Chocolate Angel Food Cake
I've mentioned before my bias towards fruit desserts, but when I bake for company, I notice most people really love chocolate. This week, I was baking for our small group, so I dug through my old Williams-Sonama "Healthy Cooking" book and found a recipe for this chocolate angel food cake. In other words, a light cake. In fact, the book says the 10-serving cake only has 196 calories per slice, so that's a win! The process wasn't particularly difficult, but there are lots of steps, so read through the entire recipe before jumping in.
First, this is what you need:
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (divided into 3/4 cup portions)
- 2 cups egg white (12-14 eggs IF you get them all cracked correctly! I advise having more on hand!)
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar for dusting the final cake (optional)Sift together the cake flour, cocoa, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar onto a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat the process 2 more times and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together the cake flour, cocoa and 3/4 cup of the sugar onto wax paper. Repeat the sifting 2 more times and set aside.
Separate the egg whites. Of course, this is tricky, because if ANY yoke gets into the white, the whites won't beat up properly. I do the process by having 4 different containers (three shown in the pictures). The first, small bowl is for separating an individual egg. Crack the egg over the small bowl and slide the yoke between the two halves of the shell allowing the yoke to fall into the bowl.
If at any point the yoke gets into the whites, put the egg into its own bowl (or Ziploc bag) for future use. Don't use it in the recipe. If you are successful at separating the yoke and white, put the whites in one bowl and the yokes in another.Put the whites in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, set on low speed and beat until foamy (as below). This usually takes 30 seconds to a minute. Add the cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla.Increase the speed to medium and beat until the whites have increased to about 5 times their original volume and have formed a foamy white mass that is still soft and flattens out when you stop beating.
Continue beating and slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, taking about 15 seconds to incorporate the sugar.Keep beating the whites until they form a shiny, voluminous mass of very tiny bubbles. They should barely hold their shape when the beater is lifted and slide when the bowl is tilted.
Sift the flour-cocoa mixture over the whites then gently and quickly fold in using a rubber spatula. Don't over mix or the whites will fall. Stir only until there are no unblended drifts of flour. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch angle food or tube pan.Tap the pan firmly, but gently on the counter once or twice. This will help settle the batter and make sure there aren't any droopy spots!
Bake until the cake has risen over the top of the pan, 45-55 minutes. Remove from the oven. Invert the pan to cool by placing it on a bottle or mug for support. Cool for at least 2 hours.I remove the cake from the pan by using a long metal icing spatula because a knife seems a little too short. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve as you would any angel food cake, with fruit, whipped cream, or berries. I forgot to take pics of the individual slices, but it was definitely a hit with the small group!