Monday, October 3, 2011

The Best Traveling Birthday Cake Ever


Years ago I started mailing my homemade angelfood cake to my niece, Meghan, for her birthday, so no matter how far away from me she may be, I'll always be with her in some small way for her birthday. It's tradition now, so for every birthday for her, and for AA&T, I bake an angelfood cake, wrap it in plastic wrap, pack it in a foil-lined box filled with air-popped popcorn for packing, and mail it off. I make a kickass angelfood cake, if I do say so myself. Here's the recipe:

1 cup flour (cake flour OR regular flour)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups egg whites (12 JUMBO eggs, warmed to room temperature BEFORE breaking)
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix flour and powdered sugar together, set aside.
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large mixer bowl on medium speed until foamy.
  • Beat in granulated sugar on high speed, 2 Tbs. at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy.
  • Add salt, vanilla, and almond extract with last addition of sugar. Do not underbeat!
  • Sprinkle flour/powdered sugar mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in just until flour/powdered sugar mixture disappears.
  • Pour batter into ungreased tube cake pan (not a bundt pan; use a regular angelfood cake pan).
  • Cut gentlely through the batter with a metal spatula.
  • Bake until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly.
  • Invert pan onto empty glass (wine) bottle and let hang until completely cool.
  • Remove from pan.
You can glaze or frost the cake as you wish. We prefer our angelfood cake naked, sometimes with a little bit of fresh berries for garnish.

And the secret ingredient, corny as it may sound, is love. Make this cake with patience and lots of love, and it will be beyond perfection!