For the actual festive part of our fourth we had a backyard BBQ, complete with sparklers and a patriotic cake!
Angel Food Cake
(adapted from Alton Brown)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
1/3 cup warm water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine egg whites, water, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a power mixer. Slowly add the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, slowly add the flour mixture. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Carefully spoon mixture into 3 ungreased cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. Cool in pans at least half an hour before removing from pan. A flexible spatula works well for removal.
Top with fresh whipped cream and patriotic berries.