angel food cake
Posted: 15 January 2008 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]
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any inspiring thoughts on the “bane of my baking existence”..  need them for valentines day…

convection vs regular oven

any advice, formulas, or tips, greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance
Jenn

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Posted: 15 January 2008 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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After making a batch of classic buttercream and Rose’s All-occasion Yellow Downy Cake, I had a big ol’ wad of egg whites that I made an angel food cake with.  I had never made one before, but it was pretty straightforward.  I baked it in a convection oven (mine automatically reduces the temp by 25F for convection baking), in an angel food pan with a slide-out bottom.

I looked a a few recipes on the Food Network, but I think I settled on the one from America’s Test Kitchen.  I just looked for it on the web site, and it’s in their “premium content” section.  I’ve got the PDF file and can e-mail it if you want. Some of the recipes I reviewed used all-purpose flour, others used cake flour.  A few used lemon juice in place of cream of tartar, some used both.  Everybody’s were pretty much the same—a meringue of egg whites, a little bit of flavor (usually vanilla, possibly with almond extract, citrus zest), and some flour.

I do know that your beaters and mixer bowl must be ABSOLUTELY free of oil or grease or your whites won’t whip.  The finished cake also has to cool completely in the pan while upside-down (I’ve never heard the reason for this, but I assume to keep gravity from making it squish as it cools—pesky gravity).

Are you making a big one, or little ones?

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Posted: 15 January 2008 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dan O?B - 15 January 2008 09:45 PM

  The finished cake also has to cool completely in the pan while upside-down (I’ve never heard the reason for this, but I assume to keep gravity from making it squish as it cools—pesky gravity).

Yes, the internal structure of an Angel Food Cake isn’t “set” until it’s completely cool.

I’ll add that Angel Food slices best with a serated blade.

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Posted: 15 January 2008 10:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Not sure about convection baking, I’d stick with the conventional setting.

For recipes, check out RLB’s the Cake Bible and Flo Braker’s The Simple Art of Perfect Baking - both cookbooks are wonderful.

Lots of how to’s and why’s here.

And as Dan O’B said, make sure your utensils are scrupulously clean and free from grease or oil (this means avoid plastic bowls and non-metal beaters).

Also, don’t rush the cooling period.  It needs to be upside down for a good couple hours, preferably with lots of airspace on the bottom.

Good luck! smile

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Posted: 16 January 2008 12:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I like to use a beer bottle for holding the upside down cake pan.  Allows for plenty of circulation and a relatively heavy stable base.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I use a glass bottle too. 

I recently saw someone using an up-side-down metal funnel to rest the tube pan on - thought that was a good idea.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I also use a glass bottle, but my angel food pan (which I love) has a small hole in the middle of the tube, and not every bottle fits.  I should probably find one that works and save it…just for that purpose, but there has been many a time that I’m scurrying around my apartment trying bottle after bottle (vinegar, salad dressing, congac, magic potions, anything I can find) desperate to find one that the pan will fit over.  It isn’t pretty.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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found out today preparing all those cakes for the presentation that the orangina bottle is PERFECT. it has a bulbous bottom which weights it more toward the bottom and a ridged neck that keeps the pan firmly in place. and just the right height but fill it with marbles, sand or even water to prevent tipping.

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Posted: 18 January 2008 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m stopping on the way home to buy orangina!

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Posted: 18 January 2008 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I have a 15+ year old glass Clearly Canadian Sparkling Water bottle that is bulbous at the base and has a long skinny neck - it works perfectly.

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Posted: 18 January 2008 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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What marvellous tips!  I’ve never made an Angel Cake but when and if I do attempt one I’ll know exactly how to suspend the tin for the coling process!!  Only problem is we don’t have the same products here in the UK so I’ll have to find a substitute for the Orangina bottle!  I’m sure I’ll find something similar. :lol:

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