Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins
Light and fluffy
- 1 1⁄2 cups egg whites, room temperature (10-12 large)
- 1 1⁄4 cups superfine sugar, divided
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites until frothy, the add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time. When sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. You will know when you have soft peaks because the egg whites will look like soft waves and when you lift the beaters, the peaks will droop back down into the batter. If your batter is falling in ribbons, it is not quite down. Don’t be afraid to slow down the mixer and check a few times as you get close. Do not beat all the way to stiff peaks. Once you have soft peaks, add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat for a few seconds to evenly distribute.
- Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites in 6-8 additions (depending on your proficiency with folding flour into egg whites) and gently fold it in after each addition. It is better to take your time and do it gently than to rush and deflate the egg whites.
- Spoon batter into an ungreased 9 inch tube pan with a removeable bottom. Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Mine took 55 minutes.
- Remove from oven an invert pan over a bottle. Allow to cool completely or overnight.
- Gently run a thin knife around the sides, then around the bottom, of the pan to release the cake when you are ready to serve it.