Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Strawberry (Ginger) Coulis

Fail. Wow. I haven’t posted since August. I had a pretty good excuse last semester with my exams, but not this one. Oh well.

I wish I could tell you how tasty this cake was, but I can only provide a second hand account. I made it for a friend’s birthday, but she doesn’t live in town any more, so some other friends brought it to her (ok, they were already planning on making the trip–my cake was a tag-a-long). But they said they loved it, so I’ll just take their word for it until I have the chance to make this again.

My friend is doing really well on Weight Watchers, and I didn’t want to throw her off, so in addition to the low fat nature of regular angel food cake, this one is also low sugar. My sister, a WW leader, estimated the cake at about 2 points for a tenth of it! But you’d need a little of this super easy sauce with it, which is probably another point. But still, that’s pretty good for a great dessert. Since this uses Splenda, you should know that it might dry out more quickly than a regular cake.

One thing that made this cake even easier than normal was that I bought a carton of egg whites from the grocery rather than cracking and separating 10-12 eggs. You’ll find this item near the Egg Beaters. What a great time saver! This recipe was adapted from one at Baking Bites plus some thoughts from my Better Homes and Gardens version, plus a coulis recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan.

Servings: 10-12

Prep time: 1 hour; Baking time: 50-55 minutes

For the cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. egg whites (10-12 eggs, or buy a carton), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Make sure your tube pan and your mixing bowls are spotlessly clean–any fat residue from previous baking projects could deflate your cake. Also, make sure the racks in your oven are separated enough to accommodate the tube pan–it’s taller than most bakeware.
  2. Sift together the Splenda, cake flour and cocoa powder, making sure the cocoa gets evenly distributed. (I sifted mine three times.) Set aside.
  3. If using a stand mixer, use the wire whisk or the regular beaters of a hand mixer will be fine. Pour the egg whites into the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until they get frothy. Add the cream of tartar and salt. While mixing on medium to medium-high, slowly add the sugar to the egg whites, a few tablespoons at a time. Continue beating to the soft peak stage. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat for a few more seconds. You don’t want to go all the way to firm peaks, but a little past soft is ok. (When you pull out the beater, the tips of the egg whites should droop over a little, but not recede completely back into the rest of the whites.)
  4. Sift about 1/6 of the flour mixture over the top of the egg whites and gently fold the flour mix into them. (By folding, I mean putting a spatula down the side of the bowl to the bottom and then folding that over the top of the whites. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until mostly combined.) Repeat until all of the flour mixture has been added to the egg whites. Take your time here. If you hurry, you’ll deflate the egg whites and your cake won’t have a good texture.
  5. Dollop the batter into the tube pan, trying to distribute it evenly (it will probably be a little too thick to pour). Give the pan a good whack against the top of the counter to loosen any large air bubbles. Gently smooth out the top of the batter with your spatula. Bake for 50-55 minutes, rotating after 30 min if your oven heats unevenly. The cake is done when the top is dry and springs back when lightly touched (mine took 55).
  6. When the cake comes out of the oven, invert it onto a well-ventilated cooling rack. Or, you can invert it so the tube rests on top of a bottle, but I have yet to find a bottle that fits my pan. I’ve tried wine, beer, soda, vinegar and oil, all with no luck. But if it works for you, go ahead. My cake was fine resting upside down on the rack.
  7. When the cake is completely cool (4+ hours), run a knife along the outside edge, pressing against the pan so as not to tear the cake. Then repeat along the inner tube. The cake should release from the tube part of the pan still sealed to the removable bottom. Repeat the cutting technique on the cake bottom, and your beautiful angelfood cake will be free!

Strawberry (Ginger) Coulis

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, mostly thawed (or fresh, but they’re not in season here yet)
  • 2 tbsp Splenda (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp water (see note below)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  1. Blend the strawberries, Splenda, sugar and water in a food processor until completely smooth. Yea, seriously, that’s it.
  2. If you’d like, take out half of the coulis and mix it with the ginger. It gives it a nice, bright, unexpected taste. Double the ginger if you want it in the whole batch, but some people don’t like ginger, so I thought it would be nice to have some with ginger and some without.
  3. Drizzle on cake slices.

*Note: The reason for the water in the coulis is that Splenda does not work the same way real sugar does to draw out fruits’ natural juices. If you are making this with all real sugar, omit the water.

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