Lemon Angel Food Cake – Preparing the Oven and Pans

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,056
    Chef Karen Stiegler demonstrates how to prepare the oven and pans for a lemon angel food cake.

    Karen Stiegler: Hi! My name is Karen Stiegler. It's a day I am talking to you about Healthy Baking and showing you how to make a fat free Lemon Angel Food Cake. Right now, we are going to talk about preparing the oven and the pans.

    So first of all, Angel Food Cake gets its lift from hundreds and thousands of tiny little air bubbles that you beat into the egg whites. This is one way it gets lift in the cake. Also those air bubbles when they're in the oven, the heat heats them, the steam and the bubbles expand and this gives you even more lift. And we are using flour today, but we are using this cake flour that's very light and keeps everything light so we can have some rise in the cake. And there is a high proportion of egg whites to the flour.

    The other thing is we don't use any leaveners like baking soda, baking powder; we get all the rise in the cake from those tiny air bubbles, the steam, the heat, the cake flour altogether, and its kind of like a siphon cake. So this is an oven thermometer and I recommend you get one of these.

    Today, we are heating the oven to 350 degrees, and you don't want to keep opening and shutting the oven, just let it set, don't open it, and heat it or preheat it to get it ready to bake. You want your rack in the bottom third of the oven and also it's great if you have a window in your oven. Most ovens do, but that way you can peek in on the cake and you won't have to open the door and start cooling the oven down by losing the hot air.

    And especially, I want to tell you about this oven thermometer. This is a great thing to have. You can get this at most grocery stores or at cooking stores, it's inexpensive. You want to put it in your oven when you start the preheating process and then you will know exactly when your oven is the right temperature, not based on what it says on your dial on the oven but based on what this oven thermometer says. And you can always leave this in your oven and have it in there all the time so when you are baking and cooking other things you will always know the accurate temperature. Some people find that their oven is actually hotter or cooler than they thought. So it's a good idea and not very expensive investment to get the temperature right.

    So here we have a 10 inch tube pan. You are going to need one of these to make this cake, and it has a removable bottom so it's in two pieces. It's traditional for Angel Food Cakes to use this type of pan, and we do not grease the pan, we just put the batter in. The reason for this is so that the cake can actually grab onto the sides of the pan and rise, and it's very high so that's where you get more of the lift in the cake. The other thing is that it saves us time because we don't have to grease the pan, and if we did grease the pan the batter would slip down. So we want to avoid that.

    The other thing is I have another smaller pan. Today, we need the 10 inch but you will see some smaller pans like this, and this pan is the same basic design but it has these feet on it. So I will tell you about that later because it is handy if there is feet on the cake pan for when we cool it. If you don't have it, I will show you another way to use a pan that doesn't have feet.

    So I just want to remind you about measuring cups. Here we have a set of dry measuring cups and we have a liquid measuring cup. So the dry you always use it for flour, sugar, things like this. And the liquid you use it for milk or today we are going to use it for egg whites. So just remember to use the right measuring cup. The other thing is I want to talk about salt in desserts. This dessert has a quarter teaspoon of salt in it, and a lot of times there are salt in desserts just to flavor it overall and a sort of a balance from the sweetness. So that's why you have salt in desserts.

    I want to remind you too that there is all sorts of other Angel Food Cakes available or recipes available. There is Caf au Lait, coconut, chocolate, all different sorts. And once you get this recipe down, it will be easy for you to make any of those type of Angel Food Cakes as well. So that is how we prepare the oven and the pan. And next, we are going to talk about combining the dry ingredients.