angel food cake

Because I spontaneously bought a bright and happy yellow tube pan from Safeway yesterday, I felt compelled to make an angel food cake today to bring over to our friends’ dinner tonight.  This is actually an easy cake to make (that is, if you have a good electric mixer or else you’ll be really giving your arm a work out whipping up the egg whites) and has zero fat in it so it’s kiiiind of guilt-free.

1 and 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 large egg whites.  We felt it was a bit wasteful to chuck out 12 perfectly good yolks so we bought a 500 g carton of liquid egg whites and they worked out great)  /  1 and 1/4 cups cake flour  /  1 and 3/4 cups sugar  /  1 tsp cream of tartar  /  1 tsp pure almond extract  (or if you don’t have this/don’t like almond extract, just use vanilla extract instead)  /  small pinch of salt

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Preheat the oven to 325F.  Using an electric stand mixer, beat (really, more like whip) the egg whites and the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.  Make sure you don’t over-beat!  Just as the egg whites are about ready, toss in the almond extract and let it mix in.  In a separate large mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, salt and cake flour.  It should all be very well combined and if it’s not feel free to sift it a couple more times.  Gently plop the egg whites into the flour mixture and using a spatula, very carefully fold in until everything is just combined.  Then gently scoop into a tube pan that has NOT been greased and slide into the oven.

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Bake for about 30 minutes.  You’ll know that its done when the cake is getting just a little bit golden and when you stick an uncooked spaghetti noodle/toothpick into it, it comes out dry.

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After you take it out of the oven, carefully flip the pan upside-down over a baking sheet and let it cool for maybe an hour.  I’m not entirely sure why this is done but I think it’s to make sure that the cake doesn’t start collapsing a bit.  When it’s cooled, run a knife around the outer edge of the cake, flip the pan back over and kinda slap the pan until the cake falls out.  To slice, use a serrated knife, like a bread knife, just so you don’t smush down the cake while cutting it.  Yum!  Well the entire cake was eaten up in minutes so I think it must have been a success.

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