Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The BEST Angel Food Cake

My favorite way to use up eggs when our fridge runneth over. Use eggs that are at least three days old. Cold egg whites, straight from the fridge, produce more but smaller bubbles, which are more stable and result in a higher cake.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking.

1 C. sifted cake flour (4 oz)
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups egg whites (12-14 large)
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set out a 10" tube pan.

Sift together the flour, salt and 3/4 C sugar three times. Set aside.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of your standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, water, lemon juice, cream of tartar and extracts on low speed for one minute. Increase the speed to medium (not high, no matter how badly you want to) and beat until the mixture increases in volume 5 times and resembles soft foam made of tiny bubbles. It should take less than 5 minutes. If it takes longer, then there was probably some fat on your beaters or bowl somewhere, or a teeny bit of egg yolk slipped in, and you'll have to start over.

Once you reach the soft foam stage, slowly beat in the additional 3/4 cup sugar one Tbsp. at a time, taking 3 minutes or so. When all the sugar has been added, the foam will be creamy white and hold soft, moist, glossy peaks that bend over at the tips. DO NOT OVER BEAT. You do NOT want stiffly beaten egg whites for this.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift a fine layer of the flour mixture (about 1/8 of it) over the eggs and fold in as gently as possible until the flour is almost mixed in. Add another layer and fold in again. Continue until all the flour is folded in. For the last addition, fold in until no flour is visible. DO NOT STIR OR MIX.

Pour the batter into the ungreased pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn the pan upside down and let cool until completely cool.