If you haven’t already tried an Angel Food Cake, then you are missing out on something really great. Its named for its airy lightness that was said to be the “food of Angels”. And believe me its so soft and ethereal that its the perfect thing to serve to your “Angel” on Valentines day. Eat it plain with a dusting of icing snow or serve with berries and cream, lemon curd, or with a splash of a creamy liquor.
Although this should have been made in a tube pan, we used a bundt pan for a bit of interest with its fluted sides. The idea behind a bundt or tube pan, (with a hole in the middle) is that more of the mixture touches the sides of the pan than if it was a single round pan, and this provides more even and faster heating distribution whilst cooking.
It requires 12 egg whites whipped up with the addition of castor sugar and cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. Then cake flour is gently folded in, with a small amount of lemon juice and vanilla essence. This softer flour and the lack of any fat in this cake gives it a very light texture.
Thanks to Helen my beautiful, creative daughter in law, for baking and styling this stunning cake.
Angel Food Cake
Recipe type: Baking
Traditionally this recipe does not need any frosting. I used a light dusting of icing snow, and it is delicious served with whipped cream and berries, or with lemon curd or a splash of your favourite creamy liquor.
- 1 cup (130 g) cake flour
- 1 cup (200 g), plus ½ castor cup (100 g) castor sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).Grease a 23cm bundt or tube cake pan . Grease the pan generously - I use Spray and Cook.
- Using an electric mixer and the balloon paddle begin to whip the egg whites on medium speed. Once they are soft and foamy you can add the cream of tartar and lemon juice.
- Increase the speed to high and continue to whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Now slowly add the 1 cup castor sugar into the beaten egg whites, about a quarter of a cup at a time . Make sure you don't overwhip the egg white mixture. It should be soft and not too stiff. Then add the vanilla essence.
- Sift the cake flour and the ½ cup of castor sugar and the salt into another bowl. Fold this flour/sugar/salt mixture into the egg white mixture a small amount at a time, using a rubber spatula. Do not beat - it must be folded in gently.
- Once it has all been incorporated, spoon the batter into the pan , smooth the top and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and turn the pan upside down onto a cooling rack. Do not attempt to remove the cake from the pan. This must be left for 1 hour for the cake to cool, and if you have greased the pan correctly, it should slide off easily when ready to remove. The cake will sink into itself if you do not turn the pan over.