ANGEL FOOD CAKE RECIPE
Food from the angels… What can one say about Angel Food Cake? It’s a classic; a crowd-pleaser and a safe bet in terms of taste. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Perfect in the morning and perfect in the afternoon. Not too rich and blissfully light. This is the kind of recipe you can’t really improvise with – it needs to be exact or you won’t achieve a perfect cake.
- 1 cup 200g SR flour, sifted
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups (375ml) egg whites (using 10-12 large eggs)
- 1 ½ cups (300g) castor sugar
- 1 tsp (5ml) cream of tartar
- 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 Tbsp (15ml) lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F). A very important note: this cake must be baked in an ungreased angel food tube tin with a loose bottom.
- Sift the flour, salt and ½ cup (100g) of the castor sugar together, twice. Beat the eggs whites until just beginning to foam (an electric mixer is almost essential). Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Now add the remaining castor sugar, about 2 spoons at a time, beating well after each addition. The egg whites will become shiny and form soft peaks. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and almond extract, and blend well. Now add the flour mixture in three batches. Fold in each batch lightly with a spatula
- Pour the batter into the ungreased tin, smooth the top and tap the tin a couple of times on the kitchen counter, to expel air bubbles.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is golden and the top springs back when lightly touched. Remember (with all baking) that you should never open the oven until at least half of the baking time has elapsed. The drop in oven temperature could spell disaster!
- Now take note (seriously, this is the trick!): If you’re using a proper angel food tin with ‘feet’, invert the tin on its feet. If you’re using a tin without ‘feet’, invert it over the neck of a bottle (a wine bottle works well). The cake has to cool and set upside down, otherwise it will collapse. Cool for 2-3 hours before removing from tin. To remove successfully, insert a knife between the pan and the cake, pressing quite hard against the side of the pan whilst turning it to loosen the cake.
- Traditionally, this cake is only decorated with a dusting of sifted icing sugar – in keeping with the image of lightness that its heavenly name suggests.