Behold. A double-decker pancake? Mexican pastries? Some kind of odd flatbread? Oh no, friends. What you see here is my first and miserably failed attempt at making angel food cake. I only embarked on this strange journey because I happened to have 10 egg whites left over after I made my glorious homemade eggnog for Wendy's pre-Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.
I used this recipe on allrecipes that got tons of great reviews, but with the caveat that you had to do things just right. I am usually a cook who likes to "wing it," "play it by ear," or even "cut corners." And the discipline of cobbling together an angel food cake just goes to show that in some cases, one must adhere to a very strict and deliberate process. One that I did not quite follow tonight. A list of my transgressions:
- The recipe called for cake flour. Not having any, I used mostly white flour with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed in.
- The recipe called for cream of tartar. Not having any, I used 1 tsp. lemon juice as a substitute.
- I forgot, and added the salt to the dry ingredients instead of the egg whites.
- I forgot, and dumped all the sugar into the bowl in the beginning, instead of adding it to the already-whipped eggs.
- I didn't have an angel food pan, or even a bundt pan, and used a regular 9'x13' pan instead.
- I am not sure, but I probably overmixed. Even though I folded as carefully as possible. (That link leads to an excellent tutorial on folding by Chef John Mitzewich, the same ingenious and hilarious guy who brought us 'How to Eat a Chicken Wing." My favorite line? "You're not folding yet, you're just like, "Hey, how're ya doing, batter?'"
At any rate, the cake collapsed miserably and I'm really not sure which of my sins had the greatest impact on its inability to stand upright. I'm hoping some more experienced bakers (ahem...Reggie...Wendy) can tell me exactly how to avoid this sort of disaster going forward.