Angel Food Cake Pan
My brother was so excited!
“Did you know that angel food cake pans have feet?”
“What does that mean?”
“You can turn them over and rest them on the little feet on the edges of the pan so you don’t have to go find a bottle to turn them over on.”
I didn’t know that. I didn’t even know my brother could cook.
I rushed to see if my angel food cake pan had the feet my brother was talking about.
So, for more than 40 years, I’d been looking for clean bottles to turn over my angel food cake onto for an hour to let it cool after it cooked.
How had I gotten started on something so silly and inefficient when I could have just turned over the pan and rested it on its own, perfectly placed feet?
That was a few years ago.
Skip ahead to this past New Year’s Eve.
When I made an angel food cake for a friend’s New Year’s Eve party this year, my husband asked why I tipped the pan over on a vinegar bottle.
“The recipe calls for turning it over for an hour to cool after you take it out of the oven,” I replied.
I’d missed his message that I didn’t need a vinegar bottle.
The pan had its own built-in feet on the top edge for just that purpose.
This time, I decided to look back at my cookbooks to see where I’d gotten the idea that I needed a bottle to rest the cake on.
The New York Times Cook Book, the one I got four years after we married and whose Angel Cake recipe I still use for special occasions, just says,
“Invert pan and let cake cool in pan.”
That’s not very helpful.
I could invert it either on a bottle or on its feet.
The Betty Crocker New Picture Cook Book, the first cookbook I got when I married (thanks, Roomie!), and one that has already been claimed by my awesome daughter-in-law whenever I’m willing to give it up, offers more insight in its Angel Food Cake recipe.
It is accompanied by a series of six photos.
The last one shows the cake pan balanced, upside down, on a large funnel.
“Immediately hang the cake, in the pan, upside down over a funnel or bottle to prevent shrinking or falling.
Let hang until cool.”
I never had a funnel large enough to balance my cake pan on, so have always used glass bottles.
The cake pan in the pictures has feet.
No more excuses.
From now on, I’m going to stop looking for bottles that don’t have plastic caps that might melt under a hot angel food cake pan.
My angel food cake pan has feet.
Here’s the recipe I use from The New York Times Cook Book:
- 1 cup sifted cake flour [does anyone keep cake flour on hand? I use all-purpose]
- 1 ½ cup superfine granulated sugar [what is superfine? I use regular sugar]
- 1 ¼ cups egg whites (10-12), at room temperature
- 1 ¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to moderate (325° F.).
- Sift the flour four times [do you have a flour sifter? I just mix with a spoon] with one-half cup of the sugar.
- Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat until soft moist peaks form when the beater is withdrawn.
- Add the remaining sugar, about two tablespoons at a time, beating it in after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extract.
- Sift about one-quarter cup of the flour-sugar mixture at a time over the meringue and cut and fold it in just until no flour shows.
- Turn into an ungreased ten-inch tube pan and bake about one hour. Invert pan and let cake cool in pan.
If you want to get an angel food cake pan of your own, here’s a classic from the company that specializes in bakeware you can order from amazon, Wilton Angel Food Pan, 10-inch.
As an unadvertised special, it comes with feet.
Have you ever discovered there was no reason for something you’d been doing for years?
Did you have to unlearn it more than once?
Have you ever learned anything in the kitchen from your brother?
To you and learning something new every day.
Carol Covin, Granny-Guru