Friday, April 30, 2010

Angel Food Cake ala Bon Appetit

I think I've mentioned one or one hundred times how much I love food-related magazines, or magazines in general for that matter, it's a great way to find new ideas, info and inspiration! Of course the internet is a never-ending bounty of gloriousness, but there is something fabulous about turning pages and getting lost in print.

The April Issue of Bon Appetit had a spread titled The Great American Cake, a "luscious look at six old-fashioned favorites"
Cake #1 is a Lime Angel Food Cake with Lime Glaze and Pistachios, and the photo is lickably delicious.
I wanted to make it, but alas, no angel food cake pan here!
Fortunately, my day job (the Clark Kent-esque 9-5 hours of this baker's life story) does lend to some pretty sweet culinary exploits from time to time, and as luck would have it the boss-lady saw this cake too, and invited me over to help whip it up!

I grated lime zest and read through the steps and she gave me some great tips that were NOT in the magazine, that I will happily now share with you;
#1 when separating the eggs and egg whites you can NOT get even one TEENY TINY bit of yolk in the whites, if it happens, even a bitsy-bit- you gotta scrap that batch o whites and start over, even one little drop of yolk and your cake it gonna be flat'ski
#2 The man must be CLEAN and free of any grease, resist the urge!! Do not grease the pan- just buy a proper Angel Food Cake pan and know it will turn out ok, any grease and your cake is gonna be FLAT-O-RAMA.
The work day was calling, so E.C. and I had to invert the lime angel food cake to cool and head back to the office to deal with the billion dollar business of bling, because that pays the bills more effectively than our baking projects at the moment.
She made the glaze and pistachio crust later and brought it by for us to taste.
The pistachio crust and texture of the cake was really good, but the lime element (to me), was not so much...I think I like my angel food cake super sweet- so the tart aspect threw me for a loop.

THEN- STOP THE PRESSES- I got an angel food cake pan, because about at week later- there it was, at Target and on SALE! WOOHOO!!!
So of course I wanted to try this recipe on my own ASAP. I decided to go sans-lime and sans- crust and just make a plain and simple angel food cake.
For the orignal recipe see page 107 of the April 2010 Bon Appetit Magazine!

1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups SUPER FINE (bakers) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
10 large egg whites- room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cream of tartar

As noted above you WILL NEED a 10-inch angel food cake pan with 4-inch high sides and a removable bottom.
Center a rack in the oven and pre heat it to 350.
Sift the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar , and salt into a medium bowl- repeat sifting 3 times.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or electric hand mixer) beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and increase speed to high- beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Use a large spatula and gently sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mix over the whites and fold in. Fold the remaining flour mix in 2 more additions until just incorporated. Transfer to the angel food cake pan & smooth the top.
Bake cake until top is a pale golden color, and tester near center comes out clean- about 38 minutes.
Immediately invert the cake onto work surface if the pan has feet- or onto neck of a bottle (see photo) and let cake cool COMPLETELY.

Using a long thin knife, cut around the cake sides and center tube to loosen. Lift out center tube with cake still attached, run knife between cake and bottom of pan to loosen. Place on cake plate and serve with fruit! YUM!!!


Amy said...

Hey- one idea for separating the egg yolks so you don't waste a zillion eggs making this is to separate one at a time in a smaller bowl, then once you're sure it's yolk free, transfer it to the larger bowl. :)

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

Thanks Amy!!! All tips and suggestions are mucho appreciated :o)