Monday, April 21, 2008

Angel Food Cake

We had neighbors over for dinner this week and I was still reeling from the awesomeness of the Orange Caramel Sauce. I wanted to show this stuff off with a new desert.

How do I let that sauce become the centerpiece? It works great with strawberries, so that was a gimme. So, I wanted a cake or cookie with a neutral flavor which would let more of the pure sauce flavor through.

I hit on the obvious choice of Angel Food Cake. Bonus? Angel Food Cake has virtually no fat in it. I'd forgotten that. Well, there was no way I was going to go with store bought for that because I needed to learn how. But I kept that option open if things went to hell.

Treebeards' had a recipe that looked pretty straightforward. Turns out it's really, really easy. The result was, frankly, perfect.

The only difficulty I faced was that the recipe calls for the flute pan to be ungreased, but I had a little trouble getting the cake out, even with a non-stick surface. Running a table knife around the edges and bottom worked fine, but I can't help feeling there's something wrong. Either the recipe missed that step or I should grease and dust the pan. I'm leaning towards the first.

Update: I've since learned I'm wrong about needing to grease the pan. Chris Kendall explained it in passing on America's Test Kitchen. Apparently, since there's no yeast or baking powder in the mix, all the rising comes from the expansion of the air bubbles and the egg whites essentially "climbing" the sides of the tube pan. If you grease the pan, the mix can't "grip" the side and it won't rise properly. I never got around to trying a greased pan, so that's a good thing.

Also, I've tried Jewel's bakery-made ones since the original post. They suck. This is easy enough that there's no excuse for wasting your money on those things.

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