Friday, August 20, 2010

Diet Food?

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Ever since I found out I was pregnant I have been trying to do a bucket list of sorts. I know my life won't be over once she arrives but I do know that I will have another focus and that things will take a back burner for a while. So I wanted to tackle somethings I have always wanted to make but didn't ever take the time to make. Angel Food Cake was one of them, because its a little time consuming and you have to be patient and wait for it to finish cooling completely. And I'm kind of a eat it right away girl cause I have already been waiting the bake time to taste it.

The one thing I have never understood about Angel Food Cake is that its considered diet food, I mean I get it there are no egg yolks. But, there is a bunch of sugar, some flour, egg whites and not much else. Its not exactly health food. I guess that is why people normally pair it with fruit, so you can feel like you are eating something healthy. Yes, there is your social commentary for the day, feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

Ok back to the cake. I think in my now 28 years (jeez I'm old), I have had angel food cake that didn't come out of a plastic container one time. So how does this cake compare to a grocery store angel food cake. Its amazing, not even close to the grocery store cake. The texture is completely different, it has some for one and its not just soft blah cake, it has a bite to it. The flavor I think mainly because of the vanilla bean paste is so much better.

So if you have only ever had grocery store Angel Food Cake you should really give this a shot, it will be work all the time and effort.

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The Best Angel Food Cake Adapted from Baking Bites

1 1/2 cups egg whites at room temperature

1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided

1 cup sifted cake flour

1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.

In a Stand Mixer beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Once you have soft peaks, add the vanilla bean paste beat for a few seconds to evenly distribute.

Sift the flour and sugar mixture over the egg whites in 6-8 additions and gently fold it in after each addition. Spoon batter into an ungreased 9 inch tube pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove from oven an invert pan over a bottle. I used a wine bottle, that had a nice long neck to invert the cake over. Allow to cool completely or overnight.

Gently run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake when you are ready to serve it.

8 comments:

  1. I'm not sure that anyone has called it diet food (at least, I hope not), but it's definitely a lighter option when you want some cake but can't justify a chocolate monstrosity. I love angel food.

    I've made a lot of angel food from scratch in my life, and one thing that needs to be stressed when you're making it is that everything has to be metal - the measuring cups, spoons and bowl. Anything plastic will have residual fat on it that will prevent the eggs from beating up nice and fluffy. You also can't line the pan with anything like shortening or butter, and not even the slightest bit of egg yolk can make it into the egg whites (you can't just fish it out - I've tried that!). I suggest when you're separating the eggs, do each one into a smaller bowl before adding the yolk to the main bowl.

    And finally, it helps to have an ice-cold metal bowl when you start beating the eggs!

    Sorry to be a know-it-all, I've just done it a lot. :) These tips will help, and it's really worth the effort!

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  2. I've definitely seen it tauted at diet food before. I know my Grandmother made it all the time for my Grandfather, who had to have a specific diet for some time while I was younger.
    She made it from scratch and she made it from the box, either way, fresh angel food cake scrapings from the pan were one of my favorite treats when the cake was completely cool and the knife came out to get it out of the pan.
    Mmmmm, this post brings back memories. Thank you, Katie! Now I have another craving to put to rest and the perfect recipe to do it with!

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  3. It's funny how so often these days we call something "healthy" if it's not as bad as the common alternative, rather than having health benefits on its own. I agree that angel food can't really be described as health food - tastes better to me that way. :-)

    Btw, you'll be back baking before you know it once the baby is here. Mine is 8 mos and I bake way more often than I did before kids. You get efficient! It usually only takes 15-20 min to get something in the oven - my little guy can usually occupy himself with a toy for that long (I do have to pick it up from the floor a bunch of times).

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  4. It really is so much better when you make it yourself.It looks delicious!

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  5. This is on my "bucket list" too! I just have to find somewhere that sells the special tins (not so easy in Ireland!!)

    I think it would be low in weight watchers points, therefore healthy!!!

    You have a lovely blog :-}

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