Friday, June 5, 2009

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries

This is a wonderful Angel Food cake. Delicious and light. The chocolate makes it special. When you're slicing, you'll want to use a serrated knife. Angel Food cakes are notoriously hard to slice. I have to confess that the last time I made this one, I wound up with quite a few smooshy pieces. They were still delicious ... they just looked a little funny.

Thank goodness I was serving family and friends and not President Campbell! It's a good thing that for big state dinners and small First Family gatherings, we have Marcel, our pastry chef, on staff. He's the real expert when it comes to dessert!

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries

12 jumbo egg whites, or egg whites equal to 2 cups (this can be accomplished with 16 large eggs, or even meringue powder, if you don’t want to deal with so many leftover egg yolks—but egg yolks make fabulous puddings, a nice Lord Baltimore cake, or custard sauce, so Marcel never minds having leftovers.)

4 T. Dutch processed cocoa powder
¼ cup boiling water
2 T. vanilla extract
2 C. sugar, divided use
1 cup cake flour, well sifted or pulsed in a food processor
½ t. salt
2 t. cream of tartar
Confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder for garnish
1 pint fresh berries, rinsed, drained, and chilled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine boiling water, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, or in food processor bowl, whisk or pulse together cake flour, 1 cup sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a large clean bowl (the slightest bit of fat will keep your egg whites from whipping properly), beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Continue beating until egg whites form soft peaks. Gradually add 1C. sugar until stiff peaks form.

Remove1 C. of egg mixture from large bowl and fold gently into cocoa mixture bowl.

In large bowl, take remaining egg mixture and incorporate flour mixture into it by gently sifting 1/3 cup of the flour onto surface of beaten eggs, and folding them together. Don’t overwork this batter or it will loose its incorporated air. Work gently but efficiently and quickly.

Gently fold cocoa mixture into egg batter.

Spoon or pour batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Run a knife through the batter in a circular motion to eliminate any large air pockets. Smooth the top of the batter with a spatula.

Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open oven door during the first thirty minutes of baking. Top of cake will crack—this is part of its charm. Cake is done when surface springs back when gently touched or toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and invert pan.

Let cool completely—at least two hours at room temperature.

Remove cake from pan by running a sharp knife around sides and center of tube pan to release from sides, then remove cake from pan. If cake has removable tube, run knife around bottom of cake pan before removing.

Dust cake and berries with confectioner’s sugar. To serve, place cake slice on individual plate dusted with coca powder and confectioner’s sugar. Heap berries to side of cake. Dust with more confectioner’s sugar. Serve.

1 comment:

  1. How did I miss this one in the books? Yum. Angel Food Cake is my favorite.