|Photo by Hollie|
|Photo by Hollie|
|Photo by Hollie|
|Photo by Hollie|
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.
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Just like my protagonist in Maid of Murder, India Hayes, I’m not much of a cook. India survives on cereal, ice cream, and dinner at her parents’ house. To give you an example of my complete lack of culinary skill, I once blew up an egg while trying to hard boil it. How I did this remains unclear. Another time, I made redskin dirt potatoes. Ummm… I didn’t know you were supposed to wash the potatoes before cooking them. Both of these are examples of times I regretted taking Electricity in middle school instead of Home Ec. The only thing I accomplished in electricity class was electrocuting my teacher. He was fine but a wee bit upset. I sat in the hall the rest of the period.
On the bright side, I am a fair baker. I can bake because baking has strict rules and step-by-step instructions. I can read directions pretty well. I’m not good with anything I have to watch while it’s on the stovetop or have to season. That takes way more culinary judgment than I have.
With permission, I’m sharing a recipe from my church’s cookbook. The cookbook is packed with tasty Midwestern treats and meals. This is the only one I’ve ever attempted. However since nothing exploded and dirt wasn’t involved, I might try another. Enjoy!
Chocolate-Covered Banana Cupcakes
(Adapted from Doris Smith’s Recipe for Banana Cake in the Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church Cookbook)
Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs.
Add bananas and beat well.
Add sour milk and vanilla alternately with flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Insert cupcake cups into cupcake pan, and add batter. Makes 18 cupcakes.
Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.
Place cupcakes on cooling rack. After they have cooled, dip tops of cupcakes into chocolate glaze.
* Note from Wendy: Amanda uses Duncan Hines chocolate glaze, which you can usually find with the canned frostings. They look so beautiful and glossy in the picture, I'd be inclined to do the same. However, if you must make your own, any chocolate ganache recipe would work. I'd suggest adding a tablespoon or so of shortening to your ganache to give the finished product that lovely shine.
Amanda Flower writes the India Hayes Mystery Series. The first novel in the series, Maid of Murder is an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. To learn more about Amanda and Maid of Murder visit her online at http://www.amandaflower.com/. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook and The Little Blog of Murder.