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Friday, August 13, 2010

parting gift

August is a big month for us. Kaytie starts a new job – she just finished her clerkship today. I quit the restaurant business, and on Monday, I start med school. I, of course, am excited about this, but leaving my work was bittersweet. I will miss my friends there, and I’ll probably be too busy to stop for a drink.

As a parting gift, Melissa made me one of her famous angel food cakes. This, to me, is in the same class of culinary magic as homemade marshmallows. I think of angel food cake as something that is bought at the store, not made at home. Melissa has proved otherwise, and I can’t wait to make this cake myself.

Angel Food Cake

1 ¼ cups sifted flour
1 ½ cup sugar, separated in half
12 egg whites
1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract

Plan ahead. Set your dozen eggs on the counter and let them sit out overnight. Don’t worry – you’ll be fine.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Sift ¾ cup of sugar and the flour together. Set aside.

Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat with a wire whip until soft peaks form.

Gradually add ¾ cup more sugar, about 2 Tbsp at a time. Beat until the meringue holds stiff peaks.

Gradually fold in the flour/sugar mixture until it is just incorporated.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan that is 4 inches deep. Gently run a knife through the batter a couple times.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Invert the pan on a cooling rack until the cake is completely cool.

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