1 cup of egg whites (about 8 eggs room temperature)
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups white sugar (divided)
5 egg yolks
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon extract
Heat oven to 325. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a large (non plastic) mixing bowl on medium speed until foamy. Beat in 1 cup of the sugar (on high speed) 1 tablespoon at a time (continue beating until stiff and glossy). Be careful not to under-beat. Set aside.
Beat egg yolks in a small mixing bowl until very thick and lemon colored (about 5 minutes). Beat in reserved ½ cup of sugar gradually (after 5 minutes, this mixture will look like lemon colored whipped cream at soft peak stage).
Add the flour to the egg yolk mixture, alternately with water and extracts on low speed. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into whipped egg white mixture with a non-plastic utensil.
Spread in UNgreased 10" x 4" tube pan. Cut gently back through the cake batter with a metal spatula to break any large air pockets.
Bake in a 325 oven (bottom rack of oven) for 60 to 65 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly (my oven took 65 minutes). Remove from oven and turn pan upside down like you would for an angel food cake. Cool completely.
Run a long serrated knife, in a short sawing motion, around the perimeter of the cake (I use a thin bread knife) to release it from the pan.
NOTE: Don't peek (open the oven door) while this cake is baking. It is not good to jar your oven or cool off your oven while baking a cake.
NOTE: It is extremely important not to use any plastic bowls or utensils when preparing this batter. Also do not use silicone baking pans or ANYTHING that might have a trace of oil or grease on it. Grease or oil is "death" to egg meringues.
NOTE: You can also bake this cake in an oblong pan or jelly roll pan as long as you use parchment paper on the bottom and do not grease the sides of the pan. Baking time depends on the shape of the pan, but you can tell the cake is done when a toothpick, inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean.