How many creams, sauces and cakes require only egg yolks? A lot. But the question that haunts all of us (I see you, sleepless, thinking about egg whites) is: what can I do with just egg whites?!
Often thay end up in an anemic omelette, or they can be used to make "cat tongues" (I'll translate that recipe, too, if anybody cares), but there is another problem, their conservation: We certainly can't let the egg whites in the refrigerator for a hundren years, hoping to accumulate them in a sufficient number of them to actually use them (for me, the chances of this happening before the egg whites go bad are very poor).
So, after reading here and there in the world wide web tips and recipes, I went the hard way: I put the egg whites in a small airtight container and froze them! First two, then two more (within a couple of weeks), then another … so, with no problems of conservation, I found myself with 5 egg whites and, finally, the possibility to try a plum cake with egg whites only.
A fundamental tip: if you freeze egg whites, get them out of the freezer the night before you intend to use them, so they could easily defrost in the fridge.
I got the idea for this cake from Alessia of Muffins, cookies e altri pasticci: I left intact the recipe "skeleton", but I changed some ingredients according to what I already had at home and to make a more "Piedmontese" cake.
Here's to you, then, my recipe for
EGG WHITES PLUM CAKE
WITH HAZELNUTS AND
* 5 egg whites
* 175 g granulated sugar
* 80 g finely chopped hazelnuts
* 95 g all purpose flour
* 95 g melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
* 100 g chopped Gianduja chocolate (I used chopped "gianduiotti")
As already explained for quadruple chocolate muffins, chop chocolate and put it in the freezer at least half an hour before starting to prepare the cake (but you can also do it the day before), so that it won't settle on the bottom of the cake.
Preheat oven to 356° F (180° C). Melt the butter and let it to cool down. Beat the egg whites and sugar with a whisk until mixture is puffed and shiny: it will take 5 to 10 minutes, but they must be stiff for the cake to succeed .. lifting the whisk the mixture should do "peaks" (I had no idea what this meant, before actually doing it .. but if you beat the egg whites properly, you'll understand immediately what I'm talking about: it's a challenge!).
Now mix egg whites (being careful not to deflate them) with chopped hazelnuts, chopped chocolate, flour and butter, so that you obtain an homogeneous mixture.
Grease and flour a plum cake mold, pour in the mixture and bake it in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes: check the internal cooking with a toothpick, but open the oven only after 30 minutes, otherwise the plum cake could deflate. As you can see, this cake does not contain baking powder, so it's important to let the cake "inflate" naturally! Another warning: don't expect the cake to become brown because it will never happen (unless you burn it) … this cake remains quite pale, but still golden brown.
If you like, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar.
I hope that these little tips on the conservation and use of egg whites can be helpful, and I hope that you could like this soft and light cake at least half as much as I liked it!