This is a fantastic dessert when you want to serve cake, but don’t want something heavy or chocolate. I occasionally, in a pinch, make an angel food cake from a mix, but I find it much too sweet for my taste. This from-scratch version is satisfying without being cloying, and the tangy-sweet glaze is irresistible. The glazed and garnished cake looks beautiful and elegant on a colorful round platter.
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 10 extra large eggs), at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 1/2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lime juice
To make the cake:
Have ready a 10-inch tube pan (ungreased) and a bottle over which the pan can be inverted when it comes out of the oven. Remove all but the bottom rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour once and measure. Sift again three times with 1/3 cup of the sugar. Sift remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar and keep separate.
Place egg whites in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla and continue beating the whites until they form soft peaks. Then gradually add 1 1/3 cups sugar while beating, continuing until the whites are stiff and shiny, but not dry.
Sift about one quarter of the flour-sugar mixture over the batter. Gently fold this in with a spatula and repeat until all the flour-sugar mixture is incorporated.
Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the cake comes out clean. Invert the pan onto the bottle and let the cake cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently loosen the cake from the pan with a thin sharp knife and place on a platter. Carefully slide four narrow pieces of wax paper under the cake all around it to catch the excess glaze as it drips down.
To make the glaze:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again for a few seconds.
Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. As it spreads out, you can guide it gently with a spatula or icing knife to cover the entire top of the cake. It will continue to drip down the sides and the middle on its own, creating a lovely decorative look. Store the cake, covered, in a cool place. The glaze will solidify within a half hour or so. Gently remove the wax paper.
Just before serving, garnish the cake platter with whole raspberries or with lemon and lime slices. Use a special cake divider or a long serrated knife to gently cut the cake when serving.
Yield: About 16 servings
Angel Food Cake with Lemon-Lime Glaze