WOMEN AND THEIR WORK

The Delectable Angel Cake

Your true angel cake should be white as purity itself, as light as down and of an exquisitely subtle flavor

KATHERINE M. CALDWELL July 15 1929
WOMEN AND THEIR WORK

The Delectable Angel Cake

Your true angel cake should be white as purity itself, as light as down and of an exquisitely subtle flavor

KATHERINE M. CALDWELL July 15 1929

The Delectable Angel Cake

Your true angel cake should be white as purity itself, as light as down and of an exquisitely subtle flavor

KATHERINE M. CALDWELL

A HEAVENLY food—this cake we have dedicated to the angels! I mean, of course, an Angel Cake that is worthy of this high distinction, not the product which is all too often sold under this name, but which is far from qualified to use it. Your true angel cake should be white as purity itself, as light and fluffy as the down on an angel’s wing, and flavored subtly, exquisitely, as befits a thing of such delicate perfection.

The ingredients in the angel cake are few and simple. The first one in importance and the one which really regulates the cost of the cake, is a generous amount of egg white. The usual recipe given, calling for a cupful of egg whites, is sufficient for a large cake—half of it is plenty for a small cake. For accuracy, the egg whites should be measured and not be put in by count, owing to the wide variation in the size of the eggs. When eggs are comparatively cheap, the angel cake is not inordinately expensive, because if the cook makes thrifty use of the yolks which are left over, employing them for sponge cake or custard or salad dressing, it will be observed that there is no other ingredient in the cake which would cost more than a few cents. Besides the egg whites, we use a little cream of tartar, fine sugar—either fruit sugar or a fine granulated sugar, sifted—flour, salt and flavoring. Any additions to these ingredients are in the nature of dress-up materials, and may vary from the simplest icing to the use of quite sophisticated candied fruits, nuts and other things which we can use in combination with the plain cake to fashion quite elaborate desserts.

A Multitude of Balloon Cells

4 I 'HE method of combining these ingredients is peculiar to the angel cake itself. An airy structure is built up of foamy egg whites and sugar—a great mass of little cells with fragile walls of the egg white, each cell filled with air. Cream of tartar helps to give strength to these fragile cell walls. The flour which we incorporate so carefully, gives body, and the sugar and the extract or its substitute give flavor.

Anyone who follows the proper

steps in mixing the cake, and who takes seriously the instructions for its baking, can turn out a masterly angel cake at the first attempt.

The Plain Angel Cake

1 cupful egg whites (8 to 10)

1 cupful fine sugar Y± teaspoonful salt

1 teaspoonfu! cream of tartar

1 cupful flour 1 teaspoonful flavoring extract

Sift the fine sugar—fruit sugar preferred—five times.

Sift the flour once before measuring. Pastry flour is preferred—if a bread flour is used, take out two level tablespoonfuls from the cupful. Mix the salt with the flour and sift several times.

Measure the egg whites, put them into a soup plate and whip until frothy with a wire spoon beater. Add the cream of tartar and beat again until stiff enough to hold its shape in little peaks.

Begin to sift the sugar into the egg whites, sprinkling a little on their surface at a time and then beating it in;

do this until all sugar has been added and the mixture beaten smooth.

Add the flavoring to the egg whites; it may be a teaspoonful of vanilla or of lemon extract, or a trifle less than this if the almond extract so much favored for this is used.

Sift a little of the flour, which has already been sifted several times with the salt, over the surface of the egg mixture and fold it in smoothly with upward and over strokes; use just as few strokes as will blend your ingredients—do not be tempted to play with the mixture— over-manipulation is a danger against which to be on guard.

That is all there is to it—no great mystery, one must admit.

Baking the Angel Cake

r"PHE Angel Cake really belongs to the Sponge Cake family, which we discussed in detail in a recent issue of MacLean’s. Much the same little tricks enter into its final baking and handling.

An ungreased angel cake pan, the kind with a tube in the centre which will allow the heat to reach the batter from an additional side, is usually chosen. Those of my readers who were interested in the article on Sponge Cake making, will remember that the reason for using an ungreased pan—and this means one which was never greased—lies in the fact that when the air in the myriad little cells of the mixture expands under the influence of heat, and the mixture creeps up the sides of the pan, it clings better to one which has not known the touch of grease.

