I had today off from work and it was glorious! Glorious, I tell you! Tristan sometimes says that I’m in a bad mood on my days off and I can’t say I disagree. Sometimes it’s kind of lonely here because most of my close friends and family don’t live near us and when I have all day to myself I guess I have more time to think about things like that. But today, Tristan had the day off too and we were home together getting things done and just hanging out and it was really nice. It was also super sunny and lovely out and one of the projects Tristan finished was our dining room curtains (which have been on the back-burner for over a year!). They’re on display in the first picture. I’ll be accepting compliments and passing them on to the husband 🙂
Today’s cooking project happened because the next TWD recipe used 8 egg yolks and I couldn’t bear to throw all the whites away. Other than making egg white omelets for a week (blech) the easiest way to get rid of that many whites is either an angel food cake or a meringue and since I made these after the sables a few weeks ago,
an angel food cake it was! I’ve never made one before, but I used Alton Brown’s recipe as a base so I was pretty confident it would turn out if I followed it to the letter and I think it pretty much did! I added in some lime zest and then made a lime glaze because I had bought a bag of them in my citrus fruit craze a few weeks ago and they were turning into hard little green pebbles that needed to be used up. Plus, using the limes gives me an excuse to use my favorite tool, my citrus juicer. It really is just the coolest thing guys! Look how it totally decimated these limes! They are D-stroyed! And I mean that in a good way.
So, eggs and I have come to an understanding in the last few years. Growing up, I was never an eggs person. I usually prefer a sweet breakfast to a savory one (shocking given my previous statements about sweets, I know) but since we moved here and I started buying these fresh eggs from a really nice Amish guy, I’ve grown to really like them. I can totally taste a difference between them regular ol’ grocery store eggs and I pretty much exclusively buy the good ones now. So there, I do like eggs. I said it, but a big bowl of nothing but egg whites is pretty ugly to look at. See for yourself…
That’s 12 egg whites there and they look in serious need of some sugar or something. Yikes! Alton’s recipe said that the eggs should be as close to room temperature as can be, so I used another cool trick I learned from Susan to get them that way. I put warm water in a large bowl and held the bowl of egg whites in the water with one hand while swirling the index finger of my other hand in the egg whites. Amazed at my dexterity?? You do this until the whites no longer feel cold and voila! they’re room temperature. It only took about a minute, which was cool because it feels kind of weird to be swirling your finger in a bunch of egg whites. They’re an odd consistency…
Everything in this recipe is very fine and light, including the sugar. It always bugs me when recipes call for Super Fine sugar because I have never seen that in any store around here, but good ol’ Alton didn’t call for it in his. He just tells you to put granulated sugar in a food processor for 2 minutes to get it Super Fine. Why did I never think of this??? I feel dumb. Anyway, after two minutes, the sugar looks very powdery and even feels different to the touch.
All the egg whites plus some water, vanilla, and cream of tartar got thrown into Candy for a swirl until they became medium peaks. I have to confess, I was a little worried about her again because I guess 12 egg whites is about her capacity. I’ve never seen the bowl so full! When I had the tilt-head down, the whites were coming up over the top of the whisk. I guess I’m a mean Kitchenaid owner. Hopefully there’s not some society I’m going to be reported to…
After folding in the dry ingredients with a large spatula, I poured it into my borrowed pan (thanks Bek!), popped it into my preheated oven and sat back to see if it would turn out. A few things, folding ingredients into batter takes forever and every time you think you’re done and start pouring it into the pan, another dry spot reveals itself and you have to get right back to it. Also, not greasing a pan is a dumb idea. I think I know why the recipe said not to. I think it’s because there isn’t supposed to be any fat at all in an angel food cake and even greasing the pan might weigh down the fragile ingredients of the cake but it makes for a nerve-wracking few minutes when it comes time to get it out of the pan. After cooling for an hour on a rack, I made the attempt. But I did take a pic before hand in case it all went to shit.
After running the knife around the pan a few dozen times and some vigorous shaking, it did eventually come out with only a few little spots left in the pan that were easy to replace. Success! I made a simple glaze out of the lime juice and sugar and brushed it on with a pastry brush creating a kind of lava flow off of the cakestand but since I had already dispatched the placemats, it was no biggie. I think I got the texture down pat and I love lime, so this was definitely a very tasty cake in my book. If you’ve got some egg whites hanging around begging to be used, give this a try. Then use some of the yolks to make carbonara for dinner. You’re having a fat free dessert so it’s fine for the base of your meal to be bacon and eggs. I swear.
Lime Angel Food Cake
(adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe)
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- zest of two limes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside. Add the lime zest to the sugar and flour mix.
In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, vanilla, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer or stand mixer. Slowly pour in the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks remove the bowl from the mixer (if using) and sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using your largest spatula, fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
Invert the pan and place on a cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.
Mix together 1/3 cup lime juice with 3/4 cup sugar and pour/brush over the top and sides of your cake. Try not to make a mess, but it’s kind of impossible. Oh well, it cleans up easily and tastes really nice!
Oh and in case you were curious (and even if you weren’t), here’s a full pic of the curtains. They look good!