Auntie's Angel's Food Cake

Auntie’s Angel’s Food Cake

Auntie's Angel's Food Cake

Auntie’s Angel’s Food Cake

Every Southern lady had a recipe for angel’s food cake, a particularly delicate dessert that wasn’t too heavy after a big meal. In the 19th century, cholesterol and trans fat weren’t in diners’ vocabulary, but they needn’t have worried about this cake. It has neither.

In When A Lady Loves, heroine Maureen Collins has a terrible sweet tooth and worries about her waistline. But that doesn’t stop her from serving and eating angel’s food cake and other treats when she invites a group of ladies to her greenhouse for a tea party.

“First, Julia passed cream, sugar and lemon for the tea. Then she offered the guests platters piled high with angel’s food cake, ginger cake, crullers, pecan pralines and meringues.”

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1 ¼ cups egg whites (about 8 or 9 large eggs)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (Not regular flour)
1 ½ cups sifted sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
¼ teaspoon almond flavoring

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Do NOT grease a 9-inch tube pan. You may line bottom only with parchment paper, if desired.
2) Sift sugar, then measure out 1 ½ cups. Set aside 1 cup.
3) Mix ½ cup sugar with flour and salt and sift together four times.
4) Separate eggs and store yolks for another use. Beat whites until frothy with an electric mixer. Add cream of tartar, then slowly add 1 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
5) By hand, fold in flour/sugar mixture a little at a time, with a rubber spatula. (My great Aunt Maisie added 6 tablespoons of flour/sugar mixture at a time, folding 25 times with each addition.)
6) Add flavorings.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes in ungreased pan.
8) Invert cake to cool for about 4 hours.
9) Remove from pan and serve with fresh berries or frost with butter cream icing.

Unfortunately, this has plenty of cholesterol, but it’s delicious.

4 cups powdered sugar (l lb. box)
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
¼ teaspoon almond flavoring

1) Beat a little shifted powdered sugar at a time into softened butter .
2) Add milk and flavorings.
3) Spread on cooled cake.

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