Angel Food Cake for the Archangels' Feast

Heavenly King,You have given us archangels
to assist us during our pilgrimage on earth.
Saint Michael is our protector;
I ask him to come to my aid,
fight for all my loved ones,
and protect us from danger.
Saint Gabriel is a messenger of the Good News;
I ask him to help me
clearly hear Your voice
and to teach me the truth.
Saint Raphael is the healing angel;
I ask him to take my need for healing
and that of everyone I know,
lift it up to Your throne of grace
and deliver back to us the gift of recovery.
Help us, O Lord,
to realize more fully the reality of the archangels
and their desire to serve us.

Holy angels,
pray for us.

Amen.

Every baker should have a good angel food cake in her (or his) repertoire for the angels' feast days (the feast of the Archangels, the Guardian Angels, Our Lady of Angels, etc.). This is one of those baked goods that seems daunting, but is really very easy to  make, and rather budget friendly. It stands alone with a dollop of whipped cream, or can be dressed up simple with berries, a drizzle of chocolate glaze, or really kicked up a notch with creme anglaise. 

One true key to a successful angel food cake is to make sure there are no traces of oil in the batter, so  make sure your pan is completely clean and that you don't get any yolk in your egg whites.




Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
12 large egg whites
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Be sure that your 10 inch tube pan is clean and dry. Sift together the flour, and 3/4 cup of the sugar, set aside.

In a large bowl (the egg whites will whip up to completely fill a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl), whip the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt, to medium stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip to stiff peaks. When the egg white mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix. Put the batter into the tube pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake springs back when touched. Balance the tube pan upside down on the top of a bottle, to prevent decompression while cooling. When cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a plate.

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