Angel Food Cake
1-2/3 cups (12 to 13) cold egg whites
1 cup sifted cake flour (2Tbs corn starch+1cup flour)
1-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Put the egg whites in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer. Set aside until the whites are slightly below room temperature, 60°F (16°C), about 1 hour.
Put 2 Tbsp corn starch in a cup, then fill to 1 cup with regular flour. This makes cake flour.
Sift the cake flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside.
Whip the whites on medium-low speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar; turn the speed to medium. Continue whipping until soft peaks form. In a slow, continuous stream, add the granulated sugar, whipping until the whites thicken and form soft, droopy peaks. In the final moments of whipping, add the vanilla and lemon zest. The mixture should be fluffy but fluid enough to pour.
Sprinkle one-quarter of the flour mixture over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites. Continue folding in the flour mixture, one-quarter at a time, until it has all been added.
Gently pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan (25 or 26cm). Bake in the bottom third of the oven until the top is light golden and the cake feels spongy and springs back when touched, 45 to 50 minutes. Invert the pan onto the neck of a bottle or a funnel and let cool completely before removing from the pan.
To remove the cake from the pan, tilt the pan on its side and gently tap the bottom against the counter to loosen the cake. Rotate the pan, tapping a few more times as you turn it, until the cake comes free from the sides of the pan. Lift the cake from the pan. It should come out cleanly, leaving the crust on the sides of the pan. To serve, use a serrated knife and cut with a gentle sawing motion. Top with sugared berries, if you like.
Nutrition information (per serving): Size : based on 10 slices per cake, Calories (kcal): 196, Total Fat: 0.1 g, Saturated Fat: 0.0 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium: 64.3 mg, Potassium 93.2 mg, Carbohydrates : 47.4 g, Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g, Protein (g): 1.8 g.
Complete nutritional facts can be seen here.
Secrets to a Foolproof Angel Food Cake.
- Cake Flour and a combination of confectioner’s and granulated sugar ensure a delicate texture.
- For a fine crumbed, tender angel food cake, use cake flour. Here in Argentina we don’t have Cake Flour, so I use 1 cup flour and 2 Tbsp Corn Starch.
- Adding granulated sugar to the egg whites gives you a more stable and much airier foam than egg whites alone.
- Confectioner’s sugar dissolves too quickly when added to egg whites. Instead of producing a stable foam, it turns out like an icing like mixture.
On the other hand, when added to the dry ingredients, confectioner’s sugar helps disperse the flour particles more evenly, making it easier to fold into the egg whites.
- Whites that are whipped soft, not stiff, ensure that your cake has a high rise.
- Separate your eggs while they’re still cold from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temperature for about an hour. They’re easier to separate when the eggs are cold.
- Whip the whites in a clean, deep bowl. I always rinse my bowls and beaters with a bit of vinegar to ensure squeaky clean bowls.
- The ideal oven temperature is 325°F (160°C).