25 April 2011

Chocolate and Vanilla Angel Food Cake with "Dipped Cone" Icing

 When I saw the picture of this I knew I had to make it.  What better time than Easter.  The whipped cream made it off the low fat diet, but it was the first dessert we'd had in the house in over a month.  I did opt out of making the cake from scratch and used a Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake Mix.  Mark said he doesn't really like Angel Food Cake, but this was one of the best he's had. 

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour
1-1/2 cup sugar–divided (I like superfine)
1-2/3 cup egg whites (10-11 large eggs)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Dutch chocolate, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Using stand mixer and wire attachment, begin mixing egg whites and cream of tartar on low for one minute. Add salt. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until egg whites are thick and billowy. With mixer running, pour the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar in from the side–slowly. Continue beating egg whites until glossy and soft peaks gently tip over when you pull the wire beater up. Add extracts and turn the mixer on for a couple of seconds to incorporate.
2. Use your largest rubber spatula to delicately and carefully fold sifted flour and sugar into whipped egg whites. I add only about 1/4 cup of the flour and sugar mixture at a time. Slice with spatula perpendicular to whites down to bottom of bowl and turn spatula slightly to pull up batter from the bottom and lay over the top. Turn bowl 1/4 turn and repeat slice with spatula until flour and egg whites are just mixed. The folding process should be done with patience and a light hand. Practice helps. If you overdo the mixing, your cake won’t be as high as your hopes.
3. Pour slightly more than half of cake batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan with a removable bottom. Use a spoon to draw a trough around the middle. Carefully fold sifted cocoa into remaining batter until completely mixed. (Do not skip the sifting or you will have little chunks of cocoa in your batter.) Fill trough with the chocolate batter and then smooth over the top.
4. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn over to cool for several hours. I recommend overnight. Use a firm hand and a skinny knife to loosen cake from edges of pan and invert cake onto cake plate.

Chocolate Ganache

2/3 cup heavy cream
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar

Whipped Cream Icing

1-1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip cream in chilled bowl with wire attachment. When thick with soft peaks, add powdered sugar and continue to whip until cream makes stiff peaks. Go too far and whipped cream will be dry looking or turn into butter. Watch it! Spread smoothly over angel food cake.

1. Heat heavy cream in small glass bowl for 1 minute in microwave oven. Add chocolate bar broken in several pieces to hot cream and allow to sit and melt while you ice the cake.
2. When chocolate is completely melted use small wire whisk or spoon to mix making small circles at first, then larger and finally, mixing chocolate and cream until smooth.
3. Pour warm chocolate ganache into a small Ziplock bag. Snip one corner about 1/4 inch. (Eyeball it.) Turn over a cereal bowl and practice running chocolate along the edge till you get the effect you want. If it’s too thick to make nice “runs”, add a few drops of warm cream. If too thin, let cool a while longer.
4. Here is where it gets a little tricky. Run ganache along the upper/outer edge of cake and slowly squirt ganache from small hole in the corner of your Ziplock bag making “runs and drips” around the entire cake. Do the inner edge the same way. Squirt remainder of ganache over top of cake and use a spoon to quickly spread evenly. You have a small window to get it smooth because the cold whip cream icing will harden the ganache on contact. Chill at least one hour before serving. Best eaten within 24 hours but still amazingly good for a couple days.

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Strawberry Spinach Salad

Seems we just don't have the time to take the pictures and cook the recipes right now, so I've decided to start posting the recipes sans pictures with the hopes of adding pictures in the near future.  My quest since Mark came home from the hospital has been for recipes that are low fat and low salt.  This salad is both and yummy at the same time.  If I weren't keeping it low fat goat cheese would be a nice addition.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

For the dressing:
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt

For the salad:
Baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
Sliced almonds, for topping
Sliced fresh strawberries, for topping

In a blender or food processor, combine the strawberries, vinegar,  sugar and salt.  Process until the mixture is well combined and completely smooth.  Transfer to an airtight bottle or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve, portion baby spinach leaves out on salad plates.  Drizzle with the strawberry champagne vinaigrette.  Top with sliced almonds and strawberries.  Serve immediately.

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From Annie's Eats