If you plan on diving into the world of egg yolk-rich pastry cream, no doubt you will have egg whites to spare. To use up those egg whites, here’s my favorite angel food cake recipe. The angel food cake plus the frosting that goes with it will take care of all those extra egg whites and then some.
By the way, did you know egg whites could be frozen, thawed and whipped? In all my years of baking, I never considered whipping frozen thawed egg whites, but I finally got around to trying it a few months ago and found that frozen egg whites, when thawed and brought to room temperature, do indeed whip. You might not get as much volume as with fresh and some people say the thawed whites take a little longer to whip, but in my experience thus far they do the job. The method I’ve been using to save the whites is to dump them 4 at a time into small zipper bags, put the small zipper bags in a larger freezer bag, push out extra air, then freeze. To thaw, put the little zipper bags of frozen egg whites in a second freezer bag (in case there are tiny punctures in the first bag), then put the larger bag in a pot and run hot water over it until the eggs start to thaw.
My Favorite Angel Food Cake
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar or "Baker's Sugar" if you can find it
- 1 cup 4 oz cake flour
- 1/2 cup 2 oz confectioner’s sugar
- 1 2/3 cups egg whites I now use 14 eggs**
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 scant teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
7 Minute Icing
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon of corn syrup
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Adjust oven rack so that it’s right under (but not right in) the center.
- Have ready a two part removable bottom angel food cake pan with legs.
- Grind the granulated sugar in a coffee grinder or mini food processor. This makes for a tighter crumb, but you can skip it if you don’t have a grinder or if you have Baker's Sugar.
- Sift the cake flour and confectioners’ sugar together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites just until foamy, then add the cream of tartar and continue beating until peaks are almost stiff. With the mixer still going, add the salt, then gradually add the sugar and continue beating until sugar is absorbed. Beat in the extracts.
- Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and gradually pour the flour into the side of the stand mixer bowl, being careful not to deflate the whites. Remove mixer from stand and with a scraper, fold in any flour that didn’t get blended in with the rest.
- Scrape the cake batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes (check at 35) or until the top is browned and cake springs back lightly when touched. Invert cake pan onto its legs and let cool for about two hours.
- When the cake is completely cool, run a regular non-serrated knife around the edges of the cake pan and stem. Pull the cake out of the pan, then use the knife to loosen the part stuck to the base.
- Seven Minute Frosting: Combine the egg whites, sugar, water, cream of tartar and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler and set it over simmering water. With a handheld mixer, beat on high for 7 minutes or until soft peaks have formed. Remove from heat. Beat in salt and vanilla and continue beating until icing is spreadable (if it's not already).
- Spread icing over sides of the cake.