The day after Christmas, New York, and much of the Northeast got hit with a big snow storm. The day after Christmas also happens to be my Dad’s birthday. The impending storm made our celebration time a bit tight, but I was insistent upon making him a cake. I don’t know why, but I always associate Angel Food cake with my father. At some point years ago, I began making angel food cakes for father’s day and his birthday. How that happened, I have no idea.
Either way, this is one of my all time favorite cakes because it requires so few ingredients, and is still highly satisfying while being rather light. I used Mark Bittman’s recipe and the cake came out beautifully. The one point of frustration I have with his instructions is the cooking time he provides, 45-60 minutes. That’s quite a window if you ask me. After making the cake, I can safely say I think one would be fine around 50ish minutes. Also, he included almond extract, but I didn’t have that on hand and thus didn’t include. It was perfectly fine without!
Angel Food Cake slightly adapted from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”
1 cup cake flour sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
9 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour and 1/2 cup of the sugar together, repeat.
Next, beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar, continuing to beat until soft peaks have formed. Beat in remaining sugar and extracts until peaks become a little stiffer.
Next gradually fold the flour mixture into the egg whites using a rubber spatula. Be sure it is well combined. Turn the batter into a ungreased 9-10 inch tube pan and bake for 50ish minutes until the cake is firm, resilient, and nicely browned.
When the cake is done, invert the pan and allow the cake to rest for one hour. When ready to serve, run a knife around the pan, gently pulling the cake away from the sides. Keep working until the cake eases out of the pan.