Ali’s request for this week’s FDD (Family Dinner Dessert), conveyed in a mid-morning text message on Monday, was simple and open-ended: chocolate and strawberries. Then, in an unusually social butterflyish turn of events, we ended up out to dinner that night, capping off the night by digging four spoons into a wedge of pie so large it almost made me blush. And let’s not even mention the a la mode-ness of it all. Then, on Tuesday night, we had Kevin’s sister over for dinner and closed out the meal with mini molten chocolate cakes (more on those very, very soon). So come yesterday, I was feeling a bit glutted in the dessert department.
Given this state of glut, I suppose it’s no surprise I turned to angel food cake to grant Ms. Ali’s wish. It would be feather-light and summery, not to mention fun to make. Angel food cake, you see, requires some of my favorite baking tasks: separating egg whites, which I love to do by cracking the egg into my cupped hand, letting the whites ooze between my fingers while cradling the sunny yolk; whipping egg whites into a frenzy in the stand mixer, always having a Strega Nona moment wondering if the whites will billow right up and over the bowl, flooding the kitchen; and using my tube pan, which I inexplicably love, with it’s trick bottom and it’s tripod spikes. (I think this would be a good time to note that I should get out more.)
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
I’ve got a favorite angel food cake recipe, but it didn’t seem chocolatey enough. After all, Ali’s appeal consisted of a mere two ingredients: I wasn’t going to skimp on either of them. So I decided to look for a recipe that added cocoa powder to the batter, thinking cleverly to myself that this cake would be a little bit of misnomer. Angel food cake that’s not even white? Hardly celestial. Chuckle, chuckle. (Again, I need to get out more.)
So when I found a recipe titled “Devilish Angel Food Cake,” I was sold (and a little deflated that someone else had beat me to this hilarious culinary punchline). To amp up the chocolate even more (see above for my defense in this regard), I made a quick chocolate glaze to drizzle on top of the cake, nudging it so it would drip over the sides of the cake. And then I crowned the whole thing with a halo (ha!) of sliced strawberries. Devilish indeed.
Chocolate-Glazed Devilish Angel Food Cake with Sliced Strawberries
Adapted from Cooking Light
2/3 cup sifted cake flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced strawberries
Preheat oven to 350°.
Sift together first 4 ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, warm water, vanilla extract, and salt in a large bowl at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating mixture until stiff peaks form. Sift flour mixture over egg white mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, and fold flour mixture in gently.
Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly. Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan; let cool completely. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow spatula; revert cake onto a baking rack. Transfer the rack to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Combine the chopped chocolate and milk together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring with a fork until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the tablespoon of butter. Spoon the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake, pushing some of the glaze over and down the sides of the cake.
Arrange the sliced strawberries on the top of the cake, placing them in concentric circles. Allow the chocolate glaze to set for at least an hour.