It’s here! Today the Great British Bake Off is back, I know you are all excited and I am too. They’ve snuck us a few little tid bits here but not very much to keep us keen. One of those tid bits was that Angel Food Cake would be the first technical bake. So as a homage to Mary, Paul and all the contestants on this years GBBO, here is my Angel Food Cake.
It’s an American classic, but here it is with English measurements, unlike many of the recipes you’ll find online. On the programme and throughout homes in American they bake these in an angel food cake tin or tube pan but I didn’t want to buy another tin just for this occasion. I turned to my trusty bundt tin, which shares the characteristic hole in the middle like a tube tin. I googled my decision and found hundreds of forums and Q&A sites telling me you couldn’t bake angel food cake in a bundt tin but I threw caution to the wind with great results.
Angel food cake is named so because of it’s gloriously light texture, which also comes with the added bonus of being (almost) fat and cholesterol free. Because of all the egg whites it’s quite different to a normal sponge and needs to be cut with a serrated knife. But, like a normal sponge it’s perfect with ice cream, yoghurt and fruit or simply with a good ol’ British cuppa.
I’ve flavoured mine with orange and vanilla, but you could substitute them with what ever you fancy, maybe lime and a bit of rum for a more grown-up flavoured cake. Use your imagination or what you have available. It’s a really simple recipe which took me no time at all to make, but don’t skip the extra sifting, it’s boring but important!
Note on tins: On the program, Mary stated that you musn’t grease an angel food tin, this is correct. Angel Food tins are basic (not non-stick) and therefore the cake can get traction on the sides as it rises. You then use a knife to release the cake. A Bundt tin like mine (Nordicware) is non-stick and so greasing and then flouring the tin, gives the cake the grip it needs to grow up, it also means you don’t use a knife to get it out which would ruin your non stick coating in your Bundt tin.
If you greased alone this would hinder the cakes rise.
I have not tried other tins, but I have seen many successes of people online using standard cake tins (use 2), silicon cake and bundt tins and pyrex dishes, all of which you don’t need to grease/flour.
- 8 egg whites or 16 tbsp of two chicks egg white (I didn’t want to be making custard all day so I bought pre packed egg whites for simplicity and to reduce waste)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 250g Icing sugar, sift it twice onto greaseproof paper
- 140g Plain flour, sift it twice onto greaseproof paper
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of one orange
- A Bundt tin (You could use any deep cake tin you have, but ensure you check it regularily in the oven)
- An electric whisk
- A cooling rack bigger than your bundt tin
- Preheat the oven to 170′c. In a VERY large bowl or your free-standing mixer, whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until they form soft peaks. Whilst it is whisking away grease and flour your bundt tin.
- add the icing sugar a few tablespoons at a time, whisking for about 20 seconds between each addition
- In 3 batches slowly fold in the flour with a spatula or metal spoon until fully combined, mix through the zest and vanilla extract gently.
- Spoon in to your prepared bundt tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, when it is done it should be golden brown on the outside and springy to touch.
- Take your bundt tin out of the oven and place your cooling rack over the top. Carefully invert both so the tin (with cake inside) is sitting on top of the rack. Leave with the tin on top until cool.
- When cool, remove the tin, move the cake to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar, serve as required.
This cake stays very moist and it’s just as good the next day. My boss didn’t have enough adjectives to describe it, but I would see it’s almost marshmallowy
If you need to use up egg yolk how about cheats crème brulee?
Does watching The Great British Bake Off get you in the kitchen?
I’ve entered my angel food cake into the Great British Bake Off Collection at Bakers Anonymous, check it out!