This is the cake my twin sister and I ate regularly out at my grandparents’ house in Wayne, Illinois. Normally we ate it plain or with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top, usually a few berries on the side. Still, somehow I think grandma would approve of this treatment with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. She was a slender woman right up into her 90’s, but had no problem with dairy fat and/or chocolate when circumstances permitted.
Begin by assembling your ingredients, then preparing your pan. You can use a traditional tube pan as I’m doing, though I happen to know that this recipe fits perfectly into a 14″ x 4″ Pullman loaf pan (thanks, reader Chana!). Angel food cake pans aren’t typically greased, so some sort of nonstick strategy needs to be put in place for the bottom at least. I fold up a parchment round like so, then cut out the middle to fit over the tube.
Once that’s done, assemble your ingredients and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin by whisking the cake flour and salt together in a bowl.
Next, the egg whites. Place them in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip…
…and whip about a minute until they’re frothy. Add the cream of tartar and any extracts you may be using.
Whip the whites until they’re thick, but just shy of soft peaks. At that point start adding the sugar in a steady stream.
Whip them to just shy of stiff peaks, still a little soupy. I overdid it a bit here, but the cake still turned out quite nicely.
Next, start sifting on the flour mixture. About a third.
Fold it in using your largest spatula. Don’t worry about incorporating everything before you add more.
Then add more.
A couple of little unincorporated streaks are OK.
Scrape the mixture into your pan.
To release any large air pockets, tap the pan on the counter and/or gently pull a fork through the batter.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake is browned and springs back when tapped on the top.
Invert the cake, either on the pan’s feet or on a rack. Some people like to up-end the pan on a (full) wine bottle. whatever floats your boat!
When the cake has cooled completely, run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan and the tube.
Flip the pan over and the cake should drop out.
Gently peel off the parchment, and…
Ta-da! Grandma’s favorite angel food cake. Almost as good as she made it.
Slice and serve, using a serrated knife for sure, an angel cake “comb” server is best if you can find one.
Serve with a dusting of sugar, with fruit, or go a little wild with the chocolate sauce, you really can’t go wrong.
VARIATION: This recipe can be supplemented with various flavor “inclusions” if you like. A half cup of finely grated chocolate or ground almonds makes a great addition.