Angel cake

From Academic Kids

Angel cake (also called angel food cake in contrast to Devil's food cake) is a type of cake invented by the baker Linus Dexter in the 19th century.

It differs from many other cakes by its white color, which is achieved principally by separating eggs and using only the egg whites. Other sources of color are controlled as well -- light colored butter or other fat, minimal flavorings, and flour that properly bleached -- either by aging or by chemical bleaching.

Often, the usual chemical leavening is enhanced (or replaced) by whipping the egg whites until they are stiff, and gently folding in other ingredients. For this type of leavening to work well, it is useful to have flour that has been made of softer wheat and to include minimal fat in the cake. As a result, angel food cake has a very light texture and subtle flavor.

For cultures in which the traditional garb of a bride is white, the bride's cake is often an angel food cake. Angel food cake is not generally dense enough to support the heavy decoration of a wedding cake.

Angel food cake is usually baked in an angel food cake pan, a tall, round pan with a tube up the center that leaves a hole in the middle of the cake. Angel food cake is sometimes frosted but more often has some sort of sauce, such as a sweet fruit sauce, drizzled over it.

See Devil's food cake for a variant that adds chocolate.

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