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.
Angel Food Cake with Citrus Sauce
This recipe was minimally adapted from the King Arthur Flour cookbook. Angel Food Cake is a "light" option for dessert. You can add spices to the batter, or change the sauce from citrus to berry or another flavor to suit your tastes.
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Fiori di Sicilia is a magical combination of citrus blossom and vanilla extracts. It is available from both King Arthur Flour and Sur la Table. (I have no relationship with either - just letting you know where to find it!) Funny thing is, it is NOT what King Arthur used in their angel food cake. If I were them, I would take a hint from me and opt for Fiori di Sicilia over vanilla or almond extracts!