This is a long time family recipe that started from my Grandmother Ann who passed it to my mom then to me. Actually, I don’t use the family recipe. I use the Betty Crocker Cookbook version. Roger had angel food cake for birthdays, too. So this makes everyone in the family happy. I don’t make this for everyone every time. I give everyone a choice as to what they would like as a birthday cake and this gets chosen quite a bit. Warren wanted a peanut butter cup cheesecake one year whose memory still lingers with me. I wish I had a picture! That was amazing! This is a much easier endeavor. This uses a dozen eggs. 12 whites in the cake and 12 yolks in the custard. No pictures of the finished cake, just the process unfortunately. Just imagine a delicious slice of angel food cake drenched in custard!
Angel Food Cake
12 large eggs
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
About 30 minutes before making the cake, place an egg separator over a small bowl. Crack each egg over the egg separator to separate the whites from the yolk. (save the yolks for another recipe.) Transfer egg whites to a 2-cup measuring cup until there are 1 1/2 cups of egg whites.
Place the egg whites in a clean large bowl, and let stand at room temperature up to 30 minutes.*
Move the oven rack to the lowest position; remove other oven rack. Heat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar and flour; set aside.
Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixture looks foamy. On high speed, beat in the granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time; add the vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sugar. Continue beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat.
Sprinkle the powdered sugar-flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over the meringue; to fold in, use a rubber spatula to cut down vertically through the batter, then slide the spatula across the bottom of the bowl and up the side just until sugar-flour mixture disappears. When all sugar-flour mixture has been folded in, spoon the batter into an ungreased 10×4-inch angel food (tube) cake pan. Using a metal spatula or knife, gently cut through the batter, spreading batter gently against side of pan and tube, to break large air pockets.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cracks in cake feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn pan upside down onto a heatproof funnel or bottle. Let cake hang about 2 hours or until completely cool.
Remove pan from funnel. Loosen the cake by running a knife or long metal spatula between the cake and side of pan. Place a serving plate upside down on pan; turn plate and pan over together and remove pan. (If pan has a removable bottom, remove side of pan, then carefully run a knife or long metal spatula between cake and pan bottom. Carefully remove bottom.) To cut cake, use a long serrated knife in a sawing motion, or use an electric knife.
Vanilla Custard Sauce
3 to 4 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
In a small saucepan mix half and half, sugar and salt. Cook on medium heat until very warm.
In a medium bowl beat egg yolks. Sometimes I mix the sugar into the eggs instead of the hot mix mixture. I haven’t noticed a difference. Gradually stream in about a third of the hot milk/cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then slowly stream in the egg mixture into the hot milk in saucepan. The reason you do this is so the eggs don’t cook too fast. You are slowing heating them gradually diluting the mixture. Cook at medium heat stirring constantly watching to see when it just starts to thicken slightly. Add vanilla, pour into serving container and refrigerate for later.
This recipe can be pretty flexible up to a point. I have lightened it by using more milk than cream but you can also richen it up by using whipping cream instead of half and half. I have played around with the sugar amounts depending how sweet I want it. Always use lots of good vanilla!