Chocolate Angel Food Cake | Amy Lynn’s Grama Cle Recipe
Oh my goodness! This Chocolate Angel Food Cake Recipe is so delicious !!! Grama Cle shares her recipe with all of us and I had the honor of baking it on Daytime Triciies with her grand-daughter and co-host of Daytime, Amy Lynn Henry. Amy had asked me a few weeks ago if I would be interested in baking this Chocolate Angel Food Cake for one of our segments. Of course I said yes, I could tell how important this cake was to her and her family. She sent me the recipe and as the saying goes, the rest is history! (Not to worry, I have the recipe for success-> no pun intended, in this blog post). Perhaps, Grama Cle’s Chocolate Angel Food Cake will inspire you to start your own family tradition.
Chocolate Angel Food Cake|Story
Baking is sharing your heart, your love and making memories. This sweet cake is full of love and is the family tradition of Grama Cle’s .
After one of my cooking segments on Daytime, Amy asked if I would be willing to make a cake that her Grama used to make? I said “yes of course I would love to make the cake for you.” I could see how important the memory of this cake was to Amy, so how could I not bake this cake for her. Baking is one of my favorite things to do. Guess it was because my grandma used to bake all the time. I can still remember my grandmother baking fruit and cream pies for supper or just to have on hand when company came by. She would bake 4-5 pies at a time and then stack them in a vertical pie rack. Even today when I smell a fresh baked apple pie, my mind reflects on my grandmother standing by the oven pulling out the pies. That’s why I bake, to share and create new memories with friends and family.
Grama Cle is in her early 90’s and does not bake like she used to. Even though I have never met Grama Cle, I love that she is willing to share her recipe so the cake and memories will live on for future generations. Amy talked about how special her Grama is and the impact this cake had on their family. Look at the birthday girl in the photo.
Chocolate Angel Food Cake| Let’s get cook’n
The delicate and sweet cake is easy to make if you follow a few simple baking techniques, don’t worry, in this tutorial I will show you how it is done. The only thing that was unique for me, when following her recipe was baking the cake on the lowest rack in the oven and the oven temperature. She recommends baking the Chocolate Angel Food Cake at 275 for 30 minutes, then 325 for an additional 30 minutes. My normal baking temperature for sponge type cakes has always been 350. This cake turned out great-> baking it low and slow, then turning up the heat.
Step 1| The Cake and Ingredients
An angel food cake is made of egg whites, sugar, cake flour, cocoa, cream of tarter, and vanilla. It is the way you incorporate these ingredients that determine if your cake rises or deflates. The angel food cake is a sponge type cake with whipped egg whites and sugar that creates a meringue. The meringue starts as a foamy solution then as different ingredients are added to the mix,the egg whites become satiny and smooth. The next step is adding the sifted dry ingredients. Sifting all dry ingredients is essential for a successful sponge angel food cake.
Now is a good time to preheat your oven and place the oven rack in the lowest part of your oven. Remove all other racks. Set your oven temperature to 275 for now, after the cake bakes for 30 minutes you will turn the oven up to 325 for additional 30 minutes.
Step 2: Separation of Eggs
In this step, you will need two bowls. Separate 12 egg whites from egg yolks. Do not get any shell or yolk in the egg whites. This will cause your cake not to rise properly if don’t separate the eggs properly. Also when making an angel food cake or any sponge cake,make sure your egg whites are at room temperature. Different eggs will produce different sized yolks and percentage of whites, so use farm fresh brown eggs or Grade A large eggs.
Use the yolks for a quiche or omelet, refrigerate for the other use.
Step 3: Beating Egg Whites| Making Meringue
Stage 1 Egg Whites| Foam or Frothy
Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk beater is very clean and free of any grease. Your egg whites will not whip to full volume if you have any grease on your utensils. This recipe calls for 12 egg whites. I used 13 to equal 2 cups of egg whites.
Beat room temperature eggs until foamy with wire whisk attachment. At this stage, add 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter, beat until soft peaks form. The cream of tarter is the acid or leveling that will hold up your egg whites or stabilize. Make sure your cream of tarter is fresh. You can find this in the baking section/spices of your favorite grocery store. http://www.food.com/about/cream-of-tartar-478
Stage 2| Soft Peak Egg White
The egg whites are like smooth whipped cream.
Stage 3 Egg White| Stiff Peaks
When egg whites are at the soft peak stage, gradually add the SIFTED granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons at a time. In this recipe, it is one cup of granulated sugar added gradually 3 Tablespoons at a time, beating between each addition. The egg whites will be come full bodied and satiny. The texture is like thick sour cream. Notice how the whipped whites stand on the whisk and stand up in the bowl. The meringue almost looks curdled.
