Thursday, May 15, 2008

Angel Food Cake - With Pictures and Stuff

Since the recipe I found for Chocolate Nutella Ice Cream calls for several egg yolks I figured I'd use the whites on an Angel Food cake. If Blogger continues to be well behaved I have gotten some positive and grateful feedback on the pictures with the steps stuff. So, here goes. Right out of Annie Peaches Begay's (Great Grandmother) legendary recipe box:

Measure and sift together three times

1 cup (measured sifted) cake flourand 7/8 cup sugar (3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons)

In a large mixing bowl (I'm using the bowl from my stand mixer here because of the deep sides and the handle on the side) take 14 egg whites
Notice that when I'm separating my eggs I have a small bowl in the middle to catch the whites. This is so, if a yolk should break,
it will not contaminate the other egg whites.The bowl with the one egg can go for scrambled eggs, or an omlette later, ordown for the dog, who cleans up the egg,then, the floor, and retires back to her duty station,to patiently await the next spill or minor mishap.

I always whip my egg whites for angel food cake by hand. I have Grammy Anna's trick tool, which was one of her prized tools that was passed on to me because she said I was the one who would put it to the best use. When an angel food cake, or a souflée is whipped by hand, even without any scientific explanation for it, I can tell the difference. If anybody out there can give me a scientific explanation for that I would love to hear it. Otherwise I will have to go to my grave wondering if I've been hallucinating this for all these years.

To the egg whites add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon almond extract (you'll notice that I am using my measuring spoons here, on a recipe like this exact measurements are the rule) and have 3/4 cup sugar off to the side. Whip the egg white mixture until it is foamy and has grown in volume by half.Then whip it some more, adding in the sugar you reserved a couple tablespoons at a time, past the soft peak stage, which looks like this:until you reach stiff peaks.

Next gently fold in the flour and sugar you sifted at the beginning. Take care here, be gentle, you worked hard to get all those lovely little air bubbles into the egg whites, don't be ham handed and break them down.

Be Gentle. But also, be relentless. You need a good smooth batter here.
This gets turned into an Angel Food Cake pan. Draw a knife through the batter, give it a few sharp raps on a folded towel on the counter to release any big air pockets
Place the cake on the middle rack of a cold oven
Bake at 300° for an hour.Invert the cake on a bottle and cool upside down.

When completely cooled use a regular table knife to loosen the edges of the cake
Pop out the center section of the pan, loosen around the center postand the bottom of the pan. Invert the cake onto a cutting board,and dig the fuck in.

That's angel food cake. If you want a little bit of sublime, slather a slice of angel food cake with Nutella, slap another slice of cake on that to make a sandwich.

Decadent, sweet, delicious. Just how I like things. If politics continue to stay this stupid everywhere else but California where a Republican State Supreme Court decided that fully equal marriage is the only acceptable equality for our gay citizens, expect me to be in the kitchen a lot from now until November.

Ice Cream is on deck.



Blogger Lisa said...

Gorgeous. Not being a Nutella fan, could one not drizzle some of the Calvados atop the cake?

10:40 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

what ever pleases you tickles me plumb to death.

10:48 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

My favorite birthday cake, cake. Drizzle some chocolate sauce on it and we got ourselves a party.

5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If politics continue to stay this stupid we'll all become better bakers.

By the way: my jealousy knows no bounds.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Sherry Pasquarello said...

oh i love the pictures, it is cool to see bits of other's lives.

and they help to see how the recipe goes but really, i'd rather play with your beautiful dog!

p.s. angel food was my gramma's favorite cake.
she never baked it tho. she bought it at the a&p around the corner for her. she did bake the best apple pie in the world. i still can't match hers even tho i learned from her.

give your dog a hug from me, o.k?


5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I would choose to frost it with a peppermint or orange frosting. (I'd have to hunt around for a recipe for a texturally light frosting rather than a butter frosting, but I'm sure I could find one that's adaptable to various flavorings. :-))

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I make a mean pie crust, but I'm no fun to be around while I'm doing it. Especially in the summer, the air gets a bit blue......

7:31 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

it is an ulitmate heresy to frost an angel food cake. i imagine there are laws on the books in boston that expressly forbid such behavior.

keep the cake unfrosted, and then, if you must have bowls of different spreadables handy.

p.s. as a companion course, sharing a plate or a bowl with angel food cake, it is hard to beat the peppermint stick ice cream. the ice cream melts and is absorbed by the cake. . .

lucky i'm sitting down. my knees just trembled with delight.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So does this magical whipping tool of your granny's have a name? It looks exceptionally cool and I want to find one so I too can make delicious hand whipped angel food cake.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Kate217 said...

Mom always served it with strawberries and whipped cream. MMMMMMM......

Gorgeous pup, there, Minstrel.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Deborah Newell said...

Mmmmmm, that looks gorgeous. Know what I would top it with?

I'd find some fresh organic raspberries that didn't cost an arm and a leg (alternatively, at most grocery stores these days, you can buy frozen organic raspberries in little plastic bags in the frozen fruit or frozen health food section.) I'd throw a few handfuls of the berries (thawed first if necessary) into the blender along with a splash of Chambord, whizz it all around, and strain through a sieve. Instant coulis, to be drizzled on the cake and licked off one's fingers.

Thanks for this!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Deborah Newell said...

Also, I wonder if there is anything close to that frabjous whipping tool available today? Must remember to look around next time I go near a kitchen/cooking/gourmet shop. I make a lot of souffl├ęs, and while I am happy with the Kitchenaid handmixer's results, sometimes it's very satisfying to make things sans electricity, you know?!

1:25 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i have never found its like anywhere. it's a simple thing just a loop that has wire strung. but, i've never found anything quite like it. my kids always called it "the egg wand" which i liked because of the magical reference. . .i would imagine that it could be easily fabricated in r's shop. i'll post a picture of it and he can have a look.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raspberries are always outrageously expensive because they aren't worth eating until they're truly ripe, and by that time they transport terribly because they're so fragile. If you have the climate it's much easier to grow them and be done with it. Then all you have to do is beat the birds to the harvest (hah!)

6:15 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Whilst swimming tonight, I thought, "Grand Marnier." I could do that too, yes?

10:26 PM  
Blogger Sherry Pasquarello said...

i've seen whips like that one(sort of) in amish country in pa.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mouth is literally watering. I've gone from craving white cake to an all out cake emergency!

I'm definitely going to try your tips. I've not made angel food cake in ages.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I wanted to make Angel Food cake because I'm dieting and miss cake! I'm from the UK and heard that it was really difficult to get right, so I looked up every bit of info I could and got to work. Firstly, I didn't own a tube pan, I only had non - stick pans (articles said NEVER to use) so I chose 2 non-stick loaf pans and hoped for the best! Then, I was concentrating so hard that I missed out the adding sugar to the egg whites step and just folded in the sugar with the flour at the end. Then I put them in the oven forgetting to cut through with a knife (but I did bang them sharply on the counter top, a method I use with all my cakes). BUT - they rose an inch above the pans and didn't deflate, stayed put whilst upside down and turned out perfect! What a delicious cake and best of all FAT FREE! I had a slice as a dessert tonight topped with a little sugar free jam and 0% fat Greek yoghurt -delicious!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Veronica Miller said...

Mistrel Boy, I found you again without even trying! I have an angel food cake about to come out of the oven and in the instructions, it says to invert it onto a bottle so I searched for pics of this to make sure I had the right idea. I clicked on your pic, which led me to your blog. I read the whole thing, thinking your voice sounded familiar. And, sure enough, I was back on your blog! LOL! Thanks for all the baking help. :)

6:37 PM  

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