Egg Whites and Angel Food Cake with Citrus Sauce
Angel Food Cake is not a French creation.
According, to an article on the Researching Food History blog, Angel Food Cake was originally called White Sponge Cake, with the first recorded recipe appeared in “The Kentucky Housewife” (1839). The first written recipe for Angel’s Food Cake appeared in “The Home Messenger Book of Tested Recipes” (2nd Edition) 1878 by Isabella Stewart. Interesting to note that there is no “family” resemblance with Devil’s Food Cake as this one is made with butter in the batter.
Although French chefs cannot claim the invention of this white sponge cake, they have always worked with the essential ingredients: stiff egg whites, cream of tartar, cake flour, and sugar. Stiffly, beaten egg whites are the key to the delicate light texture of souffles, meringues and macarons (recipe here).
In this recipe for Angel Food Cake with Citrus Sauce, the egg white angels meet the French chefs in the kitchen. The citrus sauce is a combination of clementines and oranges. Think of making this cake when the clementines appear in your local market (or grocery store), in the late fall. Or, as in my case when you have a dozen egg whites in your fridge that you need to use up.
Before turning to the method (below), the last important thing to note with Angel Food Cake is that it is easy to squish. Cut your cake with a serrated knife or a cake break, like the one in the photo.