Mmmm! I love a good citrus treat. There is just something so refreshing that just wakes up my taste buds. To go with my lime ice cream, I made a lemon Angel Cake. This light and refreshing cake just blew me away.
I must admit… I was really nervous to make Angel Cake. First of all, it’s a lot of eggs to use if the recipe fails. And I guess it is easy to mess up this recipe. There are a few things that can go wrong, so let’s talk about them so that you’re first Angel Food Cake comes out as great as mine did.
First of all, measure the egg whites in a measuring cup. Don’t just guess that 10 eggs are enough. The eggs need to be separated so that the yolks don’t contaminate the whites. I separate my eggs with my hands. I crack my egg and let the whites seep through my fingers while I cradle the yolk. Then I place each yolk into an ice-cube tray to freeze them, if I don’t have any plans for them in the next 24 hours. I do have an egg separator bulb thing, but I don’t like it. I’ve busted too many eggs with it and you can’t recover from it.
Second, your mixing bowl and whisk attachment need to be clean of any oil. Give it a good wipe with a paper towel before adding the whites. The oil will prohibit the meringue from forming.
Third, the volume of the cake is based on the amount of air you whip into the whites. Your should only whip the meringue on a medium speed – don’t crank it up to max thinking that it’ll whip up faster. This is a beginners most common mistake. The meringue base should have very soft peaks.
Finally, sifting and folding the flour and sugar should be done slowly by hand with a large spatula so that the air bubbles in the meringue are not disturbed. Take your time folding. drag your spatula from the bottom of the bowl up and over the top of the flour mixture. Do not stir. Just continue to bring the bottom meringue up over the top of the flour. Then sift a little more flour onto the meringue and fold that in. It’s best to add about 1/8 of the flour at a time.
Some Angel Cake pans have little feet like this one. But if yours doesn’t you can prop it up on 4 glasses (like a table) or prop the center up the neck of a beer bottle. That’s what I did here. Leave it hanging for at least 90 minutes to cool.
Removing it can also prove difficult. I just continued to work around the edges to get it out. I left mine in the pan for over 24 hours and it may have gotten a bit too moist. I almost put it back into the oven at 200℉ to help dry it out, but it didn’t come to that. However, I did end up with some gouge marks on the sides… it added character.
I used 10 egg whites. Of the leftover yolks, 4, went into the Key Lime ice cream and 3 are going into a lemon sauce I’ll make on Friday. So, that just leaves 3 yolks to make a pudding or custard with. Or more ice cream… Just sprinkle them with a little sugar and freeze them in the ice-cube tray. Then transfer them to a baggie in the freezer to thaw out later.
Lemon Angel Food Cake
With the addition of the sweet Meyer Lemon, this Angel Food Cake is sure to surprise and delight your guests.
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup egg whites (10 - 12 eggs)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1/4 tablespoon Meyer Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Sift the cake flour, ¾ cup sugar and salt together thoroughly and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, place eggs, water, lemon juice, cream of tartar and vanilla into the mixing bowl with a whisk attachment and beat on medium low until bubbly then increase the speed to medium. As the eggs get foamy gradually add in ¾ cup sugar. Just add a tablespoon at a time and go slowly. Continue to whip until soft peaks form.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift a fine layer (about a ¼ cup) of flour over the egg whites. With a large spatula, fold in the flour and sift in another ¼ cup of flour. Take your time folding. It's important to maintain as much of the air in the egg whites as possible.
- Pour the batter into a 9 inch tube pan. Give the pan a few taps to get the top level. Bake at 350℉ for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool upside down for 90 minutes on the neck of a bottle or propped up on a few cups.
- To remove from the pan, slide a knife around the edges and center.
- Serve all by its self, or make a little lemon glaze with 1 cup powdered sugar, two tablespoons of milk and a squirt of lemon juice. Stir it until it's thin and pourable adding more milk if necessary. Drizzle over the cake and serve.
by Karyn Granrud