If you are not a fan of overly sweet, cloying desserts, or if you want to try a dessert that's perfectly light and doesn't weigh you down, angel cake is your best bet! This cake, named for its angelic airiness, is the best dessert to serve after a big meal when you want to have something for dessert but don't want to strain your stomachs too much. It's also lovely during summer months when big, elaborate desserts seem like too much work: both to make and digest. Angel cake is such a nice departure from the norm; it takes some finesse, but it's really not difficult and the result makes it all the more worth it!
Angel Food Cake
Yields 1, 9-10-inch bundt or tube cake; serves 12-16
- 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1 1/3 cups egg whites (10 large eggs), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- mixed berries, garnish
- mint, garnish
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a bowl, sift the flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt together. Repeat and set aside. It's important that the dry ingredients are really well incorporated.
- Using a mixer set on medium, whip the egg whites together. When they are foamy and frothy, mix in lemon juice and cream of tartar.
- Turn mixer to high and continue to beat eggs until they hold soft peaks.
- At this point, slowly add in the rest of the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until stiff peaks form. Pour in vanilla extract. Mixture should be shiny and cloudlike. Don't over whip.
- Turn off mixer and carefully fold in flour mixture, 1/3 cup at a time, with a rubber spatula.
- With a spoon, gently transfer batter to un-greased tube pan. Smooth over the top of batter.
- Take a knife and trace a line through the center of batter to remove air pockets.
- Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven, run knife around edge of pan and center piece and invert cake immediately onto a cooling rack.
- Let cool completely, about 45 minutes, serve with berries and garnish with mint.
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz