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An angel food cake is an oddity because, although it's a cake -- with all of the high calorie, high cholesterol implications of a cake -- it has absolutely no fat in it at all, not even in the dozen eggs you use, because the recipe only calls for the whites. All the fat and cholesterol is in the yolks.
3/4 cup (3 1/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) cocoa
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
12 large egg whites, or 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) cool water and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 1/4 ounces) meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Preheat your oven to 325°F.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and half the sugar (3/4 cup); set aside.
Place the egg whites (or meringue powder and water) in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until the whites are frothy. Add the salt, vanilla and almond extracts, and the cream of tartar. (If using meringue powder, the cream of tartar isn't necessary). Continue beating until the whites form stiff, glossy peaks.
Add the remaining sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients, also 1/4 cup at a time. A wire whisk is a useful tool to do this without deflating the egg whites.
Scoop the batter into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven. If your tube pan has legs on it, invert the cake onto those and cool for an hour and a half. If your pan doesn't have legs, invert it over a bottle to cool.
Once the cake is thoroughly cool, loosen the edges with a knife, including around the tube. Turn the cake back over and shake it gently onto your serving plate.
To serve the cake, take two forks and pry pieces apart. The slices will be rough, like the surface of an English muffin. Angel food cake tastes wonderful all by itself, or you can use that rough surface to catch whatever sauce you might want to drizzle over it.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 5, March 1991 issue.