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Angel Food Cake Recipe & Video

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An Angel Food Cake, or Angel Cake, is a ring shaped cake with a beautiful golden brown crust and a soft and spongy, snowy white interior. This cake has four main ingredients; egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. It does not contain egg yolks, butter, or oil, so it is perfect for those watching their fat intake. It can be eaten plain with just a dusting of powdered sugar, and I really like it with fresh fruit and softly whipped cream.

An Angel Food Cake gets its rise, not from baking powder or baking soda, but solely from the air whipped into egg whites. In order to get the maximum volume from the egg whites, have them at room temperature, and make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are clean, dry, and free of grease. The recipe begins with beating the whites with cream of tartar which is added to stabilize the whites and prevents over beating. Once the whites form soft peaks, the sugar is gradually beaten in, one tablespoon at a time, so it fully dissolves into the egg whites. I like to use superfine white sugar as it easily dissolves into the egg whites. You can make superfine sugar by processing white granulated sugar in your food processor until finely ground. (Angel Food Cakes do use more sugar than other types of sponge cakes and this is to support and stabilize the large amount of egg whites.) Once the egg whites are stiff and glossy, cake flour, mixed with a little sugar to prevent the flour from clumping, is gradually folded into the whites to ensure the batter doesn't deflate. Cake flour is a low gluten flour, which gives the cake a soft and tender crumb. You can make cake flour; take 1 cup all purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons, and replace with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

Angel Food Cakes are baked in a tube pan, with a removable bottom, which gives the cake support as well as making it easier to remove the baked cake from the pan. The pan (do not use a non stick pan) isn't greased so the batter will cling to the sides of the pan as it bakes which allows the cake to reach its full volume. The hole in the middle of the pan allows the hot air to circulate and reach the center of the cake. Unlike most cakes that are simply placed on a wire rack to cool, Angel Food Cakes are immediately inverted so the baked cake will maintain its volume and to keep it from shrinking as it cools.

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Angel Food Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. You will need a 10 inch (25 cm) two piece Angel Food Cake (tube) pan. (Don't use a non stick pan.)

In a bowl, sift or whisk the cake flour with 3/4 cup (150 grams) of the superfine white sugar, and the salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and  the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine white sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the meringue holds stiff peaks and is thick and glossy. Beat in the vanilla extract and almond extract.

Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites (about one quarter of the flour mixture at a time) and gently but quickly fold the flour into the egg whites. You can use a wire whisk or a rubber spatula. (It is important not to over fold the batter or it will deflate.)

Pour the batter into the pan and run a wooden skewer or knife through the batter to get rid of any air pockets. Smooth the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 - 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed. (The top of the cake will have cracks.)

Immediately upon removing from the oven, invert the pan.  Suspend the pan by placing the inner tube on the top of a flat topped glass or bowl. Allow the cake to cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours).

Then run a long sharp knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake and then remove the cake from the pan. Next, run a metal spatula or knife along the bottom and center core of the pan and remove. Place the cake, right side up, on your serving plate. Cut the cake with a serrated knife using a sawing motion.

This cake is best served on the day it is made, but it can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for several days. It is great toasted.

This cake can be eaten alone with just a dusting of powdered sugar. Is also wonderful with fresh berries and softly whipped cream.

Serves 10 - 14 people.

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Angel Food Cake Recipe:

1 cup (120 grams) cake flour

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) superfine white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 1/2 cups (360 ml/grams) egg whites, at room temperature (about 12 large egg whites)

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) cream of tartar

2 teaspoons (8 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure almond extract

 

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