Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chocolate angel food cake, chocolate ganache, strawberries are the most excellent combo

I'm out of tapioca starch, and the laziest girl ever. I don't want to ride my bike all the way to the store! However, I wanted to make something to bring to a 4th of July party. I'm always the girl that shows up with dessert, because I try not to bake desserts to eat all by myself. Parties are great places to pawn off your baking experiments. Plus, it's good form to bring something to a party. I came across a recipe for a dessert trifle, with torn up, store bought angel food cake, plain yogurt, and strawberries cooked to a syrup. Hm, sounds good, angel food cake barely needs any flour, but I can do better. Like with chocolate. and homemadeangel food cake. And plain yogurt? Boring. And how about some fresh strawberries? I can't really eat them, but I have a husband who's happy to pick the fruit off my dessert. Fruit syrup is sofall/winter season, when there are only frozen fruits to be had, besides apples.

I pulled out my trusty Joy of Cooking (I have four, different editions) and oh good, easy. And the recipe doesn't need anything I don't have, except eggs, but the store next door carries those. I'm sold.
Caution: this recipe calls for a lot of eggs.

Chocolate angel food cake
Adapted from the Joy of Cooking 2006 edition.

1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t xanthan gum
1 1/2 c sugar, divided
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c egg whites (about 10), room temperature
1 T water
1 t lemon juice
1 t cream of tartar
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. If your eggs aren't room temperature, sit them (before separating) in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes until no longer cold to the touch. Sift together the rice flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, 3/4 c sugar, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine egg whites, water, lemon juice, cream of tartar, and vanilla in the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low speed for about a minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture increases 4-5 times in volume. Mixture will be foamy and will hold very soft peaks. Bring mixer back to medium-high, and add the last 3/4 c sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat until the egg whites hold soft, glossy peaks, not stiff ones! Sprinkle a little of the flour mixture over the top, then carefully fold in. Repeat about seven times, sprinkling and folding. When everything is incorporated, scrape the batter into a clean, ungreased tube pan. Bake 40 minutes, until no longer jiggley and starting to pull away from the sides. A toothpick will come out clean.

Immediately after taking the cake out of the oven, flip it over and cool it upside down, to keep the cake from falling. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

Chocolate ganache

one 3oz chocolate bar, as dark as you can find. I used 77% cocoa
4 T half and half, cream, or milk
3-4 T sugar, depending on how dark/bitter your chocolate it
1 T butter

Chop up the chocolate bar, and put in a small pan with the half and half and sugar. Chop up the butter. Heat the chocolate over very low heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted into the milk and the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat, add the butter, and stir until butter is melted.

Invert your completely cooled cake onto a plate. Spread the warm chocolate mixture over the top evenly, and then arrange sliced, fresh strawberries in circles around the top, starting on the inside.


  1. Beautifully arranged! Strawberries and chocolate are the best.

  2. Holy crap that looks amazing. A bunch of chocolate and strawberries are probably exactly what it takes for me to like a white cake.

    Why can't you eat strawberries?

  3. That sounds so great--you have a husband! My little girl is a grown-up!!! (sort of)

  4. Alex-
    I'm allergic to raw fruit!
    Ma- I love you!

  5. Really? You had to make this? I am salavating at my desk. I'm trying to think if I have the ingredients at home. grrrr.

  6. This is so amazingly, beautifully, drool enducing (which shockingly, is a whole lot less beautiful).

    Would it work as well with store bought egg whites?

  7. I love angel food cake, and this version sounds wonderful!

  8. Chocolate angel food cake? I never knew there was such a thing! This looks fantastic!

  9. Dana-
    I don't know anything about store bought egg whites, but if they can be whipped up like regular ones can, then go for it!!

  10. Oh wow, now THAT is a cake!! Looks fantastic!

  11. Oh, darn, you can't eat raw fruit? Bummer! I don't like "cooked" fruit not am I fond of chocolate.:(

    You did a wonderful job on arranging the strawberries! Looks so pretty!