Foam Cakes

ANGEL FOOD CAKESEspresso Whole Wheat Angel Food Cake Recipe

Inaccurate Oven Temperature Accounts for the Majority of Problems

If you have sign of underbaking, try raising the oven setting 25 degrees F.
If the problem seems to be overbaking, lower the oven setting by 25 degrees F.
If you continue to have difficulty, check oven for accuracy. You can also test it yourself with an oven thermometer, Simply set the thermometer in the oven for about 20 or 3 minutes. Then check to see if the oven is accurate. If not, have a professional adjust it for you.

Batter is Thin
Egg whites do not form stiff peaks.
Too much water - use only amount specified in the cake mix recipe, measure accurately.
Improper addition of extra ingredients
Using utensils which has grease or oil on them

Texture is Chewy
Under measurements of water for the cake mix recipe, overbaking and improper storage will increase chewiness of the texture.

Extra High Crown
Too high an oven temperature
Use lower rack position in oven

Cupping (shallow indentations on sides and bottom of cake), Holes and Tunnels
In order to avoid holes and tunnels we recommend tapping the pan on the counter 2 or 3 times in order to dislodge any air pockets in the batter.

Low Height
Cake mix was beaten too long or mixer speed was too high.
Trace of oil in the pan
Cake was not turned upside down to cool immediately after removing from the oven.
Improper addition of extra ingredients at wrong time or wrong ingredients.
Not completely mixed.

Cake Falls in Oven
Too much water - use only amount specified in the cake mix recipe, measure accurately.
A trace of dish-washing detergent left on a utensil or mixing bowls
Not completely mixed

Soggy Cake
Under baking
Too much water - use only amount specified in the cake mix recipe, measure accurately.
Not uniformly blended
Same things which cause low height

Grandma's Angel Food Cake, Step-by-Step RecipeBatter Overflows the Pan
Oven Temperatures too low
Pan too small

Cake Falls from the Pan when Inverted to Cool
Underbaking: too cool and oven/too short a baking time
Greased or non-stick pan

Top Crust Shrinks/Separates from Cake/Burns or Cracks
Overbaking: Too hot an oven/too long a baking time
Cake rack placed too high in the oven

Sticky Crust
Improper or too little cooling of the cake
Humid conditions after the cake is baked

QUESTION: HELP! Sometimes I bake the Angel Food Cake Recipe and I get a dry, crisp top and other times it is soft and sticky. Why?
SARAH SAYS: The outcome of a meringue based recipe, such as an Angel Food Cake made with beaten egg whites and sugar, is dependent on the weather. When you bake the recipe on a dry day the top will be dry and crisp (my favorite part!), but on a humid day it will stay soft and even a little sticky. Similarly, when the cake is stored on a dry day, it will stay dry, and on a humid day, the cake will get stickier. There's really nothing you can do!

QUESTION: I baked my Angel Food Cake, it rose and it just collapsed on itself. I baked it again and it did the same thing. What happened?
SARAH SAYS: I once made an Angel Food Cake in a dark, nonstick pan and the same thing happened to me. The egg white foam needs to literally climb up and cling to the sides of the pan when it rises. A nonstick surface is just too slippery.

QUESTION: I need help. I can never get my Angel Food Cake to rise as high as what my mother's. Why?
SARAH SAYS: Sometimes whipped egg whites are the sole source of leavening in a recipe, such as an Angel Food Cake, and are responsible for its structure. It likely has to do with the way in which the egg whites were beaten and/or folded into the flour mixture. Overbeaten egg whites produce a flatter cake. If you under- or over-fold egg whites, you can deflate them, taking away their leavening power. If your oven's temperature is off or it is not preheated properly when you place the cake in the oven, the cake won't rise before the flour and egg protein's set, causing it to be flatter.

QUESTION: Does the type of mixing bowl really matter when whipping egg whites?
SARAH SAYS: When whipping egg whites, use either a deep copper or stainless steel bowls with straight sides. The mixing bowl to my stand mixer is perfect whether whipping with a stand or hand-held mixer.

The composition of the bowl in which you beat egg whites can make a big difference. A copper bowl reacts chemically with egg whites to form fluffy, high-rise whites - it contains an ion which reacts with an egg white protein, specifically conalbumin, to form a more stable foam and helps the whites retain moisture. The same result can be obtained using stainless steel or glass bowls with the addition of cream of tartar. However, I don't use a glass bowl because I have found that when using it, its naturally slick surface doesn't give much traction for the egg whites to climb the bowl.

Avoid plastic or wooden bowls because of their naturally porous surface which attracts grease because of its porous surface; grease or fat deflates egg whites. Never use aluminum which reacts with the egg whites causing them to turn slightly gray. If beating by hand, the mixing bowl should be 9 to 10 inches in diameter and 5 to 6 inches deep, 

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