Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Fit For an Angel
Sunday afternoon Jesse and I were shopping at Sam's and he started drooling over a stack of pre-packaged angel food cake. He said in an oh-so-subtle way that he wanted to buy one, unless I could make it. Well, I took that as a challenge. Of course I could make one! Then of course I start to wonder if I really could make one. I never have before and really wasn't even sure how an Angel food cake was made. No worries, I have google! I was pleased when a blog I recognized popped on the first page. Baking Bites is a great blog. I usually check it at least once a week. I knew that I would not be let down by her recipe!
I'm not sure what I thought was in an angel food cake, but I was really taken back by the number of egg whites! It took 11! So now I have to find something to make with 11 egg yolks. Maybe some kind of custard or something, not sure yet, I have a few days to use them. Anyway, this recipe was very easy to follow and had the most delightful aroma. I didn't want to wait for it to cool! This recipe is definitely a keeper! The only thing I did differently was use a bundt pan, I didn't have tube pan with a removable bottom. It still worked fine and I had no trouble getting it out of the pan.
The Best Angel Food Cake
(Source: The Best Recipe as seen on Baking Bites)
1 1/2 cups egg whites (10-12 large), room temperature
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.
Beat egg whites until frothy, the add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time. When sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. You will know when you have soft peaks because the egg whites will look like soft waves and when you lift the beaters, the peaks will droop back down into the batter. If your batter is falling in ribbons, it is not quite down. Don’t be afraid to slow down the mixer and check a few times as you get close. Do not beat all the way to stiff peaks. Once you have soft peaks, add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat for a few seconds to evenly distribute.
Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites in 6-8 additions (depending on your proficiency with folding flour into egg whites) and gently fold it in after each addition. It is better to take your time and do it gently than to rush and deflate the egg whites.
Spoon batter into an ungreased 9 inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Mine took 55 minutes.
Remove from oven an invert pan over a bottle. Allow to cool completely or overnight.
Gently run a thin knife around the sides, then around the bottom, of the pan to release the cake when you are ready to serve it.