Recently, my work had a public Champagne tasting with St.Germain liqueur to celebrate New Years, since St.Germain and Champagne are notorious for being a magnificent pairing. Because it is illegal in Washington State to allow people to taste spirits, Alexandra Smith, a rep for St. Germain, suggested this loophole — drizzling St.Germain onto angel food cake! If it’s in food, then it’s ok!
So I decided to develop a cake recipe using Champagne and St.Germain to bring to the tasting. I wanted the cake to be light, fluffy, and not too sweet, so it wouldn’t make the Champagne taste bitter. Also, I wanted the frosting to be a simple whipped cream frosting infused with St.Germain and Champagne so it would match the airiness of the cake’s texture. To really get the flavor of the St.Germain (which is a very aromatic liqueur made from elderflowers and smells a lot like Asian lychee fruit!), I thought it would be nice to drizzle the cake with the St.Germain at the tasting (I prefer it without the extra drizzle because it makes the cake less sweet that way, but the drizzle does infuse the cake with more St.Germain flavor).
The event was really fun and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves — I mean, how could you not when you have the chance to taste four 90+ point rated sparkling wines, eat truffle popcorn, and have Champagne-St.Germain infused cake all for FREE? Alexandra from St.Germain, as well as Heather Chaney from Pacific Wine & Spirits (representing Moët et Chandon and Veuve Clicquot) were both extremely helpful during the tasting and amazing company (thanks girls!). Also, I got a lot of requests to post my cake recipe so here it is!
© 2013, CW. All rights reserved.
I adapted the cake recipe from Alton Brown's "Angel Food Cake" recipe on Foodnetwork.com.
- sugar - 1 3/4 cup
- salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- cake flour - 1 cup, sifted
- egg whites - 12
- Champagne, or any brut sparkling wine - 1/3 cup
- St.Germain liqueur - 1 teaspoon
- cream of tartar - 1 1/2 teaspoons
- butter/Crisco for greasing pans -
- whipping cream - 1 pint
- sugar - 1/3 cup
- St.Germain liqueur - 1 teaspoon, plus extra for drizzling
- Champagne, or any brut sparkling wine - 2 teaspoons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the cake:
In a food processor, spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Add half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour in a large bowl and use a wire whisk to combine, setting the remaining sugar aside.
In a large bowl, combine egg whites, Champagne, St.Germain, and cream of tartar and whisk for about one minute to combine. Then beat the mixture on high and once it begins to turn foamy, slowly add the reserved sugar beating continuously. Once you have achieved medium peaks, add 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the flour mixture and fold in gently with a spatula, alternating between adding the egg white mixture to the flour mixture and folding, taking care to not overwork. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated into the egg white mixture.
Carefully spoon batter into two greased 8” round cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted into cake comes out clean. The tops of the cakes will be light brown. Cool for an hour.
For the whipped frosting:
In large bowl, add whipping cream, St. Germain, and Champagne and beat on high. Add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Spread the whipped frosting on top of the first cake layer, then add the second cake layer and finish frosting the cake. Drizzle the cake with St.Germain (optional).
Serve the cake chilled!