[I could not find the MSBH recipe online but this one is almost identical and will probably give you the same results I got here. Here's why I don't include the recipes in my posts.]
I am not a fan of angel food cake, never have been. It always seemed like a delicious piece of white wedding cake got inflated with too much air. I like my cake dense.
I was wondering if Martha’s recipe would turn me into a fan. I’ve never had homemade angel food cake (that I can recall) and so many of the MSBH’s recipes have made me a believer in items that store-bought versions had long convinced me I didn’t like. Graham Crackers, I’m looking at you.
So I took this all on very earnestly.
You start with some very fine sugar and flour and sift them together several times.
Some more sugar is beat into a bunch of egg whites, along with cream of tartar and salt and vanilla to make the meringue base for the cake.
In a big bowl this resulting egg white mixture is gradually folded in with the sifted sugar/flour mixture to finalize the cake batter. This takes some time and technique – the flour mixture is sifted atop the egg mixture in six portions, folding in between each one.
There are a lot of handy videos out there about how to fold together these ingredients.
Once the batter is done it is poured into an ungreased angel food cake pan.
It doesn’t take long to bake. I hated the smell of it – like tons of overcooked eggs.
The cake cools inverted and because my pan lacks little feet, I had to balance it on a bottle. This stressed me out and I kept going to the kitchen to make sure it didn’t fall down and break apart.
It worked out just fine, though, so in the end I had a perfect cohesive angel food cake.
It was not the easiest thing to depan. Using a knife to run around the edge is a must but I also found I had to “toss” it up and down with sharp jerking movements, quickly pulling down as soon as I felt the weight of the cake lift on the upswing. Does that make sense? I was trying to get it to release from the bottom of the pan, as I had no way of running the knife there. This worked, but you can see below just how much the cake wants to stick to the pan.
Okay, so was I converted to angel food cake? No. This version is much lighter and softer and airier than the store-bought versions I’ve had, which is probably preferable, but the flavor is much same: stickily sweet with nothing but sugar to taste. I don’t like desserts like this so of course, I didn’t like it.
I think if you are a fan of angel food cake, however, you will really dig this. It’s pretty classically angel food and certainly there’s nothing wrong with it if you like that sort of thing.