Saturday, May 29, 2010

HEAVENLY ANGEL FOOD CAKE

angel food cake with strawberries (6)
Whenever I use egg yolks in a recipe, instead of discarding the unused egg whites, I freeze them, being careful to date and label them.  Sometimes I freeze 6 together, sometimes 3, sometimes 2, etc.  Little plastic containers work perfectly for this.  When I want to use them, I take a container out the night before and let it thaw slowly in the fridge.  That’s what I did when I made this angel food cake. 
angel food cake with strawberries
While I’m not a huge fan of angel food cake, my hubby is.  He loves slices of it with fresh strawberries and Redi Whip.  He also loves it split,  filled with custard and topped with chocolate frosting. 
In this day of modern technology, you would think that the best angel food cake would be made with a KitchenAid stand mixer.  Not so.  Angel food cake has greater volume and more tender texture when egg whites are beaten with a wire whip.  Follow this recipe exactly and you will have a beautiful, high, moist, tender, delicious and heavenly dessert. 
angel food cake with strawberries (7)
One word of caution:  Be sure utensils, bowls and bakeware are free of any grease.  Butter, oils and fats are the enemy of angel food cake!
Heavenly Angel Food Cake
Recipe adapted from Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking
Rating:  10 out of 10
PRINTABLE RECIPE
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 cup low-protein bleached all-purpose flour (such as White Lily)
1 tsp. vanilla powder
5 large egg whites (2/3 cup), room temperature
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 + 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. lemon, lime or orange juice

Heat oven to 300F.  Line two small loaf pans (3-1/2” x 7-1/2” each) with double sheets of wax paper on bottoms only; set aside.  Do not grease pans.

In work bowl of food processor, pulse sugar and lemon zest till both are ground fine; set aside.   On a piece of wax paper, sift flour, measure, then resift six times with half the sugar mixture and the vanilla powder.  (If you clear the wax paper of excess flour after the first sifting, you can then resift the 1/2 cup of flour, sugar mixture and vanilla powder together on the wax paper, saving a little on clean-up.) 

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and salt till stiff and peaks form, about 5 minutes.  (You might want to slightly tip the bowl, making it easier to whisk.) 
angel food cake with strawberries (8)
With the bowl flat, sift the remaining half of the sugar, a little at a time, in about 5 portions, adding the citrus juice at the end.  Beat about 20 strokes after each addition.  Sift the flour-sugar mixture in 5 portions over the egg white mixture.  Fold gently but thoroughly with the whisk after each addition.  Divide batter equally between the two prepared pans.  Bake at 300F for 30-35 minutes, or till delicately browned and cake springs back when lightly touched. 
angel food cake with strawberries (2)

Invert pans over wire rack to cool, about 1-1/2 hours. 
angel food cake with strawberries (5) 
Using straight up-and-down motions, run sharp knife around edges of pan to loosen cake.  Remove wax paper from bottoms.  Yield:  About 14 (1”) slices.
 

9 comments:

Valerie said...

Thank you for the recipe, Judy. This looks perfect! And thanks for egg white storing tip.

MelindaRD said...

This looks great. I never thought to do that with the egg whites. Most of the time I use the whole eggs. I am not sure we have had something come up that called for just yolk. Hmmm, maybe I need to start making what you are making :)

À LA GRAHAM said...

My favorite kind of cake. My grandma use to always make angel food for our birthdays as kids, and I cant believe I have never made it. Def going to try...thanks!

Judy said...

Melinda, Right off, I can't totally remember where all the whites came from (and I have a lot of them in the freezer). But I know some came from cookie & cake recipes that called for whole eggs + yolk -- makes the batter so tender. Some might have been from custard or curd. I have more to use up so I'm dreaming up some more recipes. Stay tuned.

teresa said...

this looks delicious! great tip on the leftover eggs.

bella said...

Yes, Judy, you are right! Angel food cake is wonderful and your version does look heavenly. My mother made a homemade angel food cake for each birthday and holiday! I have great memories of this cake! Roz

Katrina said...

Seems like my grandma always had an angel food cake at her house when we'd go visit her. Sounds great.

♥peachkins♥ said...

It does looks heavenly!

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Juliana said...

Oh Judy, the cake sure look so light...what a nice way to serve it...strawberries and cream :-)