1 tsp cream of tartar
11 large egg whites
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 Angel Food White Icing (recipe below)
3 cup sweetened flaked coconut (Catherine uses Baker's Angel Flake)
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cream of tartar. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, about 1 1/2 minutes. (Ma-Ma's directions say to whip those egg whites sky-high!) Use a spatula to slowly fold the sugar into the egg whites. Do not beat. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture into the egg whites, a little at a time, stirring gently. Pour the batter evenly into an ungreased standard angel food cake pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched in the center. Gently invert the pan and set on a wire rack to cool completely. You may also invert the pan on top of a bottle (neck through the hole of your tube pan) to allow the cake to cool. While the cake is cooling, make the icing.
Slice the cooled cake into three layers. Place one cake layer upside down on a serving platter and spread icing over the top and sides, being generous on top, as it will be a filling layer. Cover the icing with coconut. Place the middle layer upside down on top of the bottom layer, spread icing over the top and sides, again, being generous with the top/filling layer, and sprinkle coconut over it. Place the third cake layer right side up on top of the second layer and complete the frosting of the top and sides. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the entire cake, covering it evenly.
Angel Food White Icing
½ tsp cream of tartar
⅛ tsp salt
½ cup hot water
4 1/2 cup egg whites (from about 4 large eggs, separated)
¼ tsp almond extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and hot water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved (the liquid should change from cloudy to clear), 3 to 5 minutes. Cover the saucepan and boil for about 1 minute to wash down any sugar crystals that may have formed on the sides of the saucepan. Remove the lid. Continue to cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 240°F. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool just a bit.
When the candy thermometer reads 236°F, beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar syrup slowly to the egg whites, beating on medium speed. Add the almond extract and continue to beat for 5 to 8 minutes, until the frosting is cool and holds its shape.
Sugar Momma's Nifty Gadget: Use Wilton’s egg separator to obtain fast and easy egg whites with no mess. The egg yolk sits in a top cavity while the whites slip through slots into a bottom compartment. This is fun to watch, and the kids get a kick out of it.
Old School: If you can’t find flaked coconut, you may use sweetened shredded coconut. Luta used one fresh coconut, which she shredded herself. This seems like a perfect excuse for a Hawaiian vacation.
Carpool Crunch: If you’re rushing off to a function and want to bring an impressive cake, look no further. No need to slice into layers and frost individually. Just take the whole cake out of the tube pan, frost the top and sides, sprinkle with coconut (you’ll only need about 1 1/2 cups), and serve.
Sass It Up: Vanilla extract can be used in place of almond for the icing. You can also add sliced fruit between your layers. Try adding a few drops of blue or red food coloring to the icing for a petal pink or sky blue cake perfect for a baby shower.
Recipe courtesy of Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story by Kimberly “Momma” Reiner and Jenna Sanz-Agero/Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011. Submitted by Catherine Watson from her grandmother Luta Frierson Keith’s recipe, Anderson, South Carolina.