I'm doing the gluten free bit because my
|With a minor guest appearance by the disembodied hands of his sister.|
|Angel Food Cupcakes |
1⅓ c. egg whites
1⅓ tsp. cream of tartar
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1¼ tsp. flavoring of your choice*
1½ c. rice flour†
½ c. sugar
Heat oven to 325°. For this recipe, do not grease the pans.
Beat the egg whites to a froth. Beat in the cream of tartar and the salt and beat to stiff peaks. Add the sugar, in small additions. The best way I've found is to sprinkle a little over the egg whites, being careful not to use enough to weigh down and deflate them. Then turn on the mixer, beat them thoroughly in, and sprinkle on the next addition. Set aside your mixer (you're done with it for this recipe) and get out a wooden spoon. Sprinkle on whatever flavoring you've used (vanilla and almond extracts are the most common choices), and fold it in. Then fold in the flour in multiple additions‡ , sprinkling each addition on top as you did with the sugar. You'll get a lot of lumps and may be tempted to get out the mixer to just beat the foam/batter smooth-- keep patiently folding the batter with the spoon because it'll deflate if you get out the mixer or if you just stir it hard.
Pour the batter into the tube pan (or take a scoop and put it into the cupcake pans if that's all you found in the kitchen), and bake until it feels firm and springs back when pressed with a finger. Cook the cakes with the pans upside down, propping them up so the tops don't get squished. Then cut them out of the pans.
*To see if subbing in rice flour changed the taste, I left this out.
†I remember reading that if you're subsitituting in rice flour, you want to use 1½ times as much. So I did.
‡Yeah, I kind of forgot to sift together the flour and sugar. It's probably easier if you do than it was to add them separately, but it worked this way also if you don't feel like getting out another bowl and a sifter.
My mom got this pamphlet out of a bin for 80¢, and it has fascinated me for years.
Ostensibly the manual for a mixer, it has about one page of instructions followed by what appears to be every 1940s promotional recipe they could get their hands on. About two thirds of it's cakes. There's lemon meringue cake, date cake, peanut butter cake (which I made every other week for a while in high school), Creole cake, maraschino cake, Lady Baltimore cake, pecan loaf cake, and page after page of white cakes, yellow cakes, spice cakes, and chocolate cakes. There's even a Celebration Cake recipe that ends with "Decorate cake with pink-tinted sugar, if desired, and garland plate with pink roses or other fresh flowers."
|Because this is America, there's a corn syrup cake.|
|Why'd they set every brand mention in all capitals?|
Also, if you've ever made angel food cake, you know it starts with cracking over a dozen egg whites perfectly, with not a speck of yolk in any of them.
|Or you take the short cut.|
|I once cracked this much egg white by hand when making this. It took 30 minutes.|
|First addition of sugar.|
|I got to break all of those lumps while remaining excessively gentle lest my egg whites deflate.|
|It's so white...|
|There was another half-dozen pan, but those were burnt while these ended up just right.|
|Amused that I'm photographing this.|
|Shoving it down his cupcake hole.|
|"What do you mean, 'it's all right?' I spent forever slaving over an electric mixer for this!"|
Then we tried the big pan of not-burnt cupcakes.
So the burnt ones went in the trash. As for the good ones- well, they were very close to angel food made with wheat flour. Like regular angel food cake, they weren't as sweet as regular cakes, but more mild and subtle. I actually really liked mine dunked in tea.
They were very nice and light, yet just firm enough. There was a slight-- not aftertaste, but after-texture that was almost gritty but not quite. But it went away after a second or two.
Unfortunately, after all the tasting and photographing, Alex's sister made it a bit less likely he'll be featured on A Book of Cookrye in the future.
|When he's shaved the beard, he does a really good Beaker face.|
And that's as good a picture as any to end an entry about gluten free cake with!