Can I just say how much I love angel food cake? The sky-high cake that looks airy but when eating a slice (or two... three!) instantly fills you up, is my new favorite cake! I might just make the other two variations from the weekly poll. To make this cake even more spectacular than the angel food cake with cream and strawberries I baked two weeks ago, I served the cake with a rum crème anglaise. Which brings me to my love-affair with rum as well :P I LOVE RUM! The crème anglaise made the cake wonderfully moist and reminded me of a French baba au rhum. What could be better? Rating: 5 out of 5.
Angel Food Cake: Virginia Willis - 'Bon Appetit, Y'all'
- 1 ¼ cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 12 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Rum Crème Anglaise, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven.
- Sift flour together with ¾ cup sugar. Repeat process three times; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tarter, and salt on medium speed until foamy. Add vanilla-bean seeds and almond extract. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add remaining ¾ cup sugar. Continue mixing until whites are glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Sift enough of the flour mixture over the egg white mixture to lightly dust the top. Gently fold flour mixture into the egg white mixture. Repeat process until all the flour is incorporated into the egg white mixture.
- Gently spoon batter into a 10-inch tube pan. With a spatula or knife, using a circular motion, cut through the batter twice to eliminate any large pockets of air. Smooth top to remove any large peaks.
- Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Invert pan over a bottle (such as a 2-liter soda bottle or wine bottle) until completely cooled, about 2 hours.
- To serve, set upright, and using a butter knife or a long spatula, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert onto a serving plate. Slice using a serrated knife or an angel food cake cutter; serve drizzled with bourbon crème anglaise, if desired.
Rum Crème Anglaise: makes 3 cups
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon rum or bourbon
- Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside.
- Place milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until thick and light. Slowly pour in half of the hot milk, while stirring constantly. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in bourbon.
- Place saucepan over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Continue cooking until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat.
- Strain crème anglaise through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Set bowl in ice water bath and stir creme anglaise until cooled. Keep refrigerated until ready to use, up to 1 day.