Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lemon Angel Food Cake

So the bad news is that several days ago, our freezer broke. When we discovered our broken freezer, several items had thawed, including my stash of egg whites. I knew I needed to use them up soon, but the broken freezer necessitated that I use them this weekend. The good news is that I was able to use them all in this delicious angel food cake recipe.

This angel food cake is as light as a feather—it’s like eating fluffy clouds! The lemon zest imparts a lovely flavor in this cake, which can be served plain, with fruit, or with the lemon glaze.

Lemon Angel Food Cake, Barefoot Contessa Family Style

2 cups sifted superfine sugar, divided
1 ⅓ cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 ½ cups egg whites, at room temperature (10 to 12 eggs)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

Lemon Glaze:
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine ½ cup of sugar with the flour and sift together 4 times. Set aside.

Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs make medium-firm peaks, about 1 minute. With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining 1 ½ cups of sugar by sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites. Whisk for a few minutes until thick and shiny. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon zest and continue to whisk until very thick, about 1 more minute. Sift about ¼ of the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula. Continue adding the flour by fourths by sifting and folding until it's all incorporated.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smooth the top, and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, until it springs back to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan on a cooling rack until cool.

For lemon glaze, whisk together ingredients and drizzle on top of cake.

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