Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake

Saturday, December 03, 2016

This beautiful rendition of a classic angel food cake was popularized by Rose Levy Beranbaum in her book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes. It is essentially an angel food cake evenly studded with chocolate shavings that it resembles the fabric after which it is named.

The chocolate shards lend the cake a distinct chocolatey accent while maintaining the base notes of vanilla in the angel food cake. And with the shavings so teensy, it easily incorporates into the batter and is scattered throughout that you'd be hard pressed to find a 'white spot' in your slice. I can't imagine using chocolate chips in it's place.

You'd have to get a really really dark bar for this and coincidentally I picked up a Ghirardelli 100% chocolate bar last week on my cross border shopping. It was perfect for this recipe! I didn't have to compensate for the sweetness of the angel food cake to allow for more sweetness in the chocolate.

More importantly, as I grasped the bar while grated into tiny shards trying not to scrape off my skin and flesh in the process ... it didn't melt in my hand! Score! It also held its shape perfectly in the batter, dispersing evenly without melting into what could've been a chocolate angel food cake.

Lindt also carries a 99% which would may do the job well enough. Anything under 85% is probably a no-go.

This chocolate tweed angel food cake came out delightfully airy and spongy. It was well received and tastefully enjoyed by the onlookers (read: husband and kids) who were waiting patiently as I finished taking these pictures :)

56 g (half of 1) Ghirardelli 100% cocoa unsweetened chocolate bar
300 g (1-1/2 cup) granulated sugar, divided
100 g (3/4 cup) cake flour
pinch of salt
480 ml (16 large) egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp cream of tartar
4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Grate the chocolate bar into a bowl, cover, then place in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the batter.
2. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F and get your ungreased tube pan ready.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together 150 g (3/4 cup) of the sugar, the cake flour, and the salt.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until it becomes foamy.
5. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium high and whisk until the egg whites have reached the soft peaks stage.
6. Spoon in the rest of the sugar ... 150 g (3/4 cup) in three additions, whisking until the egg whites have reached firm or stiff peaks.
7. Reduce the speed to medium and add the vanilla to the egg whites.
8. Turn off the mixer and fold the flour in with a spatula in four additions until just combined.
Alternatively, you can substitute the flat beater for the whisk attachment and fold the flour in with the beater.
9. Fold the chilled grated chocolate into the batter.
10. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and give it a few final folds with the spatula.
11. Transfer the batter into the tube pan, then run a small spatula or a knife around to make sure there are no air bubbles trapped inside.
12. Smooth the top and place in the oven to bake for 30 - 40 minutes.

13. When the surface has turned a nice golden colour, insert a skewer into the center of the batter to check for doneness.
14. Remove from the oven and immediately flip over a cooling rack.
My tube pan has handy dandy 'stilts' or 'feet' which allows it to hover while cooling. In its absence, get an empty bottle with a narrow neck and invert the tube part of the pan onto the neck so the cake cools upside down helping it to retain its height.
15. Let cool completely, then run a thin offset spatula or a thin bladed knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake from the sides. Repeat around the centre and on the bottom of the pan.

Serve with a dollop of sweetened cream if you like.

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