Add 2 teaspoons of water and 1 teaspoon vanilla to whipped meringue. At this point I transferred the meringue to a large mixing bowl so I would have room to fold in the SIFTED dry ingredients.
Step 4| Sifting Dry Ingredients
Sift 1 cup cake flour, 1/2 cup dark cocoa, 1 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt together.
Cake flour is Swan’s Down Cake Flour. It is a softer wheat flour that has been sifted my mfg. 27 times. Even though it has already been sifted, for this cake sift again. http://www.swansdown.com/about
Step 5 Folding in Dry Ingredients
Now that you have your meringue in a large bowl, you are ready to sift the dry ingredients in installments of three to the meringue. See next photo
To fold in the flour mixture, sift flour or dry ingredients over the top of your whipped meringue in installments of three, then with a large rubber spatula gently cut down the middle of the batter to the bottom of the bowl and bring the spatula up and over the side of the meringue folding the batter over as you bring the spatula up. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this procedure until all the dry ingredients are blended.
Picture a giant ocean surfing wave with the tube in the middle, your spatula is on top of the wave going over and under the wave but not in the middle of the tube. Keep rotating the bowl and folding until all the dry ingredients are blended Does that help?
The point is, you don’t want to stir or beat this meringue, you don’t want to deflate the tiny bubbles in the meringue. You want lift and volume.
“Folding is the motion made by gently cutting up and down through the mixture and curving up and over. This encloses the air and prevents the escape of that already beaten into the mixture. Do not over mix. Too prolonged mixing may cause loss of air or leavening gas and make cake more compact and heavy with tunnels. Under mixing gives improper blending of ingredients and causes uneven grain, and sometimes a streak at bottom of cake.”
All done Folding! This is what it should look like.
Step 6 Baking Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Place batter in an un-greased two piece tube pan. With a knife, cut through the batter to remove any air pockets. Be gently and do not bang the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles. Place cake in middle of rack on lowest level in oven. Bake at 275 for 30 minutes, then without opening the oven door, turn up the heat to 325 and bake an additional 30 minutes or until long skewer comes out clean. The top will not have large cracks on it, and will spring back after you touch it.
When done, remove from oven and place upside down on a cooling rack. Grama Cle would turn the cake upside down over a glass coke bottle to let cool. The feet on the tube pan will hold up fine on a bakers cooling rack. Either way will work. Use what you have. Cool in this position until it is cold to touch. Having the cake in this position will keep the lift in the cake until it cools, then the lift will stay. Gravity and weight of cake plays a role with the height and volume . Don’t cha just love gravity.
Remove cake from pan after completely cool using a knife to loosen edges and bottom of cake, turn cake onto a cake stand to frost.
Frost cake with strawberry pink buttercream frosting. I am sure Grama Cle made her buttercream frosting from scratch, I used canned frosting. To cover this 10 inch cake, I used 3 cups of frosting. Do a skim coat of frosting over the cake to catch all the chocolate crumbs, allow cake to sit until frosting is firm.
Frosting and Decorating Chocolate Angel Food Cake|Petal Design
Use a medium firm buttercream frosting. I used Betty Crocker Strawberry Buttercream http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/frosting/whippedstrawberryfrosting
Chocolate Angel Food Cake| Petal frosting technique
Using tip 12 http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Decorating-Tip-No-12-Round/dp/B0043UJERS attached to a pastry bag, pipe three -four quarter sized or smaller dollops of frosting. Using a flat metal icing spatula or back of spoon, place spatula in the middle of the dollop and pull to the right. See photo below. Repeat dollops and pulling for each dollop until sides and top of cake is completed. See photo below.
When cake sides are completed, pipe the top, beginning at the outer edge of cake going to the center with the dollops and spreading small commas. This creates a flower top look. Around the center of the tube, pipe small dots. Use your finger dipped in water to remove the point on the frosting dot. See photo
Hope you will make this delicious cake for your family and friends! For printable recipe http://serveitupsassy.com/chocolate-angel-food-cake-amy-lynns-grama-cle-recipe/.
Daytime segment posted soon.
Thank you Amy Lynn, Jan and Grama Cle for sharing your wonderful recipe and family tradition with all of us!
Share your favorite family tradition with me and perhaps I can feature your recipe on Daytime Tri-cites! Just comment below.
Helping you Make a Statement, Make it Sassy and Make it Yours! ® Liz