March 13, 2009

Angel Food Cake

food-1012The other day, when I visited Jacob’s Reward Farm to pick up my order of fresh eggs, Cindy proposed an idea to me. What if we got together and created an egg recipe collection to share with the egg customers? My first thought was “Wow, that sounds cool!” and then, immediately, my second thought was “Egg recipes? I don’t have hardly any egg recipes. Uh oh…” I mean, I eat eggs, I love them! But I don’t have any recipes, I pretty much just throw stuff together in the morning, bleary-eyed and clutching my cup of coffee. I have a few variations on the “eggs for breakfast” theme, but it’s so routine to me that in my mind, they aren’t recipes. So, needless to say, as excited and flattered as I was (Cindy asked me to help with a recipe book!!! How exciting is that?), I was a bit nervous as to what to do!

But as I got to brainstorming, I realized that first of all, sometimes those recipes that I just “throw together” are those that might benefit everyone the most! And second of all, I was being too narrow-minded. I use eggs in non-breakfast recipes! Duh…I just wasn’t thinking. The first “recipe” that came to my mind, once the gears started turning, was angel food cake.

When I was little, I didn’t like cake all that much. I know what you’re thinking…a child that doesn’t like cake? What is wrong with that child!?!? But boy, I loved angel food cake. For my birthday every year, my mother would bake me an angel food cake. Sometimes plain, sometimes with a lemony glaze, and sometimes with marschino cherries throughout the cake itself. Simple, not too sweet, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And it’s almost like it’s not bad for you…as far as cakes go, this one is relatively low-calorie and low in fat. Not health food, exactly, but it’s enough for me to justify eating a big, fat piece!

So here you go, a sneak peek into the Jacob’s Reward Farm egg recipe collection (that is not the official name, by the way…we haven’t gotten that far!). This recipe is based off of my mother’s angel food cake recipe and one I found from Alton Brown. It is best with fresh eggs, as they will separate easier. Save the egg yolks for another dish…they should keep for a day or two in the fridge. I’ve heard you can also freeze them, although I have not tried.

1 3/4 c sugar (I used turbinado sugar, as it was all I had in the house)

1/4 t salt

1 c cake flour, sifted

12 egg whites, room temperature

1/3 c warm water

1 t almond extract

1 1/2 t cream of tartar

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

In a food processor, spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.

 

In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, almond extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved peaks that are stiff, but not dry, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Use a spatula fold in gently. Repeat this process until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

 

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 30 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

 

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.

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