An angel from above.

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To celebrate the one-year anniversary of my blog I baked a cake. No, seriously, that was the sole reason I decided to tackle this recipe. Ok fine, it's not like I really needed a "reason" to bake this cake. Having never baked an angel food cake before I didn't really know what to expect. I'd heard it was a challenge but having a lot of eggs on hand, decided to follow Nike's advice and just do it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of egg whites (12 jumbo or 16 large)
  • 4 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups white sugar (divided)
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

For all the steps, keep reading after the jump.

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place a rack in center of oven. Have ready a 10-inch angel food cake pan on hand.
  2. Separate eggs by putting the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Cover whites with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature on the counter for about 30 minutes. Cover the yolks and stash them in the fridge for something else (perhaps an all egg yolk frittata, that's what I did).
  3. In a smallish bowl (something that can hold about 2 cups), whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and put this aside.
  4. In a slightly larger bowl, combine 3/4 cup of sugar with sifted cake flour and salt. Set this aside, too.
  5. In an even larger mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. This will take a minute or two.
  6. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then, slowly beat in the remaining cup of sugar until stiff peaks are formed (meringue, anyone?).
  7. Measure out 1 cup of the meringue-d egg whites and stir it into the bowl with cocoa powder mixture until thoroughly combined.
  8. With the remaining egg whites still in the largest bowl, start sifting in the flour mixture over the egg whites (about 1/4 cup at a time) and gently, but quickly, fold the flour into the egg whites. A large rubber spatula works best for this task.
  9. Once you're done incorporating in the dry ingredients, move on to folding in the cocoa powder mixture. (NOTE: try not to overmix the batter or it will deflate)
  10. Pour the batter into the pan (should be full) and run a knife through the batter to eliminate air pockets. Smooth the top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.You'll know it's done when a wooden skewer comes out clean. There will be some cracks across the top of the cake.
  11. When you remove it from the oven, immediately invert the pan suspending it by placing the inner tube of the pan on the top of a soda or wine bottle (glass is better since it won't melt). Let it cool for a couple hours.
  12. Once the cake is completely cool, run a knife around the sides, bottom and core of the pan to help loosen the cake before you remove it. Plate that lil angel.

I'm thinking this needs more chocolate next time. Right now, it has a subtle cocoa flavor which is good but I want to make it pop. I served mine with some whipped cream and strawberries. Makes 8-12 servings depending on your slice preference.