Thursday, March 13, 2008
Espresso-Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake.
My baking disasters are often egg-white related. Every now and then i'll end up with deflated batter, despite my best efforts to fold gently and quickly. Egg foam cakes aren't easy, especially if you have to incorporate a lot of fat and dry ingredients.
This is the first time i've made an angel food cake. Given my egg-white whipping anxiety, I thought it'd be a great confidence booster. It's much harder to mess up than genoise, and it gave me an occasion to use my square tube pan.
Homemade angel food cake is very different than what you get from a box mix. This is a good recipe; it's more moist and substantial, and the espresso flavor is really subtle.
I used mini-chocolate chips, but next time i'd use finely chopped 65-70% bittersweet chocolate. It would have been a nice contrast to the sweetness of the cake. A light dusting of Valrhona cocoa powder (as pictured), coffee ice cream, or chocolate sauce would be nice accompaniments.
Espresso-Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake
adapted from Emily Luchetti’s Classic Stars Desserts
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 ¾ cups (about 12) large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350F. Have ready an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan.
Sift together the espresso powder and flour onto a piece of parchment paper or into a bowl. Add the salt and set aside.
Put the egg whites in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to high, and continue whipping while slowly pouring in the sugar until the whites are firm and satiny, about 3 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low, add the vanilla and lemon juice and then add the dry ingredients. When the flour mixture is almost completely incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Make sure that the chips are spread evenly throughout the batter and that the flour is evenly incorporated. But be careful not to overmix or you will deflate the batter and the cake will not rise fully in the oven.
Pour the batter into the cake pan. Cut through the batter a few times with a table knife to break up any air pockets. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Invert the cake and let cool completely upside down in the pan. If your pan does not have feet, balance the inverted pan on the neck of a bottle, or rest the edge of the pan rim on 3-4 ramekins.
To unmold the cake, run a long knife around the inside edge of the pan. Then, holding the center tube, free the cake from the pan sides. Slip a knife between the cake and the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake and gently flip the cake over, letting it fall onto a platter. To serve, cut into slices with a serrated knife, using a gentle sawing motion.
The cake may be made a day in advance. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
To transform it into a dinner party dessert, serve it with warm chocolate caramel sauce or any kind of ice cream you fancy. This espresso and chocolate chips contribute enough flavor for it to be eaten plain too, or with coffee.
at 7:37 AM