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Love. Create. Celebrate. : 13. Make an Angel Food Cake - Check!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

13. Make an Angel Food Cake - Check!

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I figured it was the perfect time to complete another (delicious) goal from my 14 of 14 goal list. 
I was not wrong in assuming that an angel food cake can be difficult to make! 
Apparently they are temperamental. Egg whites not beat enough? Doesn't turn out. Little bit of yolk in the mix? Doesn't turn out. Cooking time not exact? Doesn't turn out. Ingredients not mixed at the right time? Doesn't turn out. 
Bahh! How does one succeed with these recipes! 
I didn't hit it out of the park on my first attempt. You can see from the photos that it didn't quite rise enough and was a bit heavy. But it was still delicious!

It was the perfect time to make this cake. It's almost mandatory to have sweets on Valentine's Day, and angel food cake is a fairly healthy cake (although that's a total oxymoron!), and still tastes decadent. 

Angel Food Cake with Fresh Cream and Berries, recipe from  Martha Stewart's Cooking School.

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 egg whites (at room temperature is best)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First sift together the cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar (reserve the remaining 3/4 cup sugar). I like to sift ingredients either over a large bowl or parchment paper on the counter. Sift the ingredients together four times. I know. But, this helps the cake get it's light and airy texture. I went back and forth between a large bowl and parchment paper and this made it quite easy.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or a stand mixer) beat the egg whites until they look foamy. Add in the salt, cream of tartar and vanilla. Continue to beat until soft peaks begin to form (3-4 minutes on medium/low speed). While the mixer running slowly add in the reserved 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form, mixture will look very glossy. [Note: I messed up somewhere in here... pretty sure I didn't beat the whites enough...maybe, lol]

Fold the sifted flour mixture into the meringue. Do this in 4-5 small batches, using a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the meringue.

Now you're ready to pour (more like plop) the batter into your angel food pan. Use a knife to cut into the batter in a large circle. This helps to release any big air bubbles. This is also what creates that circular ridge though out the cake (you can see it in the photo above).

Bake at 325Ā°F for 32-40 minutes. Remove from oven allow to cool for a few minutes. Run a knife along the outer edge of the pan, helping to release the cake from the edges. Invert the cake and pan onto a cooling rack. Gently pull the pan off, leaving the cone center. Then gently pull the cone center out as well. You can serve this warm or allow to fully cool then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Fresh whipped cream (this is essential for angel food cake if you ask my husband!)

2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespooon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

With and electric mixer beat the cream on medium high. As the mixer runs, add in the sugar and vanilla. Keep beating just until soft peaks form.

And that's it! Serve with fresh, delicious berries of your choice :) 
I kept the stems on the strawberries just because I liked the look of it. 

So, it wasn't perfect, but I'm still calling this goal completed :) 
Based on my need for perfectionism, I'm sure I will try again in the not-to-distant future.


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