Published September 1, 1992.
With only eight ingredients, angel food cake is the ultimate test of finesse and timing.
The difficulty with making angel food cake is that it requires a delicate balance of ingredients, and proper cooking techniques. In particular, since this cake is only leavened with beaten egg whites, it is critical that you whip them correctly. Overbeaten egg whites produce a flatter cake.
At its heavenly best, an angel food cake should be tall and perfectly shaped, have a snowy-white, tender crumb, and be encased in a thin, delicate, golden crust.
Although most cookbooks call for beating egg whites at room temperature, we found no discernable difference in volume between the whites beaten at 72 degrees and those taken straight from the refrigerator. What we found key to creating a stable foam was the speed at which you beat the egg whites, starting at low speed just to break them up into a froth and increasing the speed to medium to form soft, billowy mounds. When large bubbles stop appearing around the edges, this is the point the sugar should be added, a tablespoon at a time. Once all the sugar is added the whites become shiny and form soft peaks when the beater is lifted. This is just right for making the perfect tall, light yet firm angel food cake.list of recipes