Friday, June 21, 2013

Flashback Friday: Mock Angel Food

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

While paging through an old cookbook a recipe for Mock Angel Food caught my attention.  Boiling water is poured over a flour and sugar mixture which then sits overnight.  The remaining ingredients are added in the morning and baked in a pan that has been rinsed in cold water but not dried.  All of this sounded a little odd to me so I decided to give it a go.  Well, except for the part about starting "about 5 o'clock' in the afternoon."   Because in my book 5 o'clock isn't afternoon, it's evening (but somehow 4:59 is still afternoon?).

 Anyway, I stirred up the flour/sugar/water mixture in the morning before work and baked  the cake later in the evening when I got home.  I believe the idea is to let the mixture cool to room temperature.  As for egg whites, you'll only need 4 instead of a dozen.  I interpreted, "beaten not too dry" to mean beaten to stiff peak stage.  But let's just skip the details and get to the cake.  Sound okay?

According to the dictionary mock has several meanings.  Let's just say that the "mock" here seemed to fall more along the lines of,"to disappoint the hopes of" than "to imitate closely."  While this cake kind of looked like angel food but in sheet pan form, it certainly didn't taste like it to me.  I think adding cream of tartar when beating the egg whites would provide a more characteristic angel food taste.  But I'm no expert on angel food.  I had one taster declare it was just like angel food and ask for the recipe.  The next taster's opinion fell more in line with mine when she noted the texture certainly wasn't the same.

This mock angel food wasn't angel food, but a more tough and chewy, sweet vanilla cake.  If you're going to go to the effort of beating egg whites, you might as well go all the way and make real angel food.  I don't imagine too many angels prefer cake like this.  To be fair to the author, there could have been a few things off with my technique (besides not starting a 5 o'clock in the afternoon), but I'm not curious enough to try this one again.  Let me know if you have better results.

Mock Angel Food
recipe slightly modified from Mrs. Wm. J. Kohout's submission to the Restoration House Cookbook, Mantorville, MN, 1976.

1-1/2 cups cake flour**
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup boiling water
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peak stage

* In a large bowl combine cake flour and sugar.  Stir in boiling water and let stand overnight (or cool to room temperature).
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  When mixture has completely cooled, stir in baking soda and vanilla.  Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
* Rinse a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with cold water, but do not dry.  Pour in batter and bake 30-35 minutes or until top is dark golden brown and springs back when pressed with fingertip. Cool up side down before removing from pan.

** If you don't have cake flour, check out this post for a simple substitute.

Food for Thought: "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'" -Lamentations 3:21-24

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