Angel food cake has long been a birthday favorite of Mr. Mimi. Conveniently, his birthday is in the summer when we always have plenty of egg whites left from using just the yolks in our ice cream making. As much as we like spending time on involved recipes, you just can't beat the simplicity of this cake. A few pantry staple transform into a soft and delicate cake, with flavors of vanilla and almond. It is perfect with juicy berries, ice cream, or fresh whipped cream. Our friend Mrs. A makes this cake every year at her 4th of July party since she knows how much Mr. Mimi enjoys it, but she covers her cake with a very decadent boiled chocolate fudge frosting that we all love, almost more than the cake itself.
Although there are minimal ingredients and just a few steps, angel food cake can be difficult to get right. I have tasted my fair share of tough, dry, bland cakes, but this recipe is the only one I use and it has never let me down. It comes from my well used 1950's Betty Crocker Cookbook. The pages are yellowed and filled with hand written notes from when I was a child I learning to cook with this cookbook. My copy was passed on to me from my mother and I will pass it along to Mimi Jr. someday, and I know she will continue making our favorite angel food cake for years to come.
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered (confectioner's) sugar *sift before measuring*
1 1/2 cups egg whites about 12
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1. Pre heat oven to 375. Sift together the flour and powdered sugar, three times.
2. In a large bowl combine egg whites, cream of tarter, salt, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer using whisk attachment until foamy. Add granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time beating until meringue holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the meringue in 3 or 4 additions, gently folding it into the egg whites until flour just disappears before adding more flour.
4. Push the batter into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan. Gently cut the batter with a knife to release air pockets. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and cake tests done, (tooth pick inserted in cake comes out clean). Remove from oven. Invert cake in pan and cool. When completely cool remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar or frost as desired.