Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Angel Food Cake

      Angel food cake is every weight watcher's dream, it's light, fluffy, perfectly sweet, packed with protein and contains no fat. I call this a meringue cake, or meringue with flour, because the ingredients is basically for that of a meringue plus cake flour.

     There are only 3 important ingredients in making an angel cake: egg whites, sugar and cake flour. That's it, easy right? Making an angel cake requires a bit of skill and technicality, plus you have to be quick. This is the first time I made angel food cake, as requested by my Tita. I was a bit hesitant to make them because I didn't want to worry about the leftover yolk. But yet I gave it a try.
    Because this is a trial bake, I only used a half recipe, with equal flour to sugar ratio.

  1/2 cup cake flour - sifted twice
  1/2 cup white sugar
  6 egg whites at room temperature
  1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  1/4 tsp salt
  1 tsp vanilla extract

Cooking Instructions:

1. If you have a food processor, it is preferable to grind the sugar granules into powder. This will help in making the cake light and airy. But if you don't have a food processor, it's ok. Divide the sugar in two and mix the other half with the flour.

2. To separate the egg white from the yolk, it's best that the eggs are still cold. But to whip the egg whites to they're highest peak, they must be at room temperature. So separate them cold but whip them at room temperature.

3. Separate the egg white from the yolk. Remember to hold the shell upright as you open it, this will prevent the sharp edges of the shell from piercing the yolk. 

4. I didn't have a small tube pan, so it was time to be resourceful. I used a Pyrex dish and put an empty can in the middle. The reason for using a tube pan is that it leaves room for the air to circulate to make the cake rise. Remember that we don't use any leaveners and depend on the air trapped in the whipped egg whites. Make sure the pan is clean and ungreased.

5. Add the cream of tartar and whip until foamy. Make sure the bowl is clean and without any traces of oil, fat will not make the whites whip properly.

6. Add half of the sugar a spoonful at the time and whip until glossy stiff peaks form or about 5 mins.

7. Sift the flour & sugar mixture a quarter at a time into the meringue and quickly but carefully fold them in until no more flour is seen. Do not overmix as to not loose the trapped air.

8. Add in vanilla to finish the batter.

9. Pour into pan and smoothen. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 20 - 30 mins.

Mine took about 25 mins and was a bit overbaked, maybe it was a minute or two overdue.

10. Immediately invert the cake and let it cool for 1 1/2 hours. This will make the cake maintain it's shape.

11. Scrape the sides.

12. Remove the can.

13. Slice and serve! Top with fresh fruits, whipped cream or jam. I love them plain.

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