She actually threatened me!

No, not with any bodily harm.

Instead, my girlfriend threatened that if I ever make this cake again, she's going to eat the entire thing! (Okay maybe there would be some harm to myself involved, since she'd have to get past me first!)

I used to have angel food cake at least once a year. My grandmother bought store bought ones fairly often, usually for whipped cream and fruit, but every December would use one to make my mother's favorite cake (angel food cake, split into three levels,) and filled/iced with a combination of custard and whipped cream, then topped with fruit when served.

I've never bothered to make my own angel food cake - the store bought ones, at least the fresh ones, taste so good that it didn't seem worth the effort to separate all those eggs and spend all that time whipping!

Then I met Bob.

I love Bob. And I think Bob loves me. So far he has never let me down. And he's been as good for my husband as he has been for me, so there hasn't even been a jealousy issue!

(Don't know who Bob is? Well then, look here and see. Isn't he beautiful? Bob and I are coming up, soon, on our first anniversary together too!)

I admit, I did find another 'friend' to help ease the pain of making my own angel food cake.... Simply Egg Whites.

Yes, I have been using a carton of egg whites that I bought from the store, rather than separating the eggs myself. And since I'm admitting it here, I'm obviously not ashamed to say so. Until this cake I had never used it before, but most definitely will again. It was nice to not have to spend the time painstakingly separating the eggs, and it was even nicer not wasting all those egg yolks!

With my little partnership established (Bob, egg whites and myself), let me say that this cake would have been worth separating my own eggs and standing there with a hand mixer mixing! The lemon was so subtle but added a refreshing tang. It was so soft it was almost sticky, as only a really fresh cake is. While perfectly wonderful on it's own, it was even better matched up with freshly whipped cream (Bob again!) and sliced strawberries. The husband and I each had two pieces for dinner that night! We ate so much that after giving some to my friend, there was barely enough left for each member of the family to have a small slice in their lunch the next day! (Next time I am not sharing!)

And with that raving endorsement, here is the recipe, courtesy of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style:

Lemon Angel Food Cake
serves 8 (or one really hungry family of 4, if you are lucky)

2 cups sifted superfine sugar, divided
1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour (not self rising)
1 1 /2 cups egg whites, a room temperature
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar with the flour and sift together 4 times. Set aside.

Place the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs make medium-firm peaks, about 1 minute. With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar by sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites. Whisk for a few minutes until thick and shiny. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon zest and continue to whisk until very thick, about 1 more minutes. Sift about 1/4th of the flour mixture over the egg whites (I didn't, I just sprinkled gently) and fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula. Continue adding the flour by fourths by sifting and folding until it's all incorporated.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smooth the top, and bake it for 35-40 minutes (I baked mine for closer to 50), until it springs back to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan on a cooling rack until cool.

To store, wrap well and do not refrigerate (not that there will be any leftovers!)


Patricia Scarpin said...

Quellia, what a delicious cake! I've never made angel food cake, gotta buy a proper pan soon.

Lis said...

I can see why she threatened you! It looks so good - and it's lemon! *swoon*

You just gotta love Ina. :D


Unknown said...

I have been wanting to make an angel food cake for SO long! I love them (I think they are my second favorite dessert) because they're so light but satisfying. Thanks for the idea of using "bottled" egg whites.

Brilynn said...

My dad has angel food cake for his birthday every year, but that seems to be the only time I ever have it.
Lately though I've been thinking about making one just because I like it. Especially with chocolate whipped cream on top.

Valentina said...

Quellia, I will never forget the first angel food cake I had. It was so lovely! I even bought the special tin. But I have been afraid of making it as I read that it is very tricky to make.Yours look gorgeous.

Cheryl said...

I made angel food cake once and it was a disaster. Yours just came out amazing.

And I love that you named your mixer. I must go give my red girl a name now.

Sara said...

never had a lemon angel food cake before! looks really really great.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Angel food cake is the very best! My dad used to bake them all the time when I was growing up. The store bought really can't compare to one you make with love!
After my first one or two and getting over the fear factor, it is the cake I most love to make and eat. I love them just plane or with fresh fruit!!
Beautiful one!

erinlovesmarc said...

OMG this sounds yummy!

Heather said...

I made angel food cake muffins last summer following a recipe from Cooking Light, the whites were a pain but they were so good.
Are the simply whites a powder or a liquid?

Banu said...

Looks so delicious. I wanted to know if I could use all Purpose flour or is it a must to use the cake flour. Also you say super fine sugar can I make it in my food processor or is that not fine enough? Thanks for your recipes Banus Kitchen