November 13, 2012 by Amie M
Kate’s Birthday was Sunday. Kate has a picky sweet-tooth, so it is always a welcome challenge to bake for her. So this year I went with a classic light and lovely angel food cake. It was no-chocolate, easy on the whip, and served with berries dusted in icing sugar. Just a little bit of sweet to go with the soft. I think she liked it!
There are a few substitutions going on in this recipe. I didn’t have cake flour, and thought I didn’t have cream of tartar. I did have cream of tartar, I just didn’t find it until yesterday. I think a pantry reorganize is on the list of things to do!
Start by sifting one cup cake flour with 1/4 tsp of salt. If you don’t have cake flour, measure the amount of white flour you need, take out two tbsp of flour and replace with two tbsp of cornstarch. Sift, and sift and sift like you are a sift lord. (That one was for you, hunny)
Then separate a dozen egg whites at room temperature. This is really important! Your meringue will be softer and lighter if things are at room temperature. Cold eggs take longer to whip and don’t make as nice peaks. Perfect peaks are what we want. Also plan to make a lot of scrambled eggs or omelettes with the yolk leavings.
Beat until frothy. Add one tsp of cream of tartar. No tartar? No bother! If it’s being used as an egg white stabilizer, simply replace cream of tartar with the equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice, also at room temperature.
Then beat until soft peaks form. Then continue on with the recipe until you fold in the cake flour, and pour into the cake pan, not really clueing in why it tastes a little salty until you are about to put it in the oven. Then swear, a lot, and toss the whole bloody thing out because you forgot to add sugar. Yep. Should have smacked my forehead and said d’oh when the meringue wasn’t glossy and yummy. Good thing I had bought two dozen eggs.
Restart and remember to gradually add the sugar after the soft peaks from cream of tartar form. Beat until firm peaks are pitching. Pour into a wide mouth bowl, or just your biggest mixing bowl.
Sift the flour overtop, and grab your favourite spatula, because you will be folding forever. Fold until it is combined, being very careful not to disturb it too much.
Pour into an angel food pan. I don’t have one, so I took a risk and used a bundt pan. It turned out alright.
Decorate it until it looks like it came straight from the pages of 1960’s Good Housekeeping.
Photos stolen from Kate.
Happy Birthday, Kate! I hope you had a great day, and night, Sunday! It was great to see you all aflutter as so many of your friends came to dinner. I don’t think you stopped smiling once.
The recipe, from Martha Stewart:
1 cup cake flour (or 1 cup white flour, less 2 tbsp, add 2 tbsp cornstarch and sifted)
1/4 tsp salt
12 egg whites at room temperature
1 tsp cream of tartar (or 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice, room temperature)
1 1/4 cups sugar (DO NOT FORGET!)
2 tsp vanilla
Oven to 350 F.
Sift cake flour with salt twice, set aside.
Beat egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute.
Add cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Gradually add sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Add vanilla, beat to combine.
Gently slide into large bowl.
Sift cake flour on top.
Fold until combine.
Pour into ungreased angel food pan.
Run a fine knife through the batter to release any bubbles.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until top springs back.
Let cool in pan for an hour, inverted.
Using a knife, inch the cake away from the pan sides.
Serve with whipped cream and berries.