This recipe serves 6 (with leftovers)
14 extra large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 350deg. DO NOT COAT the 10-inch tube pan with anything. It must be dry and grease-free for the cake to stay tall.
2. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar and kosher salt in the dry, grease-free bowl of a stand mixer with whip attachment. Whip on high speed until whites form soft peaks. This could take up to 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the whipped whites to a large bowl. Sift half of the flour over the whites. Using a large wire whisk, lift and tap the whites until folded in completely. Repeat with the other half of the flour, vanilla bean paste and lemon zest.
4. Gently pour the batter into an angel food cake pan (10 inch tube pan) and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and invert to cool. Once cooled, remove from the pan. Serve with you choice of fresh fruit.
Egg whites have a very long shelf life (6 months). In addition, egg whites that have been frozen and thawed will whip up without a problem. One egg white is equal to one ounce by weight or volume. So, if you have a container of egg whites and need 14 of them, they will measure 1 3/4 cups or 14 ounces.
This cake will keep up to 10 days in the refrigerator. A well-wrapped cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Although angel food cake makes a sweet ending to any Thai meal, it is actually an American dessert. This cake seems to trace it’s roots to southeastern Pennsylvania, where thrifty Pennsylvania cooks may have created it as a way to use the extra egg whites left over from making egg noodles. The first published recipes for this cake started to appear in 1870s, shortly after the invention of the rotary egg beater – a welcome tool for beating all those egg whites!