½teaspoonalmond extract,(or use additional vanilla extract)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together flour, 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt together into a medium bowl. Repeat sifting again for a total of 2 times. Set aside.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, or a very large mixing bowl and hand mixer, mix together egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and almond extract on medium-low speed until foamy.
Increase speed to medium high and gradually mix in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, a couple tablespoons at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove bowl from stand mixer. Add flour mixture, 3 tablespoons at a time, using a rubber spatula to gently fold in each addition.
Spoon batter into an UNGREASED angel food cake tube pan. Smooth top with a rubber spatula. Gently tap pan on counter to release air bubbles. Bake cake on LOWER-MIDDLE rack for 50-55 minutes, or until top is golden brown and cake springs back when pressed.
Invert cake pan on counter, keeping it slightly elevated with the prongs around rim. If there are no prongs, use a bottle or funnel to invert the cake on and allow air to circulate. Let cool completely, at least 2-3 hours. Run a knife around the outer and inner edges to loosen. Turn pan upside down to release cake and transfer cake to a platter.
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Tips For Making the Best Angel Food Cake
Leave the tube pan ungreased so the cake can "climb" the sides as it bakes
Sifting the dry ingredients a couple times first is crucial for making the texture airy
Use a very large bowl for the egg whites, at least 5 quarts. You will need plenty of room for the egg whites to volumize and room to fold in the flour mixture.
Separate the egg whites while they are cold, but then let the come to room temperature before mixing. This is how to achieve voluminous, stiff peaks during mixing.
Be sure to bake the cake on the LOWER RACK of the oven so the top doesn't become overly brown before the middle is cooked.
When your angel food cake is done, it will spring back when lightly touched. You should not see any type of indentation left from your finger - if you do, throw it back in the oven to bake a little longer.
Wrap leftover cake securely and leave on the counter up to two days. The cake may also may be frozen up to 3 months.
Separating Egg Whites
You will want to separate egg whites when the eggs are cold, and then allow them to come to room temperature.The most important thing to remember when separating eggs is to not let any yolk get into the whites. If even a small amount of yolk is present, the whites will not volumize.For this reason it's best to not separate eggs over your mixing bowl. If any yolk accidently slips through, you will ruin the whole batch and have to start again.There are a few options when it comes to separating egg yolks. First, is the egg shell method. To begin, be sure you crack your egg in the center, resulting in two even halves. Next, over a bowl, transfer the yolk from one shell to there other, allowing the egg whites to drip into the bowl. Alternatively, use your fingers to transfer the egg yolk back and forth, letting the egg whites drip into a bowl. Or, use an egg separator, which holds the yolk, while the egg white drips through.