Tuesday became errand-day this week instead of cake-making day because the recipe says that this cake is best served within 12 hours of cooling. Since I planned on bringing this cake to my church (House of Providence) community group Wednesday evening, I decided to make it Wednesday morning. I had just enough time to make the cake before spending a lovely luncheon with my friend Angie at Pine State Biscuits, which I highly recommend for breakfast/brunch if you’re ever in east Portland, OR. They have Stumptown drip coffee (always a good sign) and extremely delicious food.
This cake was the most pain in the butt cake I have ever made. While I did still enjoy making it, there was one step in particular that I would happily never do again in my life. Every cake from this book that I’ve made so far has either called for toasted nuts, booze, or both until now. This is the first cake which called for neither!
Very simple ingredients! Not many, the only painstaking one is the egg whites, which there are 12 of in that glass Pyrex container. Thankfully I had 6 previously frozen egg whites so I only had to break into 6 fresh ones instead of going through an entire dozen. One of these days I will use the yolks in my freezer to make some lemon curd and then I’ll can it.
This very step is the one that caused me so much headache. Obviously I can’t use that sort of grater while taking a picture, but you get the idea. I had the brilliancy to switch to my standing grater after not too long to keep chocolate from continuing to fly everywhere in my kitchen. To prevent the chocolate from melting onto my hand while I grated it, I stuck my hand in a Ziploc bag, which kept me sane, but also made it a little more difficult to grate because the bag kept getting in the way. The most annoying thing about this step though was that the chocolate kept breaking. It called for 3 ounces of chocolate, and my bar had 4 ounces. I ended up having to use the entire bar because the chunks of chocolate broke into too-small-to-grate pieces. I would use Baker’s chocolate squares, or a bittersweet chocolate block (ideal), instead of Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli is my favorite to use for flavor, but in this case, it was very inconvenient.
Thankfully I have a trusty scale so I made sure I still had the right amount of chocolate for the recipe. This part took what felt like forever, I think it was probably about 20-30 minutes, which is an annoyingly long time for one measly step in a cake. I don’t even like grating cheese much, much less chocolate.
And this, my friends, is what I did all that work for. A big pile of chocolate shavings. How else do you make a cake freckly? It makes sense, it just wasn’t fun.
Though I was too lazy to take pictures of each step, I’ll have you know that I have never sifted so much in my entire life. Sift then measure cake flour. Sift then measure powdered sugar. Whisk them together. Sift the mixture of the two sifted ingredients THREE DIFFERENT TIMES. I don’t mind sifting, in fact, I kind of like it. So this part didn’t bother me. I felt like I was using a bazillion bowls though because of this step.
Then it says to whip until foam (first picture) and then add a couple ingredients and whip until firm (but not stiff) peaks form. Now, I understand what stiff peaks means, but firm and not stiff forced me to guess. I think I got it right based on how everything turned out, but I was fairly uncertain and getting that step right seemed important.
Egg whites with orange zest, then egg whites with flour, then egg whites with chocolate. I felt pretty sure that I had gotten the egg whites to the right consistency since it was staying fluffy and full once I folded all the proper ingredients into it.
There it is in the pan, ready to go into the oven! First angel food cake I’ve ever made from scratch.
There it is out of the oven, looking just like I would expect! All angel food-like and freckly. I borrowed an angel food cake pan with feet from my mother-in-law for this one, since the recipe called for it.
I’m never quite pleased with how a cake looks until it has been frosted, but angel food cakes aren’t usually frosted, they usually just have a glaze or are served with whipped cream and fruit, which is what I was planning to do. So while it isn’t too fancy sitting on a plate, it did turn out quite perfectly.
There it is all sliced up and served at community group last night. It was perfect with whipped cream and raspberries. Ian said this is his favorite of the cakes so far, so all that chocolate grating was worth it. 🙂
It tasted very much like a blend between those orange chocolate balls that people often get at Christmastime and angel food cake. Smitty said it tasted just like Christmas. I don’t really like those orange chocolate balls, I’m generally not a big fan of orange and chocolate together, but I enjoyed this one despite that.