The oven must be slow for the angel cake, which is so essentially an egg mixture. Have it at 275 deg. Fahr., at first, put in the cake and do not open the oven door for the first half hour of the baking period; after that, open as little as possible and be very gentle, remembering the fragility of the cake structure. When the cake has risen well and is beginning to brown, you can put a paper over it to prevent it from becoming too dark, and just toward the end, the heat of the oven may be slightly increased to not more than 300 deg. Fahr., which is still a slow oven. For the full-sized cake, an average of fifty to sixty minutes is required.

To judge when the cake is finished, touch it lightly on the surface with your fingertip; when done, it will spring back immediately, leaving no depression. The cake will be firm, lightly browned and it will shrink away a little from the sides of the pan when done; or you may test it by thrusting a clean straw through the centre, to see if it will come out clean and dry.

When you remove your cake from the oven, invert the pan a short distance above your wire cooling rack, supporting the ends of the pan so that the cake may hang suspended. This has the effect of keeping it “stretched,” as it were, until the cake cools and sets; otherwise, there is always a little tendency for the structure to settle a little during cooling. If the cake has not freed itself from the pan as a result of the slight shrinkage which takes place as it cools, loosen it gently with a knife and tilt the pan to this side and that to free it.

' I 'HERE are several frostings which are quite suitable for use on the angel cake. A plain white

WOMEN AND THEIR WORK

confectioner’s frosting is much used; or since there is no butter in the cake mixture, you may like to use a butter icing on it. If you have used a lemon extract to flavor your cake, you can use a little grated lemon rind to flavor plain white icing. I like to add a little pale-green tint to the icing, if the cake has been flavored with almond. Of course, you can use any vegetable coloring to tint your icing—all the pastel shades are becoming to an angel cake because of its extreme whiteness. Many people like a smooth chocolate icing on the white cake.

Easy Confectioner’s Icing

2 tablespoonfuls liquid

(cream, milk or fruit juice) Icing sugar Flavoring

Put the liquid into a bowl and sift in icing sugar to make the mixture of the right consistency to spread. Add what you choose in the way of flavoring. If you are using fresh fruit juice, you can simply crush the fruit thoroughly and leave the shreds of pulp in it. With many fresh fruits a dash of lemon juice will improve the flavor —for instance, if you are using fresh berries when they are in season. The crushed fruit and juice of pineapple make a very delicious icing, and whether you use the canned or fresh fruit you will find the touch of lemon juice an improvement.

Additional color can be given to any of these icings, as already suggested, by the addition of a little vegetable coloring paste or liquid.

Butter Icing

2 tablespoonfuls butter 2 tablespoonfuls liquid (cream, milk, fruit juice, strong coffee infusion)

Icing sugar Flavoring

Cream the butter very thoroughly; gradually add the liquid and sift in icing

sugar, a little at a time, until your mixture is of spreading consistency. Add flavoring.

Chocolate Butter Icing calls for the addition of one-half square of melted chocolate, or one and a half tablespoonfuls cocoa sifted in like the sugar. Milk or cream is used for the liquid.

Fruit Icings are simply a matter of using fruit juice with or without finely crushed fruit pulp, as the liquid; as usual, a little dash of lemon juice and, perhaps, a touch of the grated rind will be an improvement when fresh berries, fresh or canned pineapple and so on, are the fruits used. When orange liquid and grated rind are used, lemon may be added or not, as you prefer.

Angel Cake Desserts

"pOR ultra-delicious desserts of a light

type, angel cake, baked in a shallow pan, offers a most successful base. You will realize, of course, that if you bake your cake batter in such a pan, less time will be required than when baking it in the deep tube pan.

Put the square cake on a handsome serving dish, cover it with whipped cream that has been slightly sweetened and delicately flavored to match the flavor you have used in the cake, and garnish with fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, halved apricots, peaches cut in even sections, and so on. Or cut a maraschino cherry into sections for flower petals and add a stem and leaves cut from angelica or citron, as illustrated.

Or crush and sweeten the berries, peaches, etc., put a thick layer over the angel cake just before serving, and cover with sweetened whipped cream to which a few drops of almond extract may be added.

Glacé cherries, red or green, or glacé pineapple—particularly that which comes already colored in a lovely tone of rose red or bright green, along with chopped pistachio nuts, are also extremely effective when used in combination with the whipped cream and cake.