Please for the love of cake, don't buy boxed cake mixes. Step away.
Angel food cake is really easy and so summery. Berries and angels are just meant to be you guys.
An angel food cake pan is pretty much necessary for making this dessert, but let me tell you a secret: my pan cost me 90 cents at a thrift shop. But if you can't find one there, Target carries them. Oh come on, you know you're going to spend too much money there anyway. *I've seen angel food cake baked in regular cake pans, but I have no ideas about baking times.
Angel Food Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart
1 cup cake flour (or you can do what I did: measure 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, take out 2 Tbsp., then add in 2 Tbps. arrowroot powder and sift)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
12 large egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups pure cane sugar or evaporated cane juice (I used the latter)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Separate your eggs. Then, beat the egg whites in a large bowl on medium-high until foamy, about a minute. Add cream of tartar and keep beating until soft peaks form (you will know it is soft peaks when it has grown substantially in size and when you pull out the beaters, the "peaks" flop over). While gradually adding the sugar, continue beating until stiff peaks form (you will know they are stiff because the "peaks" will no longer flop over- they will stay standing up). Add vanilla and beat to combine.
3. Sift the flour and salt all over the surface of the egg whites. Then, with a large rubber spatula, CAREFULLY fold in the flour until just combined by cutting through the mixture and coming up slowly. Do not stir.
4. Using your spatula, gently spoon the mixture into your ungreased angel food cake pan. Smooth top and using a butter knife, cut a knife through and around the batter to release some of the air bubbles. Bake 30-40 minutes until light golden brown. The top will spring back as you touch it with a finger.
5. Let cool 1 hour. The best way to cool is to slide the hole of the tube pan over a wine or beer bottle and let it cool upside down. This will prevent the cake from falling. When cool, release gently from the pan.
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tsp. pure cane sugar or evaporated cane juice
extra sugar for macerating berries
Slice strawberries into desired shape. For each pint of strawberries, add 1 Tbsp. of sugar to macerate. This will bring out the juices of the berries. Let macerate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and 3 tsp. sugar. Let boil a few minutes until it becomes thick and syrupy.
Pour over berries and mix together.*
*My photo shows the balsamic glaze and the strawberries separately because I was worried the kids wouldn't like the balsamic, so feel free to serve them separately.