Heavenly Angel Food Cake
As promised a week (or so…) ago, a heavenly angel food cake that was a birthday cake. I make one about every 10 years or so, so this is monumental 🙂 It’s not that angel food cake is harder than any other cake it’s more the fact that it uses 12 of these beautiful babies.
So to put my egg usage in perspective I thought I would do some rough figures of how many eggs I’ve used in the past year.
Are you ready for this? 976 or roughly 81 dozen eggs.
Wow. 12 eggs doesn’t sound that bad now, does it 🙂 Now all those eggs were not for blogging purposes, most of them actually came from special orders and my personal satisfaction. It does not count 80 dozen or so my husband consumed for breakfast (he eats 3 eggs almost every morning). I think I need to invest in some chickens.
But back to the angel food cake. Other than keeping jumping monkeys out of the kitchen during baking to avoid utter collapse and defeat, this cake really isn’t difficult. It does require some science behind the egg whites though so I went straight to the source. Alton Brown of course! For the fluffiest cake you want to use fresh eggs, separate when they are cold but then let the whites get to room temperature for whipping. Everything else needs to be sifted light and airy to avoid deflation.
If angels eat, this would be their food. Honestly I forgot how good a home made angel food cake could be! This beauty is a towering delight of fluffy moist white cake that leaves you wanting more. Silly me thought I’d have a slice left to photograph in the morning but with 15 people who all had the same reaction I had to the cake, who was I kidding? You can drizzle this with any glaze your heart desires (or shave some chocolate in there for a “speckled angel”!) but I still prefer mine with a few fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream 🙂
Angel Food Cake
Yields approximately 10 servings
Recipe from Alton Brown on Foodnetwork
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon almond extract, or extract of your choice (orange, lemon, vanilla etc)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spin the sugar in a food processor for about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour into a medium bowl, and set the remaining sugar aside.
2. In a large bowl (I used the bowl from my standing mixer), use a whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, almond extract, and cream of tartar. Once they are foamy (about 2 minutes), switch to a hand mixer or standing mixer. Slowly add the reserved sugar to the egg whites while beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Use a rubber spatula to fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
3. Carefully spoon the batter into an ungreased* tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (inserted into the middle, the skewer should come out dry). *Don’t grease the pan because the egg whites need something to “climb”, no need to worry-the cake will come out!
4. Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan. To remove take a thin sharp knife and run along the outer and inner edges of the cake. Remove the “tube” from the outer case and run the knife along the bottom of the pan to loosen before flipping the cake over. Use a serrated knife to cut slices. Enjoy!