropical Smoothie by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Mini Gugelhupf by Masala Herb
Sauteed Strawberry and Sugarsnap Salad by Cook The Story
Cranberry Cashew Breakfast Muffins by In Fine Balance
Arugula Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Mushrooms by Crazy Foodie Stunts
Spicy Beef Sliders by Katie's Cucina
Thai Red Curry Soup by Damn Delicious
Suman (Sweet Rice and Banana Leaves) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Fresh Vegetable Salad by White Lights on Wednesday
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Sundae by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Cinnamon Chip Cookie Butter Bars by The Messy Baker
Berry/Cherry Fro-Yo Ice Cream by Cookistry
Honey Beer Bread by Hungry Couple
Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes by The Spiffy Cookie
Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars by Sweet Remedy
Cookies and Cream Brownies by Cooking in Stilettos
Blueberry Lemon Cake by Roxana's Home Baking
Angel Cake by Ninja Baking
Knit (or crocheted) Grey Brain Cancer Mustache Pin by Knit, Purl, Damn!

Wishing you the blessings of health & the buoyant love of family, friends & angels.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.