Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Angel Food Cake(a fat-free delight)

Angel food cake, rose petal jam, creme chantilly, pistachio bark
Hello, Class! Ready to learn? Sure you are!

Summer is coming(or, rather, HERE) and we love our sweets, but feeling bloated sucks, no matter how flattering that cute white shirt is. How do you combat feeling bloated? A fat-free dessert, of course, is the answer!

Angel food cake is an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing taste. There's something elegant about a spongecake like this, that can be served either naked or frosted entirely with whipped cream. Seriously, you can take whipped cream(not Reddi-whip, please) and frost the entire thing to make a gorgeous show-stopping dessert for a dinner party. Oh, sure you'll need a tube pan to make this work, but this doesn't mean you have to drop a mint for it. I picked my tube pan up at a thrift shop for $2, and it works just fine. You'd be shocked at how many funny little esoteric baking pans and machines end up at thrift shops, just waiting for their forever homes.

Get your pan ready, preheat your oven, and strap in for the best ever fat-free dessert you'll make this summer.

Angel Food Cake

  • 12 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3.5 oz flour(a scant cup, sifted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 12 oz(about 1 3/4 cups)granulated sugar
Set aside about two heaping spoonfuls of the granulated sugar. Combine the egg whites, remaining granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment. Combine the salt, powdered sugar, flour, and set-aside granulated sugar using a whisk to break up clumps. If you have a sifter, put this mixture in now and set aside. If not, that's okay! The reason you want to combine a tiny bit of the granulated sugar with the flour is that it helps keep it fine and clump-free. If you live in an especially humid climate, this helps greatly.

Start off your mixer on medium-low speed until you get foamy egg whites. Then crank up the speed to medium until soft peaks begin to form(at least a minute), and then all the way up to high to get stiff peaks. Take your flour-sugar mixture and sprinkle about a third of it over your egg whites, folding in super-gently with a rubber spatula. If you have your mixture in a seive/sifter, use that. Repeat the process until all of your flour is incorporated.

Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan and gently-gently-genlty spread it out evenly using the spatula. You want an ungreased pan because you want the bubbles to cling and stick and climb to the top, in order to get a proper rise and bake out of this cake. The same goes for muffins and why you want an ungreased tin OR muffin cups. When you rely on minimal/zero leavening, ungreased is the way to go.

Bake in a 360 oven for 40 to 50 minutes, with the oven-door taped shut, if you have to. Don't check on this cake, don't open and close the door...just leave it alone. If your cake falls, it'll be because you didn't leave it alone. Seriously, get out of the kitchen and watch an episode of "The Almighty Johnsons" on Netflix.

Author's Note: If you have watched this show past Season 2, DO NOT RUIN ANYTHING FOR ME! TAG YOUR SPOILERS, YOU PRICKS!!! THIS SHOW IS AMAZING AND I DO NOT WANT YOU TO SPOIL THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTERS FOR ME BY TELLING ME WHO THE FRIGG ENDS UP BEING.

Anyway.

Back to the cake.

It's been about 40 minutes, so you can peek in. Gently poke the cake with a skewer to see if it's dry on the inside. If not, IMMEDIATELY GTFO and bake for another 5 minutes. You want this cake to be dry in the middle; you want the bubbles to be stable. A fallen angel food cake is a sad angel food cake.

Once out of the oven, flip the cake pan upside down to cool. Cooling like this will allow the air bubbles to set in a nice, round way, and not a flat way. You must wait until this cake is COMPLETELY COOL to cut into it and remove it from the pan, so go ahead and watch another episode of "The Almighty Johnsons." Or, if you're in the mood for a comedy, try "Frankie and Grace", an even better show, featuring the hilarious Lily Tomlin and stunning Jane Fonda! Sure, it's got its dramatic moments, but it's a beautiful show.

I like to cut my angel food cake with a serrated knife, once it's fully cooled. It helps if the cake is chilled, but it's not necessary. You can easily separate the cake from the pan by running a knife or an offset spatula. To cut? Use a long serrated knife and long, gentle strokes. Try not to saw.

Plate and enjoy! This cake is 100% fat free, and great just on its own. I like mine with fresh berries, if I have them, but you can enjoy it with jam, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream.

Happy cooking and happy eating!

Comment below with questions or concerns!