When I was a kid I always wanted to help my mom make cakes in the kitchen. She'd give me what I thought were useless jobs like measuring out the flour (I actually like doing that now) and cleaning up the dirty bowls in the sink. Although these are important tasks to complete, I always thought I got the short end of the stick. I wanted MORE. I wanted to crack the eggs, measure out the vanilla, use the beaters and eat off ALL the frosting that smothered them. I desperately wanted to take the cake out of the oven and frost it myself without any adult supervision. I know now that my mom was teaching me valuable lessons of baking all while secretly preventing a major mess in the kitchen (she was tapped into my klutzy nature from an early age).
I still make a mess in the kitchen...
We spent this Easter weekend at my parent's house and while it was nice to get out of our routine and enjoy a slower pace of life, what I enjoyed most was making this cake by myself in my mom's kitchen. That's right. My mom gave me the responsibility of making this Black & White Angel Food Cake she picked out for dessert on Easter Sunday.
Melting the chocolate, sifting the flour and beating the egg whites in the same bowl I remember using as a kid was almost as good as eating the cake itself. That's right! No supervision needed. I'm a grownup (ahhhhh!).
A fluffy puffy light chocolate cake smothered with a decadent ganache? Uh huh! I'm so glad my mom picked this cake out and had me make it because I most likely wouldn't have tried it on my own. And man, would I have missed out.
And we're off!
Egg whites at room temp. Chocolate gets ready....
for grating! Do it over parchment paper cuz it's easier to measure your final grating results.
Egg whites go in a bowl with cream of tartar & salt. Whip those whites into submission.
Add in your sugar.
Then you add in your sifted flour/sugar combo. Fold it.
Chocolate gets folded in.
Smooth it in an ungreased pan.
Bake it. And then invert it on a rack. This shot is not inverted. I did it right after this.
An inverted cake chilling on a cooling rack doesn't make for good photos. FACT.
Carefully take the cake out of the pan after it has cooled. A little knifing around the edges and you've got this.
Ganache time! Let the chocolate chips melt with heavy cream in a double boiler.
Spread it over your cake. Get messy. Pretend you're a kid. Eat it of the spoon. No one can see you.
Look! A pretty cake.
Slice it up!
Eat it up. You're a grownup who makes cakes without adult supervision. You are living your childhood dream.
Black & White Angel Food Cake
makes 8 servings
(recipe from Ina Garten)
- 2 cups sifted superfine sugar (about 1 pound)
- 1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites at room temperature (10 to 12 eggs)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated semisweet chocolate
For the glaze:
- 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the flour and sift them together 4 times. Set aside.
Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs form medium-firm peaks, about 1 minute. With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar by sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites. Beat on high speed for a few minutes until thick and shiny. Add the vanilla and continue to whisk until very thick, about 1 more minute. Scrape the beaten egg whites into a large bowl. Sift 1/4 of the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold it very carefully into the batter with a rubber spatula. Continue adding the flour in 3 equal additions, sifting and folding until it's all incorporated. Fold in the grated chocolate.
Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smooth the top, and bake it for 35 to 45 minutes, until it springs back to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan on a cooling rack. When cool, run a thin, flexible knife around the cake to remove it from the pan.
For the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate chips and the heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate melts. Pour the chocolate over the top of the cooled cake to cover the top completely and allow it to drizzle down the sides. If you have chocolate glaze left over, you can serve it on the side with the cake.