Saturday, January 7, 2012

Angel Food Cake


Angel Food Cake

I view leftover ingredients as an opportunity.  I can use them for inspiration or to make something new.

The holidays created a container of leftover egg whites.  What can I do with a bunch of egg whites? 

Angel Food Cake!

I looked in American Cookery by James Beard.  I would need 1 1/2 cups of egg whites.

And that's exactly what I had leftover in the fridge.  Woohoo!  (Yes, I get excited about coincidences like this.)

So, for New Year's dinner I made a mess making angel food cake, and had lots of fun doing it.

Angel Food Cake
from James Beard's American Cookery

1 cup sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar (look in the baking aisle)
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 10 - 12 eggs), at room temperature
1 t. cream of tartar
1 T. water or part water and part lemon juice
1 1/2 t. vanilla or 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 t. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

You will need an ungreased baking pans -- a 10 inch tube pan, or 2 loaf pans.

Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature.

Sift the flour, measure, then sift 5 or 6 times with 1/2 cup of the sugar and the salt.

 I used two bowls and a fine sieve. Hold the sifter high to incorporate as much air as you can.  Messy but fun!

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy,

then add the cream of tartar and continue to beat.

When the bubbles are uniform, start adding the remaining 1 cup of sugar a few tablespoons at a time.

Add the flavoring while adding the sugar.  (I forgot to do this.)

Beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks, and the sugar is dissolved.
I had to add my vanilla at this point.  No worries!

Fold in the flour while sifting and spooning over the egg whites.  I used a large spatula to gently incorporate the flour mixture.
When the flour is thoroughly combined, but not overmixed, turn the batter into a 10 inch tube pan, or two loaf pans.

The pan must be absolutely free of grease, for the cake to cling to the sides as it rises.

Bake the tube pan about 50 minutes, loaf pans about 45. 

Test by pressing lightly in the center -- if the cake springs back it is done. 

Remove from the oven and invert the pan until the cake cools.  The edges of the pan must be lifted at least an inch or so while it cools.

When the cake is cool, remove from pan by pulling the sides away with a fork.

Frost or serve plain, as you prefer.

To serve, pull servings with two forks.  A knife won't work.  It will mash the cake.

Toasted with Warm Berry Mix and Drambuie Cream
Ideas for serving:
fresh or frozen berries, with or without whipped cream
drizzled chocolate
butterscotch or caramel sauce
warmed fruit jam

The cake can be sliced and toasted first.

The cake can also be frosted.

Angel food cakes does not freeze well due to the low fat content.

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