My grandmother didn’t enjoy baking, but every year she made the best angel food cake. Covered with her famous seven minute icing, she’d serve it with peppermint ice cream for the ultimate combination of temperatures and textures. The leftovers were even better, because after a day or two the icing would crust over and flake off to reveal the creamy, slightly grainy interior. At the time, I never noticed or cared that it was a fat free dessert (without the ice cream, of course), but these days that just adds to the appeal.
Because I have such fond memories of regular angel food cake, I never bothered making a chocolate version. But since I’ve been experimenting and have discovered that the loaf pan size is perfect for our family and doesn’t use up all the eggs, I decided to make a small chocolate angel food cake.
It’s interesting. I still feel partial to the vanilla, but Fuzz loves angel food cake as much as I do and will get a kick out of this as an after school snack. Plus it’s nice being able to serve cake with berries and whipped cream as a snack and feel good about it.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (1 ½ oz/42 grams)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (20 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, extra fine or ground in a small food processor (150 grams)
- 6-7 large egg whites at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9x5 inch or slightly smaller metal loaf pan with regular foil.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and half of the ground sugar.
- In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Continue beating and add the cream of tartar. When soft peaks form, begin adding the sugar gradually until peaks are just stiff enough to hold – don’t overbeat. Beat in the salt and vanilla.
- Sift about a third of the flour mixture over the top of the egg white mixture and fold it in with a big rubber scraper. Continue adding the flour mixture, folding until incorporated.
- Carefully scrape into the loaf pan. It should come just about to the top.
- Bake at 375 degrees F. on center rack for 28 minutes.
- Let cool completely. Lift from pan, carefully peel away the foil, then slice with a serrated knife