I made a (plain) angel food cake for my birthday this year, which is in late January. I love angel food cake any time, but it is kind of an odd cake to serve in the winter since it just feels so springlike. I think it's because it is most often served with fresh fruit of some kind.
Luckily it's finally spring/summer. So it's obviously time to make another. This one is a loose adaptation, and it has a light coffee flavor due to the addition of espresso powder, which enhances the flavor of the chocolate. Did you know that espresso powder has this power? It's a marvelous baker's trick.
1 1/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tablespoon espresso powder
12 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-10 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon canola oil
a small carton of fresh raspberries
Sift together the cake flour, espresso powder, and 3/4 cup sugar (reserve the remaining 3/4 cup sugar). I like to sift ingredients either over a large bowl or parchment paper on the counter. Sift the ingredients together four times; this helps the cake get its light and airy texture. I went back and forth between a large bowl and parchment paper, and this made it quite easy.
It's best if egg whites are at room temperature before mixing. If they are cold (from the refrigerator), not to worry; you can warm them by placing the bowl containing the egg whites in another bowl filled with warm water.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or a stand mixer), beat the egg whites until they look foamy. Add in the salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Continue to beat until soft peaks begin to form (3-4 minutes on medium/low speed). With the mixer running slowly, add in the reserved 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form; the mixture will look very glossy.
Now you're ready to pour (more like plop) the batter into your angel food pan. Use a knife to cut into the batter in a large circle. This helps to release any big air bubbles. This is also what creates that circular ridge throughout the cake (you can see it in the photo below).
Bake at 325°F for 32-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Run a knife along the outer edge of the pan, helping to release the cake from the edges. Invert the cake and pan onto a cooling rack. Gently pull the pan off, leaving the cone center. Then gently pull the cone center out as well. You can serve this warm or allow to fully cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Melt the chocolate and canola oil in a glass bowl in the microwave. Melt for 30 seconds on high, then give it a stir; repeat until melted. This helps it to melt evenly. Pour the warm chocolate over the cake and garnish with strawberries.
You can add a littled whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you really want to do it up. :) This cake is probably the most decadent angel food cake I've ever tasted. You're gonna love it. Enjoy! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection.