In this course, we have made a lot of cakes! Angel food cakes, jellyrolls, sponge cakes (both chocolate & white), jaconde (decorative sponge), layer cakes, etc.
For this, I have chosen Angel Food Cake.
Angel food cakes are very light and airy cakes. They are leavened solely by air and contain no fat in them. Like most cakes should be, they are also moist, and have uniformly small air cells. Angel food cakes also happen to be white (partly hence the name).
To make angel food cake:
– Use the “Angel Food” method
– Set your oven to 190°C
– Do not grease your pans as if you do the cake will pull away too much from the pan and cave in on itself.
– Always scale ingredients accurately & sift dry ingredients
– Ensure that your ingredients are all at room temperature, this will create a nice homogenous cake batter for you to work with. Room temperature egg whites will create a nice light and airy egg foam.
– Combine & sift flour and first part of sugar together, this helps prevent lumps from forming in your egg foam.
– Whip up your egg whites then add the salt and cream of tartar
– Continue whipping and slowly add in the remaining part of sugar until soft peaks form. Beware of the stiff peaks, you only want to whip till soft peaks, not stiff peaks. If there are favourings to be added, add them now.
– If you over whip your egg whites, you will create overly big air cells which will expand, but as they do, the egg white proteins won’t be able to stand up in the oven when being baked. Which in turn will a cause your cake to collapse.
– Once you are done, you are now ready to add in the flour mixture. Gradually and gently use your hand like a paddle to incorporate the flour into the egg whites by folding them in. Do not over mix as you will deflate the foam.
– After panning them, bake immediately to avoid deflation.
– You will know when your cakes are done by their nice golden colour, and when you poke it, it quickly springs back up.
– Invert your pans the moment they come out of the oven to avoid them collapsing due to gravity.
– When they are entirely cooled, only then may you depan them.
– Decorate, freeze or both! Or even better, decorate, take a picture then EAT it!!
Be careful as you make your angel food cake, in order for them to turn out correctly and without collapsing.
When Karen and I made our angel food cakes, they turned out very nicely as we had applied all of the above steps to achieve a good lift and nice small uniform air cells.