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Claire Makes Angel Food Cake | From the Test Kitchen | Bon Appétit

Claire Makes Angel Food Cake | From the Test Kitchen | Bon Appétit
I'm on a mission to rescue

angel

food

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from the kind of like a little bit staid grandmotherly dessert that people associate with being too sweet and kind of spongy and really bring it back because I think it's a wonderful dessert with a really special texture and it's such a nice canvas for like any seasonal fruit that you have around so especially for summertime with all the berries and stone fruit I think it's a really nice dessert to try if you have never made it before so

angel

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many people probably had it but I think it's most likely not a recipe a lot of people have made before because it does require a special pan it requires a two pan which is what this is what you want for this recipe is an aluminum to pan like this you do not want to use a nonstick to pan which I don't really know why they make them now

angel

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is a meringue based sponge

cake

meringue means that it's mixed a mixture of egg whites and sugar so I have one in three-quarter cups egg whites you'll have to crack between like a dozen and 14 large eggs to get this mini egg white so you'll have a ton of yolks left over one important tip is you want to make sure the bowl of your mixer is really clean but there's no fat on it because that is going to make it more difficult to whip a light meringue we'll leave that there for now because first I have to mix together my dry ingredients I have

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flour so

cake

flour is kind of the ticket here and...
claire makes angel food cake from the test kitchen bon app tit
I'm going to just mix it together with some powdered sugar and the powdered sugar is like nice like stabilizing agent because we want to make sure that the meringue like retains all the air that we're gonna whip into it it's always good to sift

cake

flour because it can get pretty lumpy and now I'm gonna bring I'm gonna start mixing everything together in the bowl I'm gonna start with my egg whites now before I start whipping this I'm going to add my cream of tartar and it's an acid acids act as a stabilizer for egg whites and a little bit of salt the first thing you want to do when you're beating egg whites is to mix them on low just to kind of break up and liquefy that mass of whites so eventually these egg whites it's going to be a dramatic transformation we went from this like trends you know clear liquid egg whites in the bowl I'm gonna get this into a meringue that's almost at the very top of the bowl so I'm gonna increase the speed a little bit now they're getting nice and foamy and once I start to see some air worked into the wipes I can see this nice white foam I'm gonna start to add my granulated sugar and I want to add this very slowly I want to be able to see the individual Graeme's like cascading into the bowl if I were to add all of this sugar at once they would really overwhelm the meringue and I would not be able to get the kind of volume that I want so you know this is a

cake

that does not have...
claire makes angel food cake from the test kitchen bon app tit
any chemical leavener it doesn't have baking powder it doesn't have baking soda all of the lightness in this

cake

comes from the air that I'm whipping into the whites you can see that they have like almost more than quadrupled in volume okay so that's all the sugar now I want to continue to beat this on high until I get to the stage where the egg whites are stiff glossy and make a firm peak so I'm gonna show you exactly what that looks like and now I'm at the stage where the whites are all the way to the very top of the whisk so I want to be careful cuz it's easy to over beat at this stage so at this stage also because the volume of the bowl is so high there's kind of a little bit of a dead zone around the top of the whisk where it doesn't quite get all of that egg white so I want to just kind of mix it a little bit by hand I'm gonna go a little bit further so that is a droopy peak we're close and at this stage it's again very easy to overbeat if I were to beat the egg whites too much they start to have an almost curdled look like they get kind of some texture and then it's very hard to incorporate the dry ingredients so one thing I also like to do when I get a dead zone like this is I'll lift up the whisk a little bit and then you'll see it start to see the marks with a whisk it's when you have that ring of meringue that's not being incorporated into in the bowl that you can easily over be so here we are...
claire makes angel food cake from the test kitchen bon app tit
this is a firm peak sound like a bird beak voici it's a dense foam this is what we want now before I take the bowl out of the mixer I'm gonna add a very small amount of liquid in the form of vanilla extract for flavor and two tablespoons of lemon juice this has a couple of purposes one the lemon juice in the vanilla flavor the lemon juice adds a tiny bit of acidity that I think balances out the what can be a kind of an overwhelming sweetness in the

