Most people we know buy their angel food cakes from the bakery or supermarket. That’s not an option if you’re gluten-free (we’ve never personally seen a GF angel food cake for sale anywhere). But that’s also not a loss. This GF angel food cake is as good as any we’ve had, gluten-free or otherwise. It’s light and fluffy and, as great angel food cakes are, very sweet.
Courtesy of "Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking" by Kelli Bronski & Peter Bronski. The Experiment,
|1 1/2 egg whites at room temperature (10 to 12 eggs)||1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar|
|2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract||1 cup gluten-free flour, sifted|
|1/2 tsp gluten-free almond extract||1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum|
|1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar||1/2 pint heavy cream (1 cup) (for homemade whipped cream)|
|1/4 tsp salt||1 to 2 tbsp confectioners' sugar, depending upon taste for sweetness (for homemade whipped cream)|
|1/2 cup granulated sugar||1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract (for homemade whipped cream)|
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Whip the egg whites, vanilla, almond extract, cream of tartar, and salt in a mixer using the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar a little at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Do not under-mix (make sure your peaks are stiff!).
Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and xanthan gum. Carefully fold the flour mixture into the egg whites just until all the flour is mixed in.
Pour the batter into a 10-inch angel food cake pan (see box, page 288). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven, until browned and dry in the cracks that form on top. Immediately invert the cake to cool thoroughly upside down.
To make the whipped cream: Chill a mixing bowl and a whisk or egg beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes. Pour the cream into the cold bowl. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and whip until soft peaks form.
Once cooled, loosen the cake from the sides and bottom of the pan and remove it to a serving plate. Serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
Note: This is one of the only cakes that is baked in an unprepped (ungreased) pan. There’s an important reason for that. Angel food cakes are allowed to cool upside down, which enables the cake to maintain its “loft” until it is fully cooled. The ungreased pan allows the angel food cake to stick to the sides and bottom of the pan so that it doesn’t fall out (as it would with a greased pan) when you invert the cake to cool. Also, this recipe calls specifically for an angel food cake pan, which is a type of tube pan. Tube pans are typically circular, with a “tube” in the middle that results in the finished cake having the shape of a donut, with a hole in the middle. Some, such as Bundt pans, are 1-piece tube pans, and often have fluting or other decoration. Others, such as the angel food cake pan, are two-piece tube pans, which allow you to cut the cake away from the sides of the pan first, then remove the outside of the pan, and finish cutting the cake away from the base of the pan.
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