Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Something Light - Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Not the prettiest cake (let's call it "rustic" angle food cake... hee hee..) on the block but it's definitely tasty and your hips (for the ladies) and love-handles (for the men) will thank you. It was my first time making Angel Food cake, so I don't even know what the top is supposed to look like.

I made this cake for several reasons:
- I wanted to use up the leftover egg whites from making the Malay-style Semolina Cake (and I was to chicken to try making Macaroons), so I took up Lynn's suggestion.
- It's a nice guilt-free change from the calorie laden semolina cake
- I've not made angel food cake before, so this was a good opportunity to stretch my baking repertoire, especially since Mom has a - actually two - tube pans (my Sydney kitchen doesn't).

Kitchen Notes:
- I didn't have bittersweet chocolate, so I used milk chocolate.
- Most angel food cake recipes call for cake flour, but I only had plain flour, hence I used an Australian recipe that uses plain flour.
- Making the batter was uneventful but I am a bit disappointed with the look of the baked crust as you can see from the top photo. It was rather wrinkly and crumbly. Trying a new recipe at 11pm could have something to do with it. But I will not give myself excuses, so I will just have to keep on practising. I don't give up easily ;-)

Tasting Notes:
- Despite it's ugly, ahem, I mean, "rustic" and wrinkly appearance, taste-wise it's two thumbs up - light & spongy, yet not dry. The chocolate flavour is subtle but definitely there. Best of all, you won't feel guilty eating this (try to forget that it's laden with sugar...). I will definitely make this again (maybe reduce the sugar a bit) and take Nic's (Baking Bites) advice about how to bake the perfect angel food cake.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Adapted from Australian Good Taste & Epicurious
(serves 6-8)

· 6 egg whites
· 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
· 1/4 tsp salt
· 3/4 tsp vanilla essence
· 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
· 100g (2/3 cup) plain flour, triple sifted
· 1/8 cup cocoa powder
· 25g bittersweet chocolate, grated (or use choc sprinkles)
· Icing sugar (optional), to serve

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 20cm tube pan with a removeable bottom with baking paper.
2. Place flour, cocoa powder and half the sugar in a bowl. Whisk to evenly distribute the ingredients.
3. Place egg whites, cream of tartar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Use electric beaters to whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in the vanilla essence. Gradually add half of the sugar, 2 tbpns at a time, whisking well after each addition, until the mixture is thick and glossy (not stiff). Use a large metal spoon to fold in the flour mixture until just combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and use the metal spoon to gently smooth the surface. Tap pan on counter gently to remove any large air bubbles.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch. Turn the cake pan upside down on the wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely. To release the cake, gently run a thin knife around the sides and around the bottom of the pan.
6. Sprinkle file cake with the icing sugar (if using). Cut into slices and serve with the poached fruits e.g. strawberries.


Greg said...

Ok, first the semolina cake (with 15 egg yolks) and now this. I have to stay away from this sweet blog!!! :)

Lucy said...

Happy New Year, Nora!

I don't care what the top looks like, this is a delicious and relatively guilt-free start to the year! Between you and I, guilt-free is VERY high on my list considering everything I ate whilst I was away...

Are you enjoying cooking with your mum? I love playing in my mum's kitchen. So good to see you're blogging while away - hope this year is wonderful for you both! XX

Eva said...

I've never tasted angel food cake but the absence of butter and egg yolks is so unusual, I'll have to try it!

Bellini Valli said...

I have recipes for Angel Food Cake that once you add chocolate it is called Devils Food Cake....wink...wink.. but true!It is quite often wrinkly on top so when you serve it serve it upside down with the wrinkly part on the bottom and throw some fruit in the centre or whatever you like. It is definitely a calorie-wise cake and it is actually a hard thing to you did well at 11 pm!!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nora, I love the looks of your cake. I have always wanted to make angel food cake but never went ahead with it.
A chocolate version is so tempting!
Do you think it would work with frozen egg whites?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I wouldn't call that rustic at all- It looks so delightfully fluffy and soft, I can't imagine anyone turning it down based on its looks. :)

Lydia said...

Don't worry about the wrinkly top -- that cake sounds delicious, and it's nice to have a light cake, instead of something rich, at the end of a meal. Or with afternoon tea!

winedeb said...

Somehow I knew you were going to use those egg whites in a cake. Angel Food Cake is one of my favorite "diet" cakes. Yours looks great with that pretty little serving plate and fork! I do not know if this makes a difference in angel food cake but when I take mine out of the oven I turn it upside down and place it over a wine bottle (imagine that) to cool. That way nothing touches the top of the cake while cooling. It works!

Big Boys Oven said...

hahahahhaha lovely cakes babe!

tigerfish said...

It looks like a perfect multi-grain bread from the surface :O But I'm no cake-bake expert so I better just be a cake lover and eat your cake!

Deborah said...

I have never tried a chocolate angel food cake, but now I want to!! And I don't think it's ugly at all - in fact, it makes me want a piece right now!

katiez said...

Forgot to tell you - I love chocolate angel food! They are not beauty queens but they taste wonderful. It's been years since I've had one!