The late, great American cookbook author Marion Cunningham famously carried with her a photograph of a table loaded with angel food cakes, all slightly different: some tall, some short, some white and fluffy, some in a Bundt shape. The photo was taken at a meeting of the Baker's Dozen, a group of pro bakers including Alice Medrich and Carol Field who met regularly to exchange problems and solutions. Each of the cakes was baked by the members from the same recipe. "If all our results were this different," Cunningham sympathized, "think of the plight of the poor home cook." This recipe in question is this one, from "cookie baker for the stars," Tom Roach, adapted with a bit of Cunningham's gentle advice.
This recipe originally ran alongside Christopher Hirsheimer's 1999 article, Baking Lessons.
- 1½ cup sifted cake flour
- 1½ cup superfine sugar
- 1½ cup egg whites (from 11–12 large eggs)
- 1½ tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt