Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Angel Food Cake

Since I shared last month how I use my saved egg whites (because of a food sensitivity) to make angel food cakes to give away and bless others, I thought I'd better share my recipe which came from a very old (falling apart) Betty Crocker cookbook, that my mother-in-law used all her married life.  Egg whites freeze very well, by the way.

Set out an angel food cake pan but do not grease!  If you do grease the pan, the cake will flop.  Unfortunately when I taught my daughter how to make an angel food cake during her teen years, I mistakenly had her grease the pan!  Big mistake on my part!  It was a total flop!

Measure and sift together:
     1 cup sifted SwansDown or Softasilk cake flour
      3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Measure into large mixing bowl:
     1 1/2 cups egg whites (approximately 12)  Be sure not to get a speck of egg yolk in or it will not work.
     1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
     1/4 tsp. salt

Beat egg white mixture with electric mixer until foamy  Gradually add 2 Tbsp. at a time:
     3/4 cup granulated sugar

Continue beating until meringue holds stiff peaks.  Fold in:
     1 1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
     1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

Sift the flour/sugar mixture gradually over the meringue, folding in just until the dry mixture disappears.  Place batter into an ungreased tube pan.  I find that a two-piece cake pan works best in removing the cake from the pan.  Gently cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Invert onto a funnel and let hang until cool.  Any small bottle with a skinny top, such as a bottle of hot sauce works well.

After the cake is completely cool, I slip a sharp knife along the sides of the pan as well as around the center hole, and along the bottom to loosen the cake.  After I lift out the center insert, I run the knife along the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake.  Invert onto a plate.  Serve with whipped cream and berries.

There are just a few critical steps to remember when making angel food cakes:
   Never grease the cake pan for an angel food cake!  Greasing the pan prevents rising.  The cake will definitely flop.
   Use a clean, dry bowl and beaters to beat the whites.  
Grease will prevent the whites from whipping up into soft peaks.
   Be sure not to get specks of egg yolk in the whites while separating the eggs.  Fat prevents whipping into peaks.
   After removing from the oven, hang the cake upside-down on a funnel to cool, propping the pan so it will not tip over.
   Slide a knife along areas where the cake touches the pan to loosen, otherwise a chunk of the cake may pull off.
   If you follow these steps, your cake will magically turn out great!

Baked Almond-Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts

An easy low fat and low carb recipe from Darlene Weber, Thailand - Used by permission

1 cup smoked almond nuts (ground in a food processor or chopper
1/2 cup ground Parmesan cheese
5-6 Chicken breasts sliced to half thickness
Salt and pepper

Mix almonds and Parmesan cheese together.  S
prinkle each side of the breast slices with salt and pepper, as well as the nut and cheese mixture.  Bake at 350ยบ for 23-25 minutes. Do NOT overbake or the meat will be dry.