How-To: Angel Food Cake

Everyday Food, January 2009

A Heavenly Dessert
It's hard to forget your first bite of homemade angel food cake. There's a reason it's a favorite dessert -- it's tender, light as air, and tastes, well, divine. What's more, it's virtually fat-free and uses just six ingredients. You might suppose it's tricky to make, but it really isn't. Follow these tips, and you'll be rewarded with an elegant treat. Then, for yet another guilt-free indulgence, you can make a chocolate version, too. Simply replace 1/4 cup cake flour with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and reduce vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon.

Recipes
Angel Food Cake
Berries and Cream

Sweet Tips

  • When separating the eggs, take care not to get any yolk in your whites, or they will not whip up properly. If some yolk gets in, remove by scooping it up with a piece of eggshell.
  • To tell when the egg whites have formed stiff peaks, lift the beater -- the peaks stand up instead of falling over.
  • If your egg whites look curdled, they've been overbeaten and will not provide the structure the cake needs as it bakes -- discard them, and start over with fresh egg whites.
  • To unmold the cake easily, it's important to use an angel-food cake pan with a removable bottom. If the pan doesn't have "feet," invert it over the neck of a wine bottle to cool.
  • It's best to slice the delicate cake with a serrated knife.

 

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