This recipe highlights eggs at their very best--the cake gets its regal airiness from beaten egg whites, and the crème anglaise gets its silky-smooth consistency form egg yolks. This cake doesn't rise as much as a traditional angel food cake does because of the almonds, which weigh it down slightly.
Cooking Light AUGUST 2000
Preheat oven to 325°.
To prepare strawberries, combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill 3 hours.
To prepare cake, place almonds and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Sift together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a bowl. Combine the almond mixture with flour mixture, and set aside. Beat egg whites in a large bowl at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg white mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; fold in. Fold in almond extract. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, and spread evenly. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
While the cake is baking, prepare the crème anglaise. Combine 2/3 cup sugar and yolks in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk until blended. Gradually add milk to the pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly. Immediately pour mixture into a bowl; stir in vanilla. Cover and chill (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
Invert cake pan, and cool for 40 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Invert cake onto plate. Serve with strawberries and crème anglaise.
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