Angel Food Cake
After a few years, my husband and I decided to buy some chicks. We bought egg-layers. The breed we chose provides about 1 egg/day per hen. We generally have 50 hens. So you can imagine that we have an abundance of eggs. We sell some, but there are times when we have more than we can eat. At those times I am prompted to make Angel Food Cake.
I remember my Grandmother had made Angel Food Cake in years gone by. She was quite successful at it. So, I wondered, “How hard can it be? If I have the egg whites handy I might as well try it.” In my favorite old cookbook, I found a recipe for Angel Food Cake.
After trying to make it several times, I have found it to be tricky. I cannot say that each of my cakes was a success. But with determination and self-discipline, I set out to master the technique. As I recall, I have made cakes that were two inches high. Some fell out of the pan as they cooled. Some were ragged-looking as they came out of the pan. But they all tasted pretty good. Not to be deterred, I kept on trying.
Here are some of the things I learned:
- Lumpy ingredients will affect the height of the cake. So measuring and sifting are necessary. Dry ingredients like sugar and flour must be sifted three times before being added to the whipped egg whites.
- Since Angel Food is such a delicate texture, it cannot be beaten too much or too little. Too much beating can make a dry cake. Beating too little can make a flatter cake. After the sifted sugar has been added, to decide whether it has been mixed just enough, test it.
THE TEST: If when you tilt the bowl of egg whites to the left or right and the whites do not slip or slide, they have been beaten well enough. At this point, the rest of the ingredients must be folded in gently. If not, the whites will get too stiff or the cake may get flatter.
Some homemakers may not care to go into all of that fuss to get Angel Food Cake. I would rather not, too. When I do make the cake, I mass produce the dry ingredients. I measure and sift 2-3 recipe’s-worth and store them in plastic storage bags. If the box cake manufacturers can set the dry ingredients on a shelf, so can I. So the next time I need to bake an Angel Food Cake the tedious work is already done.
My Angel Food recipe calls for about a dozen egg whites. So what happens to the egg yolks?
I make jelly roll with them.
photo credit: Thom Watson via photo pin cc
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