Angel Food Woes

Okay, I’m going to admit it…

I used to be a pastry chef at a 5 star restaurant…
BUT, I can’t make an angel food cake to save my life.
My grandma always made us an angel food cake for our birthdays if we were near her house, smothered with lemon glaze and with a candle and fresh flowers from her yard stuck in the hole in the middle.
ALWAYS perfect.

I had been given the Ratio cookbook by Michael Ruhlman for my birthday from a dear friend and found that it had an angel food cake recipe in it.  He says that the secret to a good angel food cake is not overbeating  your egg whites (not into a meringue like I usually do, but to a soft peak and still pourable stage.)
Okay, I did that perfectly.  Bought a new angel food pan at a garage sale and used it.  Fresh farm eggs.  Okay, I didn’t have cake flour and used regular flour (could that be the problem?)

I also was impatient as it was Valentine’s day and the kids wanted dessert, so I only let it cool for an hour, when the recipe said one and a half hours.  (Maybe that was it?)

It looked lovely in the pan baking, rose up and browned perfectly.
When I took it out and turned it over to cook it started shrinking…
When I turned it out it broke and then flumped over to the side.  Ew.

I also made fresh lemon curd from the Ratio cookbook which was divine, but note to self,
don’t mix an eggy cake like Angel Food with eggy lemon curd.  Too much of a good thing.
I’m going to make a lemon tart tonight maybe.

Does anyone have suggestions on making a great Angel Food cake?

The recipe I used was:

Angel Food Cake
12 oz egg whites (9-11 egg whites)
12 oz sugar
4 oz cake flour
3 fingered pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1T fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

*If you want the directions let me know and I’ll post them.