It was recently my co-worker's birthday, and he had mentioned that his favorite cake from childhood was angel food cake with Funfetti. When I told him that I would be making it from scratch, he was really excited but rather surprised. Now, while angel food cakes from a box mix are just as delicious, here are the ingredients that are typically found in it:
Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Wheat Starch, Powdered Egg Whites (Egg Albumen, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate [Whipping Aid]), Leavening (Monocalcium Phosphate Monohydrate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Bitartrate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Corn Starch, Maltodextrin, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Modified Cornstarch, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil
...okay, needless to say, I'm not sure what half of those ingredients are, and I would much rather make it from scratch. And boxed cakes tend to be much too sweet for my taste-- being able to adjust the sweetness is my favorite part about making a cake from scratch!
I will say though, making an angel food cake from scratch can be a bit labor-intensive. The part that you have to be careful about is separating the egg whites from 12 eggs(!) but it is a good test of your dexterity and patience, and I always love a good challenge! It also takes a bit of work to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Once you get past that step though, the rest of the recipe is a cinch!
Angel food cake is delicious as is, or with some fresh fruit (especially strawberries) on top. I decided to frost mine with fresh whipped cream and some natural sprinkles, since my co-worker used to love Funfetti. The cake was extremely moist and fluffy, and the outer crust had a slight hint of caramel flavor.
My co-worker was extremely happy and said, "this is exactly what I wanted!" ^_^
I hope you will enjoy it as well, and it's sure to bring back memories of your childhood!
currently listening to:
G-dragon- Who you? [click here for eng subbed audio]
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons sugar
12 large egg whites (NOTE- at room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar (helps the egg whites form stiff peaks)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (could substitute with more vanilla extract)
prep time: 15 min
cook time: 35 min
adapted from charlotte at food.com
Note: It's very important that the eggs are at room temperature for the egg whites to attain adequate volume and for them to form stiff peaks successfully
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line the bottom of a tube pan with parchment paper (I traced the outline of the pan with a pencil, and then cut it. This step requires extra work, but it will be much easier to release the cake later).
2. Sift the cake flour and 2 Tablespoons sugar into a bowl. Set aside. Combine the vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Separate the egg whites from the yolk for all 12 eggs. I find it best to separate each egg in a glass or bowl, and then transfer to another bowl with all of the other egg whites. This way, if you mess up on 1 of the eggs, you don't have to start over.
4. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until the mixture forms peaks. (video: beating egg whites)
5. Add the flour mixture in thirds, and mix the batter using a spatula until the flour is roughly combined into the mixture. You do not want to over-mix, and you want to work rather quickly so that the egg whites do not lose volume.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan (do not grease the pan!!). Knock the bottom of the pan a few times against the counter to get rid of air bubbles, and run a knife or spatula through the batter to smooth it out.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes (remember that your baking times may be different so start checking at 25 minutes and every 2-3 minutes or so), or until the top springs back when touched lightly with a finger. You could also test for doneness using a toothpick.
8. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the cake to cool.
9. Insert a thin knife along the outer edge of the cake, invert the pan, and tap it lightly to release the cake. Be gentle when cutting and tapping, because the cake is a bit fragile!
For the whipped cream frosting, continue on...
If you're planning on decorating the cake, I highly recommend wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap, and popping it in the freezer!
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
When making fresh whipped cream, it is important to keep the cream cold. Set your mixing bowl in a larger bowl or pot filled with ice (see picture below).
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat on medium-high speed until the cream starts to firm and forms a thick consistency.
2. Take a healthy amount of frosting and spread it on the cake to form the crumb coat. This is just the first coat that will make it easier for the final coating to stick to the cake. Be sure to cover every single spot of the cake.
3. Stick the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set. Place the bowl with the frosting in the freezer or refrigerator to keep it cold. Once you are ready to decorate again, beat the frosting again until the desired consistency.
4. Apply the final coating of the frosting, and decorate it any way you want! I used "natural" sprinkles that I found at Whole Foods!
(As you can tell, my cake frosting skills are gradually improving, but could definitely use more practice...!)