Angel Food Cake
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (from about 12 large eggs)
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice plus 2 1/2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper to fit the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan. Fit the paper into the bottom of the pan and set aside. (Important: do not grease pan!)
Place 2 large sheets of waxed paper over a work surface.
Working over 1 large piece of waxed paper, sift the cake flour together with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Sift the mixture 4 more times, working back and forth between the 2 sheets of waxed paper. Set aside. Sift the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar onto another sheet of waxed paper and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Add the salt, cream of tartar, 2 tteaspoons lemon juice, water, vanilla and almond extracts and increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the whites are nearly stiff. Lower the speed to medium-low and beat in the 1 cup of sifted sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the mixture forms stiff peaks yet is not dry.
Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and sift about 1/4 of the flour mixture onto the top of the beaten egg whites. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold together. Repeat this motion 3 more times with the remaining flour mixture, each time folding very gently together. Gently transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and run a knife through the mixture to eliminate any large air bubbles. Smooth the top if necessary.
Bake the cake until the top is lightly golden and the cake springs back when touched lightly, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan onto its legs (alternately, if the tube pan has no legs, simply hang the pan upside down over the neck of a sturdy bottle) and let sit until completely cooled.
When ready to serve, run the tip of a knife around the inner and outer edges of the cake pan to loosen it from the sides. Unmold the cake and set aside. In a small bowl combine the confectioners' sugar, remaining lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir until smooth. Adjust the consistency, if necessary the glaze should be thick enough to cling to the sides of the cake yet still fluid. If the glaze is too thin, add a bit more confectioners' sugar. If too thick, add more citrus juice. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. Let the glaze set before serving the cake. Serve with macerated berries, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 2003