Jacques shares this classic cake that can be as simple as a cocoa-flavored low-fat dessert or as over-the-top as a beautifully decorated extravaganza complete with whipped cream, berries and chocolate decor. The choice is yours! It is a wonderful Mother’s Day dessert either way.
You will need an Angel food cake pan, which is a tube pan with a removable bottom, often with three small feet on the rim fro standing the cake upside down to cool. (In the absence of the feet, you can invert the cake on the neck of a sturdy, long neck bottle or a large metal funnel.) The pan must be absolutely squeaky clean, or the cake will fall as it bakes.
3/4 cup sifted cake flour
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
13 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Jacques Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce, optional
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped, optional
3 cups raspberries, optional
Chocolate (any type) shavings, optional
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Have ready an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and 3/4 cup of sugar and sift together three times. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standard mixer fitted with the whip, combine the egg whites and salt and beat on low speed until foamy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites and continue to beat on low until blended. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat fro about 4 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. The peaks should hold their shapes, but not be stiff.
Reduce the speed to medium, add the vanilla, and gradually sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup sugar over the egg whites, beating to incorporate. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing until incorporated after each addition and stopping the mixture after each addition to scrape down the side and the bottom of the bowl. You just want to make sure that the flour is evenly incorporated into the batter; you dont want to deflate it by beating.
Scrape the batter into the pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to eliminate any bubbles.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a cake inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn the pan upside down, standing it on its feet or resting it on the long neck of a heat proof bottle or a large metal funnel. Let stand for about 2 hours or until completely cool.
Turn the cake right side up, and carefully run a sharp knife around the inside edge of the pan to release the cake sides. Holding on to the tube portion, carefully lift the cake from the pan sides. Then run the knife between the tube and the cake and the bottom of the cake. Invert the cake onto a plate and tap it free. Brush off any loose crumbs with your hands.
Decorate and serve to your wonderful Mom as you please!