Angel Food Cake
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (11 to 12 large eggs)
- 1 1/2 cups (150 g) sifted confectioners sugar (sift before measuring)
- 1 cup (100 g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Special equipment: a 10-inch tube pan (about 4 inches deep) with a removable bottom
- Let egg whites stand in bowl of a standing electric mixer (see cooks' note) at room temperature about 1 hour before making cake.
- (They should be about 60F, slightly below room temperature.)
- Set oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350F.
- Sift together confectioners sugar, flour, and salt onto a sheet of wax paper using a triple sifter or fine sieve.
- Beat whites in mixer until frothy.
- Add cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until they form soft peaks.
- Add granulated sugar gradually, beating, and continue beating just until whites are thickened and form soft, droopy peaks.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Sprinkle one fourth of sifted dry ingredients over whites and fold in with a rubber spatula gently but thoroughly.
- Fold in remaining dry ingredients, one third at a time.
- Gently pour batter evenly into ungreased tube pan and bake until top is light golden, cake retracts a bit from pan and springs back when touched lightly, and a tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Invert pan onto neck of an empty wine bottle or a large metal funnel and cool cake completely.
- To remove cake from pan, run tip of a long, narrow knife between outer edge of cake and pan.
- Tilt cake pan on its side and gently tap bottom edge against counter.
- Rotate pan, tapping and turning a few more times, until cake appears free.
- Cover pan with a metal rack or cardboard round and invert, tapping pan firmly to loosen cake.
- Lift pan from cake.
- (It should come out beautifully, like a pillow taken out of a slipcover.)
- Slice cake with a serrated knife, using a sawing motion.