angel food cake
Being in the midst of a pandemic and living this new 'normal' of physical distancing and paucity of social interaction, I feel the loss of social rituals and community celebrations has been the most challenging. This Twilight Zone of a reality was recently furthered by my eldest turning sixteen... 16! How is that even possible? Without the option of a get-together, we wanted do a little something for this milestone birthday so Bri and I made his favorite foods: shrimp cocktail, burrata crostini with pesto, wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon, filet with chimichurri, and this angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. The family dinner turned out lovely and the dessert was truly delicious. The excitement of getting a driver's license may have eclipsed the fanfare of the cake just a bit, but it was devoured nonetheless. The cake itself is light and airy, and whipped cream and fruit are the perfect accompaniment. This recipe is straight from Sally's Baking Addiction. It's the best recipe I've found so far and it's fantastic!
Angel Food Cake
1¾ c granulated sugar
1 c + 2 tbsp cake flour, leveled
¼ tsp salt
12 large egg whites, room temperature
1½ tsp cream of tartar
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Whipping cream, optional
Confectioners sugar, optional
Place the oven rack in the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Using a food processor or blender, pulse the sugar until it's fine a powdery. Remove 1 c and set aside keeping the rest in the food processor. Add the cake flour and salt, pulse 5-10 times until the sugar, salt and flour mixture is aerated and light.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on med-low for about 1 minute or until foamy.
Switch to medium-high and slowly add the cup of sugar you set aside.
Whip 5-6 minutes or until soft peaks form.
Add the vanilla extract and then whip until just incorporated.
Slowly sift the flour mixture into the egg whites using a fine mesh strainer. As you add the flour, gently fold it into the mixture with a rubber spatula. To avoid too much density or deflation of the cake, add the flour in 3 batches, not all at once. Sift and fold slowly with each addition of flour. It's important to retain the airiness of the batter.
Pour and spread the batter into an ungreased 9" or 10" tube pan. You can shimmy the pan on the counter a bit to help smooth out the surface of the batter.
Place in oven for about 40-45 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
Remove the cake from the oven and set it upside down on a wire rack to cool completely, about 3 hrs. Once cooled, run a thin knife around the edges of the pan and the inner tube, and gently tap the pan on the counter until the cake releases.
Be sure to use a serrated knife to cut the cake to avoid flattening the pieces as you slice. This cake is great on it's own, with some fresh berries on the side, or with a drizzle of chocolate over top. You can make an easy whipped cream by whisking heavy whipping cream cream with a hand mixer until peaks form. For a sweeter whipped cream, add confectioners sugar to taste. You can also add a dusting of confectioners sugar to top it all off. This cake is a great dairy-free dessert option (sans whipped cream of course)!