Angel Food Cake & Meringue Frosting

This past weekend I had the plesaure of making Angel Food Cake again for my father-in-law's 71st birthday.  I enjoy the simplicity of making angel food cake and watching egg whites get beaten and transform into something beautiful and majestic.  My favorite type of angel food cake pan to use is by NordicWare - you can purchase one here 

Nordic Ware always makes an excellent product.  

The first step in making an angel food cake is to make sure that all your mixing bowls, measuring cups and cake pans are free of any fat. Give them a good washing right before you start so you do not add any fat to the cake.  A little bit of fat will make it so your egg whites do not whip up like they should.  

The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of room temperature egg whites.  The easiest thing to do is take your eggs out and let them sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes then separate them one at a time so that if you end up getting some yolk in them you only wreck one - not six like I did the other day.  The best thing we can do as home baker is learn from our mistakes. You can save the egg yolks to make a custard or scrambled eggs.

1 1/2 cup of egg whites usually takes between 10-12 large eggs.

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 Supplies:

glass measuring cup with 1/4 marks

dry measuring cups

measuring spoons

angel food cake pan

spatula

hand held mixer with beaters or stand mixer with whisk attachment and clean mixing bowl of at least 4.5 quarts

Makes 1 angel food cake

  1. Place egg carton on counter for at least 30 minutes prior to ensure that egg whites are at room temperature.
  2. Adjust baking rack to the lowest position in your oven.
  3. Preheat conventional oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (10 to 12 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (make sure it is fresh or your egg whites won't whip up)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar

Directions:

  1. In a clean mixing bowl sift powdered sugar and all-purpose flour together three times then set aside.  If you don't have a sifter you could also place these ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk them together 3 times or push the ingredients through a sieve.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer place the room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on speed 4 to 6 until soft peaks begin to form (a slight curl will be observed on the egg white). 
  3. Slowly add granulated sugar 1-2 tbsp at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tip will stand up straight).
  4. Sift about 1/3 of the flour mixture over beaten egg whites then using a rubber spatula fold in gently. Do not vigoursly mix the egg whites or you will deflate your cake. (If bowl is to full, it is ok to transfer to a larger bowl). Continue this process until all of the flour mixture is combined into the egg whites.
  5. Pour cake batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
  6. Gently cut through the cake batter with a butter knife in an up & down motion to remove any large air bubbles.
  7. Bake angel food cake on lowest rack in your oven for 43-48 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.
  8. As soon as cake comes out of oven, invert it on top of a beer bottle or something similar.  
  9. Let cake cool completely before turning over, generally this takes 1-2 hours. Once cool place a butter knife or along side of tube pan and slide it around outside of cake to loosen it from edges. Do the same around the inner tube.
  10. Tap cake onto a plate or a parchment paper lined counter to remove it from pan.

Meringue Frosting

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar

1 tbsp light corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup water

2 egg whites, room temperature

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients except pure vanilla extract in a bowl that will fit on top of a double boiler.
  2. Before placing on heat, beat with a handhelf mixer for 2 minutes.
  3. Then place the double boiler on the boiling water.
  4. Be careful to not let the water in the bottom pot touch the bottom of your bowl.
  5. Beat with your handheld mixer for 8 to 13 minutes on high speed or until an instant-read therometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the mixture. Every 5 minutes or so stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl to prevent frosting from sticking. 

 

6. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla.  Beat for about one more minute or until frosting is fluffy and soft peaks hold their shape. This amount of frosting will frost two 8 or 9 inch layer cakes or one 10 inch tube cake.  Store frosted cake in the refrigerated and serve the same day as made. Meringue frosting doesn't hold up to detailed decorating.

The final product came out beautiful.  I sliced the cake into 3 layers and added just enough meringue frosting to give just a taste.  I covered each layer in a sliced strawberries.  Repeat with two remaining cake layers.  Angel Food Cake is the perfect cake for people who like simplicity.  Angel Food Cake isn't a difficult cake to make although some people may find it to be.  You just have to trust  yourself that you can do it if you put your mind to it.

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Thank you for reading and stay tuned for future blog posts.

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