Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Food for An Angel

"Make me an angel that flies from Montgom'ry
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold onto
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go." -John Prine

I've recently made flan (twice) (click here) and red velvet cupcakes (click here), which left me with a quantity of egg whites in the fridge. Baking an angel food cake to serve with fresh berries is my favorite way to use them up. I actually had two cups of egg whites from all this and I simply proportioned this recipe up a bit to make a slightly bigger cake. Eggs whites freeze well and I often freeze in 1 1/2 c. quantities for baking these cakes.

Angel Food Cake
Sift together:
1 c. cake flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. salt

In large bowl beat:
1 1/2 c. egg whites

When foamy add:
1 t. cream of tartar

When soft peaks form add:
1/4 t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. sugar, adding 2 tablespoons at a time.

When all the sugar has been added and mixed in and you have glossy, stiff peaks (that aren't too dry), using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mix. Plop into an ungreased angel food cake pan (I bought mine at a yard sale years ago) and run a knife in circles through the batter to release air bubbles.

Bake 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool upside down for 1 1/2 hours before removing pan (I was a bit impatient with mine; it didn't release cleanly and the edges were a bit jagged but it tasted just fine!)

Slice using a serrated knife and serve. We had this cake with the most perfect small, dark red and incredibly fragrant strawberries freshly picked from the bed out back, then sliced and macerated with a small spoon of sugar to release their juices. When I was growing up, we always had scone/biscuit-like cake (click here) with our strawberries, but angel food cake is what my husband's family always ate summer strawberries on. Later in the summer when the raspberries are ripe, I prefer to make this following chocolate variation. All of these cakes served with just picked berries are truly food for an angel!

Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Sift together:
1 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. European style Hershey's Cocoa
1 T. Medaglia d'Oro instant espresso coffee
Whip until stiff but not dry:
12 egg whites (1 1/2 c.)
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cream of tartar
Add and fold in 1/4 c. at a time 1 c. sugar. Do the same with the flour mixture. Put into pan and bake 325 degrees for 40 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly pressed. Invert pan and cool.

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