One of the lightest cakes in existence. You can make shortcakes with it, accompany it with fruit and some custard sauce, substitute it for spongecake, or just eat it as is.
Its also labor intensive. And sometimes even frustrating to make. But the end result is that delightful cake of air.
The key for is in the meringue. If you under beat it, it will be dense. If you over beat it, its ruined. There’s a delicate balance of perfection.
Angel Food Cake
1 3/4 cup of egg white (usually about 12 eggs)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Crack eggs and separate the yolk from the whites.
In a separate bowl mix flour and powdered sugar. In a small dish combine salt and cream of tartar.
Break up egg whites and using a mixer on moderate speed beat until frothy. Once frothy add cream of tartar mixture as well as the extracts.
Keep beating at a moderate speed until soft peaks for. Soft peaks occur when you stop the mixture, bring up the paddle and there’s a peak that flops over.
Once this happens, add the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time while mixing.
Continue mixing until meringue turns glossy and stiff peaks form. When you stop the mixture and bring the paddle up a peak occurs and stays there.
Add the flour mixture to the meringue 1/4 cup at a time and fold it in.
Put cake batter in a greased pan.
Bang the pan with the palm of your hand to make sure the air bubbles are gone.
Bake at 325° for 45 – 55 minutes. Or until you see a cracked golden brown and when you stick a toothpick in it comes out clean.
Invert it onto a plate until it cools and then using a knife loosen the cake from the pan.
Makes 14 servings. Calories: 114, Carbohydrates: 24 grams, Sugar: 17 grams, Protein: 4 grams.
This is the second time I’ve made this recipe. The first time I was an idiot and added pineapple, coconut, and cherries and wondered why they all floated to the top of the cake.
Physics. Oh right, I used to sleep in that class back in high school.
I was also stupid and thought I could beat the egg whites by hand. After an hour of getting no where and getting blisters, I threw in the towel and gave into the machines.
My cake was also a wee bit denser than it should be. Meaning I didn’t beat the meringue long enough.
Believe it or not, there seems to be a lot of trial and error with the cake. If you don’t succeed the first time, don’t fret. And don’t go to the box version either. Just because its easier, doesn’t mean its better.
Also, you don’t need one of those 10 inch cake pan things. I’ve used a bundt pan twice.
And now you have all the components to assemble an English Trifle!