Snowy-white angel cake is a great favourite in the United States. To bake it satisfactorily one must use an angel cake tin with high sides and a hole in the middle*. The cooked cake is inverted, still in its tin over a bottle or similar so that gravity encourages the cooling mixture to shrink away from the tin and not stick. Airy and delicate, angel cake is a marvellous way to use up egg whites and is perfect to accompany summer berries. Note that tins for angel cake are not greased.
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- 170g plain flour
- 60g cornflour
- 1 tsp salt
- 400g caster sugar
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 20 egg whites (about 600mL)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- Pulp of one passionfruit
- Firmly whipped cream
- Pure icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 160C. Sift flour, cornflour, salt and one-third of the sugar. Sift remaining sugar into a separate bowl and stir in lemon zest.
Beat egg whites with lemon juice and water until foamy, then add cream of tartar and beat until whites hold stiff peaks but are not dry.
Beat in reserved sugar and lemon zest in several lots. The mixture should be glossy. Sift flour mixture over meringue a little at a time, folding in well.
Spoon into a 25cm x 10cm deep angel cake tin and bang tin sharply on bench to remove air bubbles. Bake for about 35 minutes until cake has risen and is springy to the touch. Cool for a few minutes, then invert tin over the neck of a bottle or a jar until cake is quite cold. Remove from tin with a firm shake.
Mix passionfruit pulp with a small amount of cream. Sweeten to taste with icing sugar and spread over the top of of cake. Alternatively substitute 1/4 cup strained raspberry puree for the passionfruit.
*You can use a conventional 25cm x 5cm ring tin, which has a much larger hole in the centre and will make plenty for 8 portions. For this size tin, you will need: 60g plain flour, 20g cornflour, pinch of salt, 140g caster sugar, 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest, 7 egg whites (200mL), 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp water and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Follow the method above and check the cake after 20 minutes.