Friday, May 6, 2011

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

First of all, you'll have to forgive me for the lack of food photography this time.

Although I got back from Malice and the Festival of Mystery late on Tuesday, I was wiped from all that travel, then Wednesday I had to move my daughter out of her college dorm. As I write this, Thursday, I'm swarmed with men all over my house installing replacement windows. No chance of me getting into my kitchen for any length of time.

What does that mean for food today? Eating out, of course.

But I don't want to leave you without a fabulous recipe. And I have one to share. This one is from my first White House Chef mystery - State of the Onion - and I've made it several times. Is it great? Oh yeah! I served it at one of my launch parties and received so many compliments that I decided I needed to share it here.

And speaking of sharing. Before I get to the recipe, here are a couple more shots from Avery and MJ's exciting night. I posted these on Facebook, but in case you haven't seen them:

Congrats again to my lovely and wonderful blog-sisters! Woo-hoo!! So excited for you.

And further good news - MJ's short story has been nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award, a prestigious Canadian writing award.

And now, for today's recipe:

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries

12 jumbo egg whites, or egg whites equal to 2 cups
4 T. Dutch processed cocoa powder
¼ cup boiling water
2 T. vanilla extract
2 C. sugar, divided use
1 cup cake flour, well sifted or pulsed in a food processor
½ t. salt
2 t. cream of tartar
Confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder for garnish
1 pint fresh berries, rinsed, drained, and chilled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine boiling water, vanilla, and coca powder. Stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, or in food processor bowl, whisk or pulse together cake flour, 1 cup sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a large clean bowl (the slightest bit of fat will keep your egg whites from whipping properly), beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Continue beating until egg whites form soft peaks. Gradually add 1C. sugar until stiff peaks form.

Remove1 C. of egg mixture from large bowl and fold gently into cocoa mixture bowl.

In large bowl, take remaining egg mixture and incorporate flour mixture into it by gently sifting 1/3 cup of the flour onto surface of beaten eggs, and folding them together. Don’t overwork this batter or it will loose its incorporated air. Work gently but efficiently and quickly.

Gently fold cocoa mixture into egg batter.

Spoon or pour batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Run a knife through the batter in a circular motion to eliminate any large air pockets. Smooth the top of the batter with a spatula.

Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open oven door during the first thirty minutes of baking. Top of cake will crack—this is part of its charm. Cake is done when surface springs back when gently touched or toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and invert pan.

Let cool completely—at least two hours at room temperature.

Remove cake from pan by running a sharp knife around sides and center of tube pan to release from sides, then remove cake from pan. If cake has removable tube, run knife around bottom of cake pan before removing.

Dust cake and berries with confectioner’s sugar. To serve, place cake slice on individual plate dusted with coca powder and confectioner’s sugar. Heap berries to side of cake. Dust with more confectioner’s sugar. Serve.

I know you'll enjoy this one. It's truly fabulous. Just remember to slice with a serrated knife. Makes life so much easier.


And, don't forget! Grace Interrupted comes out in less than a month! I hope you're as excited as I am! I'm visiting several bookstores to launch my new Manor House mystery, and I'd love to meet you.

Please sign up for my newsletter to find out more!




  1. It does need photos... I am picturing chocolate, Raspberries and fresh whipped cream.

    Looking forward to the 2nd manor House Mystery... so exciting!

  2. Thanks, Dave! So sad not to have any comments this morning. Finding yours brightened my day!

  3. Julie, moving a daughter and men in your kitchen. Who has time to breathe! Just find some time for you so you can write. Love your books. And thanks so much for the great action shots at Malice. PS I love angel food cake!

    Dave - I think you should whip this up right now (have a dozen eggs handy?) and send Julie a picture. She can post it this afternoon. What do you think? LOL.


  4. Julie - Welcome back from Malice! I really enjoyed your photos. Thank you so much for posting them here and on facebook -- it helped us all share in the experience and the excitement. This recipe is perfect for the coming summer - light but delicious AND it's chocolate. :) Counting down the days until GRACE INTERRUPTED hits the shelves!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. Thanks, Avery! Great idea. What do you think, Dave? LOL

    Cleo - Thanks! It was great to be there to see Avery and MJ win. So much fun!

  6. Thank you, Gloria! It's a keeper!

  7. Great recipe. Would love you to post on this recipe or another chocolate recipe.

  8. What a great cake for Mother's Day, Julie! Perfect timing.

    I, too, thank you for the pictures. It was such an exciting evening. I'm very happy for Avery and MJ. But I'm thinking you might have guessed that from the picture!

    ~ Krista

  9. I keep telling everyone about Grace under Pressure and anticipating an equally good Grace Interrupted. Good luck.

  10. I would love to, Janet! Thanks!

    Thanks, Krista. I just love your total exuberance!

    Liz - Thank you!! Hope you like how things turn unfold...

  11. It was great meeting you in person at Malice Julie! This looks like a good recipe, but I always get nervous working with egg whites. I either beat them too much or not enough (insert own joke here). And congrats again to Avery and MJ!

  12. It was great to meet you too, Alan. I'm still very jealous of your visit to the West Wing! One of these days I'll get there!

  13. OH Julie this sounds delicious!! I copied it from the first book but never got around to making it :-( Now I going to dig out my recipe book and have Chef Connor and his darling as"sister" Emily make this for Mother's Day!!! I'm excited!

    Also my heartiest congratulations to Avery and Mary Jane...

    To all the moms out there...enjoy your day!!


    You can bet I will be giving this recipe a try this weekend for "mothers day!" I am going to use "Xocai Healthy Chocolate!" Thanks for the delicious post!

    ~Adam Paul Green

  15. Yum! I can imagine it and it's elegant and delicious. It's my husband's birthday this weekend and I've just changed my cake plans!

    It was great to see you at Malice. Thanks so much for your kind comments.