Contrary to the popular misconception, the angel cake does not contain any supernatural beings whatever. Nor is it eaten by angels. The reason it is called an angel food cake is because several million years ago, when the cake was first discovered by the ancient Celts, they believed the cake was sent to them by an angel for something to munch on.
The question of when exactly we got the recipe from the angels has been lost to history, but here it is in all its glory:
1 1/4 c egg whites (about 10 large eggs’ worth)
1 1/4 c granulates sugar
1 c cake flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350˚F
Sift the sugar. Twice.
Sift the flour. Put a quarter cup of sugar and the salt in with the flour. Sift three times.
Beat the eggs on a low speed until they start to get foamy. Add the cream of tartar (not tartar sauce, that would be bad). Gradually increase the speed on your electric mixer until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and almond extract, and slowly add the rest of the sugar, one tbsp at a time. You may now set aside your mixer. Fold in the flour and sugar mixture a quarter cup at a time. The idea is to mix it in without popping all the little egg bubbles (if you don’t know how to do this ask your mother).
Pour the cake batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan (it’s the one with the straight sides and the hole in the middle). Put it in your oven on the middle rack and bake for 45 minutes. If you don’t have a timer, a chorus of angels will come down and tell you when to take it out of your oven.
To cool the cake, turn the pan upside down and suspend it on an upturned funnel or a soda bottle. After it cools completely, you can turn it back around and remove the cake from the pan.
Serve with fruit or chocolate or something.