Chocolate-Orange-Coffee Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream Topping
I tend to cook quite a lot with recipes that require egg yolks. Egg whites by contrast, are not so often requisite for my cuisine. The result can be that over time the number of egg whites builds up steadily, filling up bowls in the refrigerator, dozens upon dozens of them. Throwing them away would be too wasteful, but what does one do when one has so many egg whites, and one's natural inclinations in desserts run to things such as creme brulees, custards, and ice creams? This conundrum has time and time again led me to a simple solution: make an angel food cake. With that, a dozen egg whites are gone at once, used to make this deliciously light, fluffy, and elegant cake that my mother so adores! I must admit that often my results can be imperfect with this, in regards to getting an angel food cake that is light, fluffy, and holds its own - in this case I made a mistake by placing it in the new oven that we had just gotten upon a pizza stone which made the upper part harder than it would have been otherwise - but regardless they always still turn out as having the spirit of the angel food cake.
And what spirit is in this case! I have been quite the aficionado of the trinity of orange, coffee, and chocolate, seemingly a holy trio in my cooking, one which I have combined again and again, most of the time to appropriate success. There is something about the decadent combination of sweetness, richness, the complexity of the flavors, the bitter and tantalizing flavor of chocolate which mixes with the luxurious and deep flavors of chocolate, mellowed out by the fruitiness of the orange, which makes it such an incredible trio. In this case it is combined with the natural lightness of an angel food cake, although it must be noted that the initial incorporation of orange juice into the recipe make it less light than it might otherwise have been, which is corrected here with an updated version of the recipe that doesn't match the photos quite precisely, and with a healthy dosage of whipped cream added on top - a surprisingly simple recipe which takes advantage of whipped cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla to produce this pretty mass of elegant whipped cream which covers the entirety of the torus-shaped (in my case) cake. This makes a canvas which can be put to any use: in my case, I think that it would have been best to have some sort of cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and in addition perhaps something like orange peel, Unfortunately I did not so instead I chose to provide a decoration of chocolate chips and in addition some fresh mint leaves. The mint leaves seemed to go with it surprisingly well, so perhaps I have a fourth combination to add to the holy trinity of the orange-coffee-chocolate! In any case it makes for a delightful recipe, sweet, light, fluffy, elegant, and beautiful, one which is sure to delight any cake lover.
This recipe is entirely my own.
- 12 egg whites
- 4 oranges, zest of
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1 3/4 cups + 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Put the 12 egg whites into a large bowl. Begin to beat them until they froth up, and add small amounts of the salt to them over time until it is all introduced. Continue to beat until the egg whites are beginning to hold their peaks and become stiff. Add in the 1 3/4 cups of confectioner's sugar (the finer sugar should make it lighter and rise more) in multiple allotments, with the cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla as well, and continue to beat until the total has soft, glossy peaks that hold their shape.
- In a separate bowl, combine together the orange zest, cocoa powder, cake flour, and instant coffee. Sift together.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, carefully and softly.
- Pour this into a preferably ungreased tube pan, or if one only has access to a bundt pan, a greased bundt pan (greasing it enables the angel food cake to slide down and it doesn't quite hold up, but in a bundt pan it is a vital necessity or else it will stick to all of the crevices).
- Place into a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 50 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool, upside down. Gingerly pry it out with a knife once it has cooled.
- Beat the 2 cups of heavy cream until it is thick and holds peaks, then add in the 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar, and the 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until all are combined and it is thick whipped cream. Spread this over the angel food cake. Feel free to add garnish such as chocolate chips, mint leaves, orange zest, etc.