I’m back home in Iowa adjusting to the differences of a Florentine lifestyle and the American way of living. What could be a better way to get back in the swing of things than spending time in the kitchen testing recipes!!
For my brother Peter’s birthday each year my Mom made him an Angel Food cake. Although I was sad to think this would be the first year my Mom would not make Peter his favorite Angel Food cake, I was excited that I could let my Mom’s light shine by making him a cake that would hopefully help fill my Mom’s presence that was missing (speaking literally) but was most definitley there in spirit as our “guardian angel” during Peter’s birthday celebration.
Peter isn’t a huge fan of sweets and is picky at times so it is difficult to find desserts that he likes. This fat free cake is perfect for people who aren’t huge sweet fans or are watching their fat intake. I like to call this cake “the healthiest of the healthiest cakes out there”, if that counts for anything at all! This heavenly batter bakes into a very light and sweet cake. The triple sifting the recipe calls for helps aerate the dry ingredients to ensure that the cake is light and moist.
What the mixture should look like after whipping
Angel Food Cake
-Recipe modified from Essential of Baking by Wiliams-Sonoma
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar (separated refer to recipe below)
1 C. cake flour
1/2 t salt
10 large egg whites, cold
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
2 T. lukewarm water
1 t. cream of tarter
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract (optional, I didn’t use)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350 F. Have an un-greased 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.
Sift together 1/2 C. plus 2 T. of the granulated sugar, the flour, and the salt into a bowl. Sift a second time.
In a large clean stainless steel or copper bowl, combine the egg whites, lemon juice, and lukewarm water. Place the bowl in a sink of warm water. Stir in the cream of tartar.
Use your mixer with a whip attachment or hand mixer. Beat the whites on medium high speed until soft peaks form and they have tripled in volume. Slowly pour in the remaining granulated sugar and the vanilla (almond extract if desired) and beat until the mixture firms up slightly. When you lift the beaters, the whites should fall over gently.
Sift one-third of the dry ingredients over the whipped whites. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients gently but quickly with as few strokes as possible. When almost fully mixed, sift another one-third of the dry ingredients onto the batter and fold it in until almost fully incorporated. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients and fold gently. Do not overfold or else you will deflate the whites and the cake will not rise well in the oven.
Using the spatula, scrape the batter into the tube pan and smooth the surface. Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately put the pan upside down on a bottle.Let cool completely upside down for about 45 minutes. To loosen the cake from pan, use a butter knife to go around the edges and pull pan bottom and tube out from the cake.
Serve cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries!
Our Guardian Angel is glowing brighter than ever. We miss and love you Mom!!