Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Whipped Cream

You were expecting this, right? I mean, angel food cake is a passion of mine since childhood. You are completely aware that I requested this cake for pretty much every birthday party until age 16. And I probably whined and whined if we didn't get it. Not your average childhood request I think. No chocolate. No icing. No frosting. Apparently I was all about the simple pleasures in life as a child. I snubbed my nose at piped roses. Fretted at the sign of ganache.

I was a purist, obviously.

I've been wanting to make an angel food cake for like, um, the past five years. But up until recently, I didn't own an angel food cake pan. Because only a cake this absurd and totally out of style would require a custom baking device. Because that's what 1950's housewives were apparently all about: uni-tasking kitchen tools and cake recipes that require a dozen egg whites. Leaving you with, oh, you know, about a dozen egg yolks you have to figure out what to do with. Ah, such efficient women these were!

Back to the cake...

So, I am now the proud owner of my uni-tasking angel food cake pan and got to baking. And I wanted my cake pink. Because that's what the 6-year-old inside of me really, really, really wanted. Thus, pink food coloring was added. And slightly marbled. To sort of quasi-marbled results.

The 6-year-old inside of me would like to thank the 1950's housewife that popularized the angel food cake, made all of my childhood birthday parties delicious and probably drove my mother insane when trying to figure out what to do with a dozen egg yolks while said 6-year-old was probably having a post-birthday tantrum in the corner.

Recipe after the jump...

 

Pink Tinted Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Whipped Cream

Recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1975 edition

  • 1 cup flour (minus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar + 1 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 10 - 12 eggs)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

This recipe requires a lot of sifting, so I recommend having 3 clean, large bowls at ready for mixing the dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, measure 1 cup all-purpose flour and remove 2 tablespoons from the cup. Add the 2 tablespoons of corn starch and sift at least 3 times to ensure cornstarch is fully incorporated.

To the flour and cornstarch mixture, sift in the 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Sift at least twice.

In another large mixing bowl or Kitchenaid Mixer bowl, combine egg whites with water, cream of tartar, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Beat on medium for 7 - 9 minutes, until you achieve medium peaks, that is the peak of the mixture is somewhat firm and retains its shape, but not as thick as, say, whipped cream.

While that mixes, sift your  additional 1 cup of powdered sugar at least 2 times, to ensure it is well aerated and light.

To the mixing bowl, and maintaining a low speed (on a Kitchenaid, up to 4 speed is good) add the sifted 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Once incorporated, do the same with the flour and sugar mixture, again adding 2 tablespoons at a time.

Mix just until all dry ingredients are fully incorporated (use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed) and pour into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Place 3 drops of red food coloring around the surface of the batter and use a knife or long toothpick to swirl in the red color using a circular motion. If you want a brighter pink cake, add a few more drops.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and invert pan over a bottle set into the center circle opening of the pan. Let sit like this (hovering scarily in the air, honestly) for at least an hour, so cake can fully set in the pan. No, it won't fall out of the pan and squash all over your counter. It will hover there and set and cool and all will be fine. I promise.

Once fully cooled and rested, use a very sharp knife to delicately release the cake from the sides of the pan. It will come out easily. Invert to remove and place on a serving platter. Top with whipped cream and strawberries and pretend today is your birthday and you're turning six and your mom got you a pony!