Angel food cake is absolutely, hands down, my favorite cake in the whole world. Its the cake that I always ask for as my birthday cake. Growing up, because we had chickens, we actually ate angel food cake fairly frequently. My mother always said that fresh eggs made the best angel food cake.
This is my second attempt at making angel food cake. The first time, a few years ago, I did not yet believe in the powers of cake flour and instead used all purpose flour. Do not do it unless you want an angel food cake that is about 2 inches tall and quite heavy.
Angel food is a great summer cake. Served with some strawberries and Cool Whip makes this dessert absolutely divine. Served plain, this dessert is low in cholesterol and fat, which is always nice.
Angel Food Cake adapted from Betty Crocker
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
12 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 1/ 2 tablespoons vanilla
Before starting, place your bowl (stainless or copper) and your beaters in the freezer. Also, remove eggs from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. To be honest, I have know idea why you should do this, but my mother swears these are key elements to the success of the angel food cake.
Separate your eggs. There can be no traces of yolk in your whites. I find this to be a struggle sometimes. But then I realized that I was an idiot keeping my bowl of whites under each precarious yolk. I then learned that each time I plopped an egg white out, put it in another bowl so that on the last egg the yolk does not accidentally slip out and ruin a dozen egg whites.
Once the eggs are separated add the cream of tarter and beat until foamy. Once the eggs start foaming, then add 3/4 of a cup of the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. A stiff peak is one that does not flop over when it is formed. Take care not to overbeat the eggs. This is especially possible when using a stand mixture.
|what a stiff peak looks like|
Sift together the remaining 3/4 and 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cake flour. Once the egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks, fold the vanilla and the flour mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Be sure to use a rubber spatula. My mother only owns one rubber spatula and it is specifically for folding flour into the egg whites for angel food cake.
Once the flour mixture is folded into the egg whites, spread mixture into an ungreased angel food cake pan (or tube pan if you will). Make sure the batter is even. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Flip pan with cake in it immediately onto a clean plate. Allow to cool upside down. When the cake is completely cool, run a knife around the edges of the outside and inside of the pan. Flip back onto the plate and allow cake to fall out.
Once the cake has fallen out of the pan, be sure to scrape the pan and eat it. It is sooo tasty! Serve cake plain or with sweetened strawberries and Cool Whip.