Friday, April 28, 2017

Black & White Angel Food Cake

I grew up with a frugal family, both money-wise and food-wise.  The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, so the saying goes, and it seems I've inherited many of those same traits.  My Grandma used to always caution me about not wasting food.  When she was teaching me to can fruit, she was always instructing me on how to peel the fruit so that only the peel was removed, not any of the valuable fruit.  If she had too-ripe fruit she would find a use for them, they wouldn't get thrown away.

Over the years I've developed my own set of food-saving habits, one of which is for egg whites.  Whenever I have a recipe where I need more egg yolks than whites, I don't throw the whites away.  They go into a container in my freezer.  Usually, they eventually go into angel food cakes.  The pink peppercorn ice cream I made recently calls for all egg yolks. This time the egg whites went into the fridge as I knew I would make an angel food cake in the next few days. I've been wanting to make this recipe, from Ina Garten, for a while now. It has shaved chocolate in the batter instead of the traditional plain batter. I had just the occasion for making the cake, our monthly book club meeting was coming up.  I contacted our hostess and asked if I could bring dessert.  This group has become my culinary "guinea pigs" and they are fun to experiment on.

We all enjoyed the cake.  Kim, our hostess, sliced some strawberries to serve alongside the cake.  Angel food cake, strawberries, chocolate ganache frosting...yum, yum! I never got a picture of the cake after cutting, but it's flecked with small bits of chocolate.

This angel food cake wasn't difficult but it does involve a lot of mixing bowls.  I love to bake and would probably bake more, if I had help with the clean-up!

Black & White Angel Food Cake

2 cups sifted superfine sugar **
1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites at room temperature (10 to 12 eggs)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely grated semisweet chocolate (2 ounces)

For the glaze:
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the flour and sift them together 4 times. Set aside.

Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs form medium-firm peaks, about 1 minute. With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar by sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites.  Beat on high speed for a few minutes, until thick and shiny. Add the vanilla and continue to whisk until very thick, about 1 more minute.  Scrape the beaten egg whites into a large bowl.  Sift one-fourth of the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold it very carefully into the batter with a rubber spatula. Continue adding the flour by fourths, sifting and folding until it's all incorporated. Fold in the grated chocolate.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smooth the top, and bake it for 35 to 45 minutes, until it springs back to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan on a cooling rack (or invert onto a bottle). When cool, run a thin, flexible knife around the cake to remove it from the pan.

For the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate chips and the heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate melts. Pour the chocolate over the top of the cooled cake to cover the top completely and allow it to drizzle down the sides.  If you have chocolate glaze left over, you can serve it on the side with the cake.

** If you can't find superfine sugar, put granulated sugar into the food processor fitted with a steel blade and process it for 30 seconds.

The flour/sugar mixture has to be sifted four times.  I just went from bowl to bowl!

If your angel food cake pan doesn't have legs on it, just invert it onto a glass bottle.  It's important that the cake be inverted while cooling so it doesn't deflate.

No comments:

Post a Comment