I was cleaning out the freezer the other day, and realized I had 18 egg whites sitting around waiting to be used. Which means one thing in my household - we're making angel food cake.
Angel food cake is one of my favorites. History dates the origin of this cake back to the 1800s, well before rotary beaters even existed. Can you imagine the amount of arm strength it took to beat up a dozen egg whites for a measely cake?? Well, if nothing else that bit of information should the uninitiated that the making of angel food cake even by hand is, indeed, worth the effort.
I, of course, did not make mine by hand (thank goodness for that KitchenAid mixer, which makes whipping up this cake mind-numbingly easy). Now usually I love this cake plain - to me, regular-old angel food cake with maybe some fruit topping is just sublime. Angel food cake is like a baked version of cotton candy - sticky and sweet and light as can be. It doesn't need a lot of decoration to be fantastic. However, I had not only a great berry sauce to use up, but also some limes and blueberries that were getting near their end.
So I did dress up the cake a wee bit with the blueberries and lime, and then figured 'what the heck' and buried all of that in berry sauce. It was all very good! The blueberries didn't really weigh down the cake as I was worried they might do, and the limes gave things and extra zing that you don't get from any other flavoring (much more assertive than lemon). All in all very good! Take advantage of that lovely spring weather folks, and make this cake....
1 1/2 c. sugar, divided
1 c. sifted cake flour
12 large egg whites
1 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp. sifted cake flour
1 Tbsp. lime zest
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Sift together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup flour. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form.
Add 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Sift flour mixture over egg white mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; fold in. Fold in vanilla and blueberries. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and lime rind; toss to coat. Sprinkle over egg white mixture; fold in.
Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly. Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife.
Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan; cool completely. Loosen the cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Invert cake onto plate.