Cubed angel food cake

Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake

Wait, how did a time field form in my cake?!

Do you like angel food cake?  What a silly question.  Of course you do – how could you not love that moist, ethereally lightness?  It really is the food of angels.

My dad’s birthday is in a few days.  Every year, my mom makes my dad his favorite dessert for his birthday.  Though most people have birthday cake, my dad prefers a Hungarian trifle called somlói galushka – but I’ve always known it as égő puding.  The first step of making égő puding is to make an angel food cake.

Have you ever tried making a meringue?  Well, angel food cake is kinda like making a meringue, but with some cake flour added to the mix.  This extraordinarily fluffy cake is mostly egg whites, whipped into submission (okay, firm peaks), a bit of sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and salt.

You’ll also need an angel food cake, bundt, or tube pan.

Oh, and if you use a pan without a removable bottom, you’ll have to flip the pan upside down for an hour or so to cool.  It’s terrifying, but it works.  You’ll just have to trust me on this.

Note: The printable recipe is below the step-by-step version.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Spin the sugar in a food processor or blender for 2-3 minutes, until it is superfine.  Sift half of the sugar, the salt, and the cake flour into a medium bowl.  Set aside.  (I don’t have any pictures of this step, but you can see the sifted sugar, salt, and cake flour mixture in the next picture.)

In a large bowl, combine egg whites, water, clear vanilla extract, and cream of tartar.  Use a balloon whisk or the whisk attachment on a stand or hand mixer to thoroughly combine.  Slowly sift the remaining half of the sugar, beating continuously at medium speed until you have firm peaks.

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Sift enough of the sugar/salt/flour mixture to dust the top of the foam.  Use a spatula to gently fold the flour mixture into the foam.  Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

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Carefully pour the mixture into an ungreased angel food cake, bundt, or tube pan.

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Bake for 35 minutes.  Check for doneness with a thin wooden skewer or cake tester.  When inserted half way between the inner and outer walls of the pan, the skewer or cake tester should come out dry.

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

 

Angel Food Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Light, fluffy angel food cake, made from scratch.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 12 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177° C).  Set aside.
  2. Spin the sugar in a food processor or blender for 2-3 minutes, until it is superfine.
  3. Sift half of the sugar, the salt, and the cake flour into a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine egg whites, water, clear vanilla extract, and cream of tartar.  Use a balloon whisk or the whisk attachment on a stand or hand mixer to thoroughly combine.  Slowly sift the remaining half of the sugar, beating continuously at medium speed until you have firm peaks.
  5. Sift enough of the sugar/salt/flour mixture to dust the top of the foam.  Use a spatula to gently fold the flour mixture into the foam.  Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
  6. Carefully pour the mixture into an ungreased angel food cake, bundt, or tube pan.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Check for doneness with a thin wooden skewer or cake tester.  When inserted half way between the inner and outer walls of the pan, the skewer or cake tester should come out dry.
  7. Cool upside down on a cooling rack for at least an hour before removing the cake from the pan.

Additional Notes:

  • To make your own cake flour, measure 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, remove 3 1/2 tablespoons of the flour, add 3 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and sift 2-3 times.  Set aside until needed.
  • This recipe calls for a dozen egg whites.  If you don’t know what to do with the yolks (I’d recommend a custard, crème brûlée, flan, ice cream, lemon bars, or a nice aïoli), you can use liquid egg whites.  This is what I usually do.
  • Somlói galushka translates to something along the lines of “Somló dumplings” (Somló is a region in Hungary).  The reason for the “dumplings” part of the name is because it is traditionally served scooped into balls and topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
  • The reason it’s called “burning pudding” is because it’s served flambéed with rum (yes, “flambéed” is an actual word).

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