As I write this post, my angel food cake is upside down, cooling on the counter. I can hardly wait to cut into it and sink my teeth into my favorite light, and fluffy dessert. But if there is one thing learning to make angel food cake teaches a person it is patience.
Patience while seperating the eggs because even a little bit of yolk will keep your egg whites from fully whipping. Patience to get the egg whites whipped to the soft and stiff peaks stages. It can seem to take forever. Patience for it to get done cooking and be cool enough to remove from the pan without tearing it up. Patience, patience, and more patience and I am not a patient person by nature!
Angel food cake can be intimadating because it is a very technique driven recipe. The good news is that none of the techniques are very difficult, they just take practice and, yep, you guessed it patience. Hurrying at any stage of the cake can cause a flat cake. Not necessarily unedible, just not living up to it’s full potential. Once you master the techniques you will also be able to make meringue pies and meringue cookies.
Today I am posting two recipes. One recipe for the small batch angel food cake that feeds two people and a recipe for a full sized recipe that feeds 9-12 people. You can make the small cake for two in muffin cups or get small angel food cake pan at craft stores, like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, in their cake decorating department. You should be able to find a full size angel food cake pan at any store that has a decent house wares section.
Angel Food Cake (for 2)
3 TBS cake flour
4 TBS superfine sugar
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the flour, 2 tablespoons of super fine sugar and the nutmeg in a small bowl and whisk to blend well. Place the egg whites, salt and vanilla in a medium size mixing bowl and beat with a hand held electric mixer on medium speed until the whites are frothy, about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the whites and beat until soft peaks fold over when mixer is turned off and beaters are lifted, 20 to 30 seconds. With the mixer running, gradually sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons superfine sugar over the egg whites and beat on high until the egg whites are glossy, about 45 seconds. They should form stiff peaks when beaters are lifted. Sift half the flour mixture over the whites and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining flour mixture. Spoon the batter into 2 ungreased muffin cups. The cups will be completely filled. Bake the cakes for 15 minutes then drape a piece of aluminum foil over the cakes and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until the top are golden and spring back when lightly touched. Remove pan from the oven and flip pan upside down to cool completely. 2 servings
Adapted From Debby Maugans Nakos’ Small Batch Baking Cookbook
Angel Food Cake (Full Size)
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
9 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour an 1/2 cup sugar, mix well. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar. Continue to beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the extracts and remaining sugar. Continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff enough to stay in the bowl when turned upside down. I know this sounds crazy, but it works. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula. Turn the batter into an ungreased 9 or 10 inch tube pan. Bake 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert the pan over a liter pop bottle and let cool completely. Remove from pan and enjoy.
Adapted From Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything