Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Angel Food Cake (w. Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream)

With all of the homemade ice cream being made at my house this summer, I've had a glut of egg whites left over. I've been making on average 2 types of ice cream every weekend, and have ended up with 10-12 leftover egg whites at the end of every weekend. And yes, I know what you all are thinking out hubby and I do not consume everything I make (good grief, i think our cardiologist would keel over considering it). I end up giving away pints to my friends and coworkers, and keep a small stash in our freezer.

What to do with the leftover egg whites? We could only pretend for so long that we're uber healthy and make so many egg white omlettes (blech). The perfect solution to this dilemma...ANGEL FOOD CAKE! Promise not to tell anyone, but I can single-handedly consume an entire angel food cake in a matter of days. There is something so wonderful about the light and airy texture, the moistness of the crumb, and the delicious flavors that you can incorporate into the cake. My old standby recipe comes from Baking Illustrated, and you can find the recipe at the end of this post.

I don't know why people display and serve angel food cakes top side down. I always serve my cake top side up, as I love showing off the crazy patterns, folds, cracks and creases on the top crust created during it's time in the oven. It gives it character, doesn't it?!

Most times, I prefer my angel food cake simple and plain. However, this cake acts as a terrific partner to fruit and ice cream. Here, chocolate blueberry ice cream and some fresh blueberries elevates this understated cake to a special little dessert.

Angel Food Cake
From Baking Illustrated
Serves 10-12

1 C sifted cake flour
1 1/2 C sifted sugar
12 large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. Adjust oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Have ready an ungreased large tube pan
2. Whisk the flour and 3/4 C sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Have ready the remaining 3/4 C sugar by the mixer.
3. Beat the egg whites at low speed until just broken up and starting to get frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until the whites form very soft billowy mounds. With the mixture at medium speed beat in the 3/4 C sugar (1 tbsp at a time) until all of the sugar is added and the whites are shiny and form soft peaks. Add the vanilla, almond extract and lemon juice and beat until just blended
4. Place the flour/sugar mixture in a sifter set over a piece of parchment. Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the whites and gently fold in using a large rubber spatula.
5. Gently scrape the batter into the pand, smooth the top with a spatula, and give the pan a couple of raps on the counter to release any large air bubbles.
6. Bake until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when pressed firmly, 50-60 minutes.
7. Once finished baking, invert the cake and cool (my pan doesn't have prongs, so I balance the pan on a funnel). Let the cake cool completely.


Erin said...

This looks delicious! I actually made an Angel Food Cake tonight that I'm going to post soon. It looks like it would be great with that ice cream.

Grace said...

your angel food cake looks perfect. i like angel food cake, but it definitely needs something to spruce it up. yes, chocolate blueberry ice cream will work quite nicely. :)

Di said...

I always serve my angel food cake top side up as well. I usually drizzle some sort of glaze over the cake, and all the creases on top catch the glaze so it looks really cool. =)

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