Sunday, October 24, 2010

HCB - Angel Food Cake

The Heavenly Cake Bakers get to make Angel Food Cake this week. How appropriate, don't you think? And not just a plain ole Angel Food Cake but any kind of Angel Food Cake. Marie said (and I'm paraphrasing): "let your imagination run wild". I knew right away which direction my imagination was headed: orange and chocolate. You see, about three weeks ago I made an Orange Chiffon Tweed Cake and absolutely loved the combination of orange zest and grated dark chocolate in it. I figured, if it works in a chiffon cake, it must be equally enjoyable in an Angel Food Cake.

A slice of melt-in-your-mouth goodness

To see step-by-step pictures, just click on the link below.

I had egg whites in the freezer. The bag was nicely dated and I had written on it how many egg whites (15) were in the bag. My eggs must have a larger egg white-to-egg yolk ratio because I ended up only needing 15 egg whites to reach 17 oz, instead of 16. Start by whipping them up. I only used 1 tsp of cream of tartar, instead of 2 tsp, because I find the baked cake to have a funny aftertaste otherwise. Almost metallic.

Due to my partial mise en place, while the egg whites were beaten, I was grating the chocolate (because the food processor bowl was in the dish washer, ugghh). When they were beaten to stiff peaks, I noticed my bowl of sugar still sitting next to my mixer. Doh! In goes the sugar and I let it run for a couple more minutes.


For the orange part, I zested one large navel orange. And for the tweed effect in the cake, I decided to open my Fair-Trade Organic 70% chocolate bar I had bought a few weeks ago. Rose suggests using 99% chocolate but I was afraid that would be too bitter, even with the sweetness of the Angel Food Cake (sorry Rose).



The batter was too thick to pour into my Angel Food Cake pan, so I spooned it out, little by little. I was a little worried because the batter came up to the rim, almost.




Into a 350F degree oven it goes for about 30 minutes. I peeked through the oven door while it was baking. I saw it puff up above the pan, and then towards the end of the bake time, it slowly descended and became level with the pan. No cracks though, but that's OK.



Since I didn't like the top of the cake so much (it look somewhat concave), I decide to use the cake's bottom as the top.

Ahhh... much better!
I have to admit that the combination of orange and dark chocolate worked just as well in the Angel Food Cake as it did in the Chiffon Cake from a few weeks back. The aroma of the orange zest hits you first, even before you taste the cake. Then it lingers in your mouth after your first bite and then you taste a bit of the chocolate which takes a backseat to the orange. The cake itself is moist, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and although sweeter than other cakes we've made from Rose's Heavenly Cakes, it has the right amount of sweetness for this type of cake. I've almost depleted my stock of frozen egg whites. But as soon as I have enough, I'll definitely be making this cake again.

Don't you love those orange and chocolate specks throughout the cake?

Final thoughts/tips:
  • Hubby was not in the mood for cake today, so there will be no rating from him this week.
  • I will be taking this cake to a potluck at work. I'm sure I will not be bringing home any leftover cake :o)
  • As I mentioned earlier, I cut the amount of cream of tartar in half, so I used 1 tsp instead. I find that the almost metallic taste of cream of tartar is noticeable in the baked cake otherwise.
  • I used the zest of one large navel orange and 40 grams of finely grated 70% chocolate (I used my microplane grater which was a pain - I would have used my food processor but the bowl was in the dish washer).
  • If I had more time today, I would have liked to drizzle some melted chocolate on top, or cut the cake into 2 or 3 layers, and spread orange-flavored whipped cream or pastry cream in between.

21 comments:

  1. Great combination! I can just imagine it. How do you use the food processor to zest orange rind? It takes forever with a microplane.

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  2. oh i almost made a chocolate-orange angel food cake too! then when i woke to a dark and stormy day i decided coffee was the way to go. i'm glad to read that choc-orange makes a perfect cake. great photos!

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  3. Great idea putting the little speckles of chocolate! I love the height of this cake.

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  4. looks wonderful! I was too lazy to bake this weekend..:p

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  5. That sounds just perfect, light and chocolaty!

    Think I might have fished the food processor bowl from the dishwasher!!!

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  6. I am not a big fan of Angel food cake but this one I could gobble up! WOW it is so pretty!!

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  7. Orange and chocolate are always great combinations. Yummy!

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  8. I'm with Michelle - I'm not a huge fan of angel food cake either, but I love the combination of flavors in this one. Your cake is stunning!

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  9. Hi Hanaa - great cake results, as usual! I love all your pictures too. Sorry your hubby isn't in the mood for cake, but your co-workers certainly benefited.

    :)
    ButterYum

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  10. Thank you all very much. If you like Angel Food Cake, definitely give this flavor combo a try.

    @Vicki: I use the food processor to finely chop chocolate, not to zest an orange. For that I continue to use the microplane grater.

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  11. That cake looks beautiful! I don't know if I've ever had homemade angel food cake, must put it on my list to try!

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  12. Hanna, Your cake looks lovely and such a nice flavor combination. I just wasn't up to baking angel food cake this week. Take care, lola

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  13. You are so awesome! chocolate and orange is glorious. Your cake outstanding as always.

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  14. Hanaa, your cake looks so pretty. What a great idea of using orange zest and chocolate. I have a 70% chocolate in the freezer that I don't know what to do with - until now, that is!

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  15. Very pretty cake! Great idea to do a chocolate and orange combo. I'm with you on needing sweeter chocolate.

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  16. Gorgeous cake Hanaa! I am not a big angel food cake fan so let this one pass. Yours turned out beautiful and chock full of orange and chocolate, YUM!

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  17. Hanaa, love this flavor combination. And the cake has a gorgeous height.

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  18. Wooha you did it again! I agree on the aftertaste of the cream of tartar (or too much baking powder).
    You know the crumb looks like regular Dutch whole wheat bread? That's so funny!

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  19. That's such a great idea! I love orange and chocolate together! I'm not a fan of angel food cake, maybe I should cause it's so much lighter but it looks like this would be my kind of angel cake;)

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  20. I planned to make this one but didn't (add it to the list!). It sounds so delicious! I have an extra bowl for my FP because I'm too lazy to grate things if it's dirty. I love the chocolate/orange flavor combination. We eat so many egg white omelettes that I am usually looking for a way to use the yolks not the whites.

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  21. Gorgeous cake. I can't wait to give it a try!

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