ANGEL FOOD CAKE


1 cup sifted cake flour
12 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 / 4 teaspoon salt
1 1 / 2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract

1. Oven to 325 degrees.
2. Beat egg whites until foamy, add salt and cream of tartar, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually, add 3 / 4 cup of sugar to egg whites, but at 1 / 4 cup intervals. Continue beating. Add vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Combine cake flour and 3 / 4 cup of sugar together in a bowl. Stir with a whisk.
4. Fold gently the flour mixture 1 / 4 cup at a time to the egg mixture.
5. Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom, spreading evenly. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly. Try not to open the oven door if possible during baking.
6. Invert pan onto a bottle and let cool completely. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a long narrow spatula. Try to be gentle but do it repeatively so the cake comes out easily. Invert cake onto plate. Serve with strawberries when in season.
7. Option – For a different flair make a Cocoa Almond Angel food cake. Instead of 1 teaspoon of vanilla and lemon extracts, use 1 /2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Add 1 / 4 cup of unsweetened cocoa to flour.
8. ENJOY! – I feel like an angel when I make this cake!

Angel Food cake was something I had never baked before. I read in a few recipes that a certain type Bundt pan should be used which allows the cake to cool upside down without touching the table. This particular pan is circular, has a hole in the middle, with three or four prongs that stick up outside of the sides of the pan. This gives distance between the pan and any surface from touching. In other words, the pan can be turned upside down to cool, and the cake will hang that way and not move until loosened manually. The cake shouldn’t slip down because the pan is not greased. Angel Food cake is the only recipe I have made that does not require greasing the pan before pouring in the batter. I personally do not own this particular type of Bundt pan to bake an Angel Food cake. Before I purchased one, I wanted to be sure I was buying the correct pan. I asked my cooking friends and found Laurie’s mom, Saranne, made Angel Food cake. Sure enough, when I called Saranne, she not only talked to me about her Angel Food cakes, she lent me her two pans that she uses to bake them. One pan had a removable bottom, but the other pan was one piece. Both pans had the prongs to hold the cake upside down. I made two Angel Food cakes after researching many recipes and instructions to create my own cakes. Saranne’s pans came in handy. The removable bottom was definitely the easier pan to get the cake out after it cooled. Also, it was easier to clean afterwards.

Angel Food cake seemed simple enough to make. Using only the egg whites to bake the cake, separate your eggs in a bowl. The yolk of at least two eggs broke and spilled into my egg whites. Very gently with a spoon, I removed the yolks from the egg whites in the bowl. Some recipes called for ten egg whites, but I prefer to use twelve egg whites because of the mistakes. If you remove the egg yolk from the bowl, of course some of the egg white is taken with the yolk. It is impossible to take out just the yolk without a little white. If you use twelve egg whites, you have that extra amount in the bowl for this reason. Use only a stainless steel bowl or a glass bowl because it retains the cold temperature. The eggs need to stay cool while beating into the white foam peaks. If any recipe I prepare calls for beaten egg whites, I always do that first. The beaters need to be clean and dry and not wet or damp from washing off other ingredients before using them to beat the egg whites.

Before serving the Angel Food cake, sprinkle the top with a dusting of powdered sugar for a more appetizing look. I recently made this cake in June, and I decorated the plate with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. The fresh fruit is a great accompaniment to this cake. Plus, for a holiday, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day, it is symbolic with the red and blue colors of the fruit with white angel food cake representing the red, white and blue colors of the American Flag. I have seen this done at many parties.

It was lucky for me to have an angel called Saranne, who not only shared her Angel Food cake baking expertise, but also her Angel Food cake pans. Maybe you have a network of cooking friends who would be willing to share their cooking experiences with you. If not, I would love to answer any questions you may have on cooking or baking. You only have to ask!

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