Why is it called angel food cake? I suppose it’s difficult to imagine old Gabriel tucking into a juicy, rare T-bone steak, or shovelling in platefuls of bangers and mash. But take Michael on the other hand - he’s a big, strapping, sword-wielding lad (erm - archangel) with an enormous shield, and just look at the wings on him! Sure takes a couple of muscles to carry that pair around! Without proper food down him, I seriously doubt he could find the strength to leads God's armies against Satan's forces elsewhere than up the garden path.
Michael aside though, angel food is, both in actual cake and in perception, airy-fairy, floaty, fluffy and insubstantial. It’s like eating cloud. Really sweet cloud. But surprisingly, it can be sliced and layered, filled with cream and fruit and curd without fear of collapsing. What it is basically is a butterless, fatless, egg yolk-less sponge. Airy-fairy.
I was really worried that it wouldn’t hold, whites beaten to a lovely stiff meringue, but seeing as there’s nothing else to hold it apart from a bit of cream of tartar, I thought it might rise sky-high in the oven and collapse in a heap when removed. No fear - it holds great, better than a couple of genoises I’ve encountered.
The only downside - if it IS a downside - is that you’re left with about a million egg yolks afterwards so you have to very quickly bake a gateau Breton or make industrial quantities of mayo.