cake

so I remove the bowl from the mixer just so I can sift my dry ingredients over top I'm gonna do this in thirds so I'm just sifting this is to eliminate any lumps over the meringue and then I'm gonna let the mixer do the work of like evenly incorporating that the dry ingredients into the meringue but the idea at this point is still to mix it as little as possible yes so I have my oven on 325 once you have all your ingredients together the

cake

comes together relatively quickly and you do want to get it into the oven if you want to work with someone on a speed because the idea is to not let whites deflate too much that is the last of the dry ingredients I want to take the bowl out and fold everything by hand several times with I have a nice large flexible spatula I'm looking for any pockets of dry ingredients that haven't been incorporated and I just want to make sure everything is homogeneous and well mixed and I'm using this folding technique where you take sort of in large strokes you scrape...
from the bottom and fold over and that is a gentle way of mixing so that I don't lose a lot of the volume I'm only going to pour about half of the batter in because something that happens with

angel

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is often these the batter is so light you get like weird air pockets I were to go in all at once the batter would kind of fall onto itself and like trap air so then I can use an offset spatula or a spoon and I'm just trying to work the batter around the base of the

cake

and into those like right angles where the bottom meets the sides both the two of and the outer sides and this is to eliminate air bubbles and I even like to sort of work it up the sides and up the tube and it

makes

like a little bit of a trough in the center but again this is I found the best way to avoid big air pockets another arrests are the batter and I do pour it all around the pan if you pour all the way onto one side then it's hard to distribute the batter evenly this is a really fun batter to work with now I'm just using that same small offset spatula to smooth it all out and again trying to work it to avoid air pockets and then I want to really try my best to smooth it into a super even level surface okay that looks good I would say that looks good and then I fussed with it for like another several minutes okay into my 325 oven in 35 to 40 I'll check back I'm looking for an even golden color it'll be very pop they'll be a crack in Electra Center or ring and...
will spring back when I press down in the center so all right the

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is ready to come out and I'm going to show you the best way to cool it down this

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pan has these little stilts which are designed for cooling the

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so the

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has to be cooled upside down there is so little structure in the

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and it's so light and there's so much air that if I were to cool it upright it would collapse underneath its own weight then it's very tall sides so to cool it down it needs to be upside down if your pan has these little stilts you can just do it this way but another good trick sometimes the pan so sure the older ones don't have these you can use a wine bottle and you just thread the wine bottle neck through the center hole but just like that now the

cake

will not fall out because we do not grease the sides so it's pretty firmly in there and that's one of the reason why you don't want to use a nonstick pan use this light-colored aluminum to pin because a nonstick pan you risk the whole thing sliding out which is happened to my mom before so this will have to cool for at least two hours like this so you want to be able to touch the sides and have there be no warmth or V coming from the

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so after a couple hours I took the

cake

off of the buck with a wine bottle and it's just here but beforehand Molden I'm gonna mix together my toppings I have a bunch of berries here I have very beautiful strawberries blackberries and...
raspberries so I'm gonna let the berries macerated but actually I'm going to do strawberries and blackberries not raspberries because those raspberries don't tend to release a lot of juice and they'll just kind of soften and get mushy I'm just gonna have them because you have to really expose the flesh of the fruit in order for the juices to release and macerating fruit just means mixing it with a little bit of sugar and the sugar draws out the juices and then you kind of get this beautiful syrup that you can drizzle around the

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I always think about my mom's

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that we would have like special occasions and I think that she would just make I think she just likes thaw and sweetened frozen strawberries it's so good just remember it being like the most delicious dessert plus whipped cream now I'm gonna have some of the blackberries as well and these are like to have lengthwise like prettiest that way and I always like to with macerated fruit it's always nice to fold in a little bit of fresh fruit at the end so you have a combination of fruit that's a little bit softer and juicier and then fruit that's super fresh so I'm just gonna toss these with maybe a tablespoon or two of sugar just enough to lightly sweetened their if you're using in season fruit it should already be a little bit sweet you can also do a tiny squeeze of lemon juice which might be nice and that kind of gets everything going but so I'm just...
let these sit here and hang out and eventually the juices will dry out thank you just do just a little bit lemon and sugar just kind of bring out the flavors of the fruits I mean that you can let this sit for as little as ten minutes as long as a few hours so I have very cold cream here I'm not gonna sweeten the cream because

