Lovely, Tender Angel Food Cake
One secret to perfect angel food cake is sifting the flour with some of the sugar so it blends into the meringue with minimal folding. The other is hanging the tube pan upside down over a glass bottle so the cake won’t deflate.
1. Position oven rack just below center, and preheat oven to 350°F. Sift cake flour and 1/2 cup sugar into medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, salt, and almond extract in separate bowl with handheld electric mixer at medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium. Gradually beat in remaining 1 cup sugar. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat 5 minutes, or until meringue is thick and shiny, and firm peaks hold when beaters are lifted.
3. Sprinkle one-quarter of flour mixture over meringue, and gently fold in with spatula or flat whisk just until blended (do not overmix). Repeat 3 more times. Scrape batter into ungreased 10- x 4-inch angel food cake pan with removable center.
4. Bake cake 30 to 32 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned, and wooden skewer inserted near center comes out clean. Insert narrow-neck bottle into center tube, and invert pan to cool cake upside down.
5. Once cooled, remove pan from atop bottle, and cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Lift out pan’s center tube with cake. Cut under cake and around center tube to release cake. Cut into wedges, and serve.