I. Love. Angel. Food. Cake. It’s so light you could almost eat the entire cake and not feel disgusting (at least not physically). I love to make this cake in the spring & summer – the flavors are pretty spot on to compliment summery meals like crispy fish tacos & margaritas, or spring rolls & sushi. It’s not too sweet, and I personally luurve pistachios on/in anything. It’s also very simple to make! If you get super excited as I do about watching egg whites quadruple in size when you beat them, then this cake is for you. It’s seriously 75% egg whites, with a lil bit of sugar & flour thrown in. And then you know, a lil brushing & drizzling of some more sugar overtop (!!) If I were you, I would bake this cake on the next sunny Sunday we have in NYC (it’s going to happen!!) and eat it the middle of the day, and drink some white wine too. Maybe even eat it outside!
Lime Angel Food Cake with Pistachios
adapted from Bon Appétit
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided*
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 large egg whites, room temperature*
2 teaspoons finely gated lime peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Lime syrup and lime glaze
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 cup unsalted raw pistachios (about 2 ounces), finely chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Special equipment: 10-inch-diameter angel food cake pan with 4-inch-high sides and removable bottom (do not use nonstick pan)
*Notes: No need to run out and buy superfine sugar if you don’t have it. Just use regular sugar and whirl it in a food processor for a minute to grind it down a little. Also, if you’re like me and forget to pull your eggs out of the refrigerator in time to reach room temp, just put them in a big bowl with some warm water for a few minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt into bowl and repeat sifting 3 times. Using kitchen aid or hand mixer, beat egg whites, lime peel, and vanilla on medium-low speed in large bowl until frothy. Add cream of tartar and increase speed to high. Beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 cup sugar, gradually, beating until stiff peaks form.
Sprinkle 1/3 flour mixture over egg whites. Gently fold in with a rubber spatula and repeat with remaining flour mixture in 2 more additions. Transfer to ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan with 4-inch-high sides and removable bottom (do not use nonstick pan). Smooth top and pop into the oven for about 35 minutes. When done, cake will be pale golden and a toothpick inserted near the center will come out clean. Immediately invert cake not work surface if the pan has feet. (If it doesn’t have feet, you can invert center tube of pan onto the neck of a bottle). Cool cake completely.
Using a long thin knife, cut around the cake sides and center tube to loosen. Lift out center tube with cake still attached and run the knife between the cake and bottom of the pan to loosen. Invert cake onto rack, then turn cake over, rounded side up. Note: I left my cake in the pan inverted overnight, until I was ready to glaze & frost it the next day)
For lime syrup and lime glaze:
Dissolve sugar into 3 tablespoons lime juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. When dissolved, brush the syrup all over the top and sides of the cake. Finely chop pistachios and gently press them into the sides and top of the cake.
Stir powdered sugar and remaining lime juice in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over top of cake.