angel

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is already a fairly sweet dessert the berries are lightly sweetened so I like I always like a desert where there's a contrast between something sweet and not sweet yeah the bowl is chilled a metal bowl works well because it pulls down really quickly you can whip cream in a mixer that's fine the only thing about a mixer is the cream goes from softly whipped to over whip to really quickly so you want to kind of sit there and watch it I have no idea how people whipped meringue by hand I never did that by hand now it's starting to thicken so I can be a bit more vigorous with how I whip it you can see I started to splatter a little bit I also like to sometimes hold the bowl a little lower down because I think I get a better leverage with my arm so you're not stirring cream you're whipping it so the idea is to beat in air so you should hear the whip hitting inside of the bowl that's nicely that's softly whipped so because the pan was ungreased I'm gonna have to cut all the way around in order to get the

cake

out so I have I like to use a small offset spatula you could use a butter knife that works too or a...
paring knife pushing all the way down and then doing kind of a sawing motion while I rotate the pan so cutting all the way around will allow me to pull the inner part of the tube out tip it yeah depending on your oven and the heat conduction like I've made this

cake

where it got much more golden around the top and sides but this is fully baked so as long as your your your end point indicators are done like the

test

er comes out clean and it's nice and springy then you're done and now I want to cut around the inner ring same way so the final step is to cut around the bottom between the

cake

and the base of the tube so I'm applying a lot of pressure downward so that I don't end up cutting into the

cake

and then once you do that the whole thing should lift off relatively easily you can use like two spatulas to lift it off but I think that I can just actually turn the whole thing over a little bit and then turn the whole thing up right everything I like about

angel

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cake

has to do with the texture it's just so pillowy and so cloud-like and it's like a literal sponge for other flavors we're gonna plate so for

angel

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anytime you have something that is very airy and soft and easily compressed it's a good idea to use a serrated knife so you don't end up flattening the whole thing it's just kind of little sawing motions and I like a big piece of

angel

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because I in my head and like it's mostly air

angel

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was...
definitely a thing in the 90s because it's like fat-free which has nothing to do with why I like it but it was like a thing that we had a lot I think all right so here's a look at the interior it looks so good it's so uniform so like there's a tight structure but it's just so so light that you know there's like almost like weightlessness for the slice so so I would say a

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like this generously feeds eight if nobody wants a second slice so my favorite way to eat

angel

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is the way I ate it growing up which is with whipped cream and berries so this is our really nice softly whipped cream and I like to kind of go right on top of it but actually I'm gonna do berries first so first let me just toss in a few of these raspberries now I go berries first because I want the direct contact with the

cake

so that it can absorb some of the juices because I cut really do like this it's not really a flat surface you're gonna roll they're gonna roll right off but oh well you kind of dribble the juices down yeah well I'm gonna I'm gonna put whipped cream there so I'll be fine I love I really like this combination of berries and then a super soft really cloud like all of the cream is there some pretty big pieces so I'm gonna ask for some help do you guys have been interested in eating some

angel

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keeps talking you just talk to the camera no well loud you have a hard pass okay sit here and eat the

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by myself it's...
so good hi maybe this

angel

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with very much

Claire

like back in the day in the 90s when sugar was fine and now it's the opposite so thanks a lot yeah that's coming back pushing Oh fat is definitely back yeah there's definitely sugar present but you're not hit with it like it's definitely right you don't need to like drink a glass of water after you knows I destroy Thank You

Claire

you're welcome take that with I'm gonna take the rest of this with me it's so fun just a cool office isn't it I absolutely think it's worth investing in a two pan just to make

angel

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of course you can do other things in it too but it's such a wonderful relatively easy and quick summer dessert but it really is when made properly a dessert that with a texture unlike anything else so I think it's really special I just think

angel

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is a special dessert it's so light there's really nothing else that quite has this texture and I hope that we can kind of bring it back from like maybe I just think of it as a 90s dessert doesn't anyone else think of it as that but it's really fun to eat and also fun to make so I hope you try it and take advantage of some nice summer fruit scrambling about hop what I like about it but where's my body keeps it keeps for a long time yeah there's nothing to be afraid of sugar something to be afraid of