May 18, 2009

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

(Photo courtesy of Emily Spencer)

My cousin Katy made this dessert for our dinner group recently, and I really liked it. However, rather than go through the ordeal of making the cake from scratch, I used an angel food cake mix, to which I added 1/4 cup cocoa. The result may not have quite matched Katy's fully homemade version, but it was still delicious. But here is Katy's recipe in case you want to go 100% homemade.

Cake
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix powdered sugar, flour, and cocoa. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in granulated sugar on high speed, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding vanilla and salt with the last addition of sugar; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat.

Sprinkle flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in just until flour mixture disappears. Spread batter in ungreased tube pan, 10 X 4 inches. Cut gently through flour with metal spatula.

Bake until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly, 30-35 minutes. Invert pan on a thin, tall, bottle with a metal lid; let hang until cold. Remove from pan by sliding a knife around the edges of the cake.

Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar (Note: next time I make this cake, I may try cutting the sugar back a bit. It's delicious as is but may taste just as good with less sugar.)
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups chilled whipping cream

Beat all ingredients in a chilled 2 1/2-quart bowl until stiff. Cut the cake in half crosswise and spread a portion of the chocolate cream in between the layers. Then frost the remainder of the cake. After frosting, refrigerate the cake for at least an hour.

Serve slices of cake with fresh strawberries or other fruit.