Classic Angel Food Cake

Classic Angel Food Cake with BerriesTaking The Cake

Over the weekend, my sister found herself with a bunch of leftover egg whites. That’s the dilemma when you have a recipe that calls for just the yolks. What do you do with the egg whites? Throwing them out is such a waste. There’s the option of making an egg white omelet, but to me that is the flavor equivalent of the color beige…

My sister apparently agrees, since she showed up at my door with half of a freshly baked angel food cake. Angel food cake is my favorite because I am a dessert carb junkie, and it is just so darn versatile.

Serve it plain with fresh berries and whipped cream, shortcake style, for the perfect summer dessert, or use it in layers with lemon curd and berries for a gorgeous trifle which looks great on any 4th of July picnic table. My sister’s version arrived with a decadent chocolate icing…too hard to resist. How can you go wrong? Angel food cake is even great left plain and toasted for breakfast, cause’ you only live once (and there is little to no fat in angel food cake). Yee Haw!

So, separate your eggs with wild abandon—just don’t throw out those whites. Use them for a higher purpose instead!

Classic Angel Food Cake
Yields about 16 servings

1 1⁄2 cups egg whites at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1⁄2 tsp. cream of tartar
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cake flour, sifted (we love King Arthur Flour)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, salt, and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat until the mixture is just frothy, then sprinkle the cream of tartar on top and continue beating until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks.

Whisk sugar and flour together in a bowl, and then slowly add the dry ingredients to the beaten egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, fold gently until evenly combined. Transfer to an un-greased 10″ tube pan, and smooth the top.

Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and center tube comes out clean—depending on your oven, this should take about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the cake from the oven, and set it upside down with a bottle through its center cone. Let the cake cool for 1 1/2 hours. This cooling period sets the structure, and keeps the cake from collapsing.

Loosen the edges of the cake by running a long knife between the cake and the side of the tube pan to release the cake.

Store the cake covered at room temperature for up to a week. Or wrap it well, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Serve with whipped cream and berries, with chocolate ganache, toasted with ice cream, or stand at the counter, stealing tiny slices when nobody is looking.

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