- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 12 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 1/2 cups (3/4 ounce) white cotton candy
- Caramel Whipped Cream (http://www.marthastewart.com/254798/caramel-whipped-cream), optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degress, with rack in lower third of the oven. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Repeat sifting four times.
- Beat egg whites and the warm water with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add salt, cream or tartar, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Raise speed to high, and beat until peaks are stiff and glossy (but not dry), about 2 minutes more.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Sift flour mixture over egg-white mixture in six parts, gently folding in each addition with a rubber spatula.
- Gently pour batter into a 10-inch tube pan. Run a knife through the batter to release any air bubbles, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Invert pan on a wire rack, and let cake cool about 1 hour. Carefully run a paring knife around side of cake to loosen, then unmold onto the wire rack.
- Arrange cotton candy in a ring shape on a serving platter. Lay cake on top of cotton candy "cloud." Serve with caramel whipped cream, if desired.
You will use 12 egg whites in this recipe; reserve the yolks for another use, such as custards or puddings. To serve the cake, cut slices with a serrated knife.