Wednesday, January 2, 2013

12 Days of Christmas: Day Eight: Eggnog and Angel Food Cake

You know what goes hand-in-hand during the holiday season? Eggnog and angel food cake. I bet you're wondering why, dear reader. Well, I'll tell you!

I always make my own eggnog this time of year. I think it tastes better than the store-bought stuff, it's not a strange shade of yellow, and I feel comforted knowing exactly what's going into it. Plus, when people drink it, I get that praise I so crave. So a few years ago I started making egg nog, and I've pretty well perfected it by now (if I do say so myself), but one thing has always eluded me: what to do with the leftover egg whites. My recipe calls for a dozen egg yolks, leaving me with a lot of unused egg. I could make egg white omelets or some bullshit, but that's way too healthy.

So this year, for the first time, I decided to Google what to do with leftover egg whites, and I discovered that angel food cake just happens to require about a dozen of them. Hooray! So now I've got a new holiday tradition. For every batch of eggnog I make, I also have to bake a cake. Logic!

My eggnog recipe can be found on this previous post. Here's how I made the angel food cake:

  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 cup, plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup egg whites (about 12 large eggs) at room temperature
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a tube or Bundt pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, begin to whip the egg whites on medium speed. When they become foamy, add the cream of tartar and lemon juice. The cream of tartar will act as a stabilizer for the eggs.

4. Increase the speed to high and continue to whip the egg whites until they just begin to hold their shape in soft, droopy peaks. Gradually whip the remaining sugar into the whites, 1/4 cup at a time. Do not overwhip. You want them soft and cloud-like. Just before you finish whipping, add the vanilla.

5. With a rubber spatula, gradually fold the flour mixture into the egg whites.

6. Spoon batter into pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and immediately invert the pan over a cooling rack and let it sit until cool. Then remove the pan and enjoy!

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