This cake is best doused in piles of berries and heavy cream.
Or plain, eaten by the handful. Delicate, puffy, moist handfuls.
It is important to use an ungreased pan, so that the cake batter can cling to the sides of the pan as it cooks; otherwise it'll slither down and have no structure.
If the bottom of your pan is not removable, as mine is not, you can lay the pan on parchment paper or foil and trace around it and inside the tube with a marker. Cut out the circle and lay inside the pan before pouring in the batter.
|Crack the eggs into a separate bowl before adding to the mixing-bowl one|
at a time, in case a yolk breaks.
Cake of Angels
This is from Judith Fertig's book on Heartland food, Prairie Home Cooking. I have a first edition that my grandma gave me in 1999, but Fertig has since come out with later versions. Not only is the book full of information on rural America and our immigrant heritage, but every recipe I've ever tried from it has been a stunning success. I've changed her preparation instructions, but the measurements and ingredients remain the same.
Warning: After trying this, you'll never be able to return to the store-bought cake again - it is cardboard by comparison! So ... sally forth at your own risk.
8 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake flour (NOT all-purpose flour!)
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and invert, letting cool for several hours. This allows the structure of the cake to become strong; remove it too soon, and it'll sink down flat.
Did you ever wonder what the little prongs on the side of a tube cake pan were for? So that you can cool it upside down!
Heavy Cream (if beating) or half-and-half
A few drops each of the following extracts: Lemon, Orange, and Vanilla
White sugar, to taste
Option 1: Beat the cream until it begins to thicken, then slowly mix in the sugar and extracts. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, and mound on top of the cake when serving.
Option 2: Whisk cream or half-and-half with the extracts and sugar and pour over slices of cake.
|Homemade extracts are easy and inexpensive to produce.|
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