Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Angel Food Cake

Best with fresh berries or fruit (at least I think so).

1 cup flour (cake flour is best but all-purpose will do)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups egg whites*
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

*Groceries now carry "egg white only" or separate 12 large eggs to make 1 1/2 cups.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Have ready a tube pan 10x4", but do not grease. Find a bottle or metal funnel that the tube pan can be inverted upon while cooling.

Measure flower and first amount of sugar into a bowl and sift together to blend.

Put the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in another large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the second amount of sugar, a tablespoon at a time (takes about 3 minutes). Continue beating until meringue holds stiff peaks but is not dry. Fold in the extract flavorings.

Sprinkle in flour sugar mixture in 1/4 cup amounts, folding until the flour just disappears before adding another 1/4 cup. Fold very gently as you don't want to beat out the air in the meringue.

Push batter into the tube pan, gently cutting through the batter to remove any potential air pockets and level batter in the pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. The cake is done when no imprint remains on the cake when your finger lightly touches the top of the cake. The crust should be golden brown and macaroon-like. After taking it from the oven, invert over the afore mentioned bottle/funnel. Let hang until cold.

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