March is a busy month in my family. My father’s birthday was a couple weeks ago and this past week, it was my mother’s turn to advance past go once again. Wouldn’t it be great if we could collect $200 just for having a birthday? Anyway, as per usual, I offered to bake her cake. And this year, she requested something that I’ve never made before.
Angel food cake.
For a long time, I’ve shied away from making angel food cake. It always seemed too hard. Separating the eggs, sifting, being careful not to overmix, etc. But, I was finally up for the challenge and I have to say that I was quite impressed with the results.
I decided to use a recipe from Zoe Bakes on Magnolia Network. (But, since I have Discovery+, I watch the show on the streaming platform.) Zoe Francois is a pastry chef who currently has one cookbook published titled: Zoe Bakes Cakes and this is where I found the recipe. The same recipe (or a very similar one) appears in the first season of her show as well.
The recipe really broke everything things down into manageable steps. And, since there are so few ingredients in angel food cake, it really wasn’t all that difficult to make. The hardest part was in fact separating the eggs. I used the three bowl method which made all the difference. Except when it became time to clean. The smallest bowl was the bowl in which I cracked the egg. I then used my fingers to gently scoop out the yolk and placed it in a medium bowl. I then poured the white from the smaller bowl into the measuring cup. I ended up using 14 eggs!
Don’t worry. I didn’t let all those yolks go to waste! I made lemon curd and pound cake, but more on those things later.
Once the eggs were separated, I sifted the dry ingredients three times. This took two bowls. But at this point, I didn’t even care how many dishes I would have to do. Then I made the meringue and added the dry ingredients. Voila!
Angel food cake!
Once the cake was finished baking, I cooled it upside down for 45 minutes. I had a little trouble removing it from the pan, since you aren’t really supposed to do anything to the pan to prepare. The egg whites need something to grab onto to give the cake the proper height. Any fat or flour on the pan will prevent that from happening.
We served this cake with some sweetened whipped cream and some fresh strawberries. I quite happy with how the finished cake turned out. It was light as air and looked white as a cloud. The cake nearly melted in my mouth.
Though it did use a lot of dishes (6 bowls in all!), I would make this again. I can see why angel food cake has been a favorite for those for many generations. While I’m still not a convert, I do have more of an appreciation for this cake and the magic that happens during the making and baking process.
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