Couple of things about Angel Food Cake:
1. It can be the cake base for Crunch Cake (though many prefer “butter” or “sponge”.)
2. Peter is an excellent cook, but not a baker. However at age 8 he started practicing Angel Food Cake with his grandmother, Mimi, and went solo at 13.
3. I made Angel Food from scratch when I was (13) … shrugged off doing it ever again: not significantly different enough from “store bought” or box mix to merit the fuss and all those extra yolks. The inexperience and arrogance of youth.
4. Nate sent me a marvelous link to hand written recipes, the kind one finds tucked into cookbooks, stained and yellowed from use. “Angel Food Cake” made with potato starch flour appears in the top row: a serendipitous sign. And so our version of someone’s mom’s Angel Food Cake:
Peter’s Gluten Free Angel Food Cake – Serves 12-16
1 cup (7 oz.) potato starch flour
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) granulated sugar divided in 3/4 cup portions
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 1/4 cups egg whites (8-9 eggs) at room temp
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1. Separate the eggs – the whites should be at room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and prepare a tube pan by making sure it is clean and free of grease.
3. Combine the potato starch flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and cream of tarter in a mixing bowl. Whisk well to blend.
4. Beat the egg whites using a stand mixer set to medium high speed for 2-3 minutes or until consistently soft peaks are formed.
5. With the mixer running at medium high speed, add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar 1 (one) teaspoon at a time, shaking the spoon to slowly distribute each addition of sugar. Take your time (sway to slow music, do leg lifts….) This may take 3-4 minutes and shouldn’t be rushed.
6. With a rubber spatula, fold the dry mixture in 4-5 portions by sprinkling each addition over the top and gently incorporating it. The goal is to have an even batter without significantly breaking the volume of the egg whites.
7. Spoon the batter into the clean, dry pan. Gently run a small metal spatula around the surface, tamping the batter to create an even top. Then dip the blade vertically into the batter and run it in concentric circles from the center to the sides and back again to break any air pockets.
8. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Invert the pan onto a (wine) bottle so the cake doesn’t fall as it cools. It may fall from the pan before it’s completely cool. Be ready to catch and plate it if so. Use an Angel Food Cake Cutter or the pulling action of two forks to cut the cooled cake.
This GF version is worth the effort of baking from scratch! Note: the consistency will be best with a few hours of baking.