On Saturday, my doula group hosted a tea party for all of our past clients. We do it mainly so that we can see all these people we've supported through a very intense experience, and to hold all those beautiful chubby babies that we met in their first moments on the planet. It is so amazing how quickly a baby grows in the first year.
We doulas who hosted the event we supposed to bring snacks for the guests, and I decided to dig into my egg white stash and bake a chocolate angel's food cake. I mean, what new mom wouldn't love to indulge in chocolate that doesn't have too many terrible repercussions?
The night before the party I pulled out my egg white stash and set them on the stovetop to defrost. I preheated the oven, boiled some water for the cocoa paste, and began to assemble and weigh all my ingredients. And then I realised I had quite a wait ahead of me, as all those egg whites had to defrost and come up to room temperature. Which would take a while, as the room needed to come up to room temperature.
Eventually I wandered back into the kitchen and checked on the egg whites, and noticed that one of the tubs was placed too near the back left burner, which seems to act as the heat vent for the oven. Which means the egg whites were starting to cook.
No matter, I thought. I can just strain out the cooked parts. However, as I weighed the egg whites there were still good, I discovered that I was about 110 grams short. Damn. I needed to defrost another tub, so I pulled out another tub and decided to go to bed. I had time in the morning to bake the cake.
The next morning as I was leisurely waking up in bed, one of the doulas called and asked me if I was going to the tea party. Of course, I replied. But...not for a while, doesn't it start at one? Nope, she said. It starts at 11.
Eleven! But it's 10:40! Shit!
January 14, 2007
Name of cake: Sin-Fee Chocolate Cake
Constituents: Chocolate Angel Food Cake
My cousin invited me over for dinner tonight and so I told her I'd bring this along. She just had a baby 8 days ago, and he is the cutest little potato I've ever met. Something about our family--we make potato head babies.
So even though this cake was supposed to be for a whole bunch of new moms and dads and their babes, it will be for one new mom, dad, and potato head. Just as good, if not better!
You make a paste of cocoa powder and boiling water--which you then cover with plastic wrap and let cool down to room temperature. As I was beating the egg whites into a giant white meringue, I realised that our freak spell of blue sky weather meant the light was good for photos--so I tried to take a bunch of pictures of the cocoa paste for the blog. I haven't pulled them off the camera yet--but they didn't look so great on the LCD. Kinda...poopy looking.
Once the meringue rose in stiff peaks, I ran it over to the window and took a bunch of pictures. The pristine white of the meringue, the funky peak I created when pulling out the beater, and the sheer volume in the bowl just had to be documented.
I took a heaping cup of the meringue and dumped it into the cocoa paste, which also called for pictures as the almost black of the paste looked great against the white of the meringue. Those got all mixed up together to lighten the cocoa and make it easier to fold into the whites.
Then I gradually added the flour mixture (flour, sugar, salt) to the meringue and folded it in with a balloon whisk. This took awhile and was a bit messy--the meringue kept spilling over the sides of the bowl. Once all the flour mix was folded in I added the cocoa meringue and folded that all in until the batter looked all nice and uniformly chocolaty.
Off into the oven it went, and then came my least favorite part. The cleanup.
After the cake was all nice and baked up, I pulled it out and brought it over to the wine bottle to hang it upside down to cool. You all know that, right? That's the reason why there's a hole in the middle of your angel food cake pan--because you place the pan upside down over the neck of a wine bottle to cool, so that the structure of the cake doesn't collapse in on itself like a souffle would.
And wouldn't you know it, my stupid cake pan's hole wasn't big enough to accommodate the wine bottle. I couldn't find a bottle neck that would fit in the pan's hole.
Double entendre aside, I was annoyed. I used to have a perfectly good angel food cake pan that even had the little feet riveted to it, so that you didn't even need a bottle, you could just turn the cake pan upside down on your counter and the little feet would elevate it above the table so the cake could cool. But if you had a bottle, that worked just fine too. It was a nice shiny aluminum pan that I think I bought second hand. That pan was perfect--but somehow the removable bottom of the pan warped and batter began to ooze out between the crack. So I dumped that pan and bought a new pan. A non-stick pan with a shitty excuse for a hole, and no neat little feet that I could use if no bottle was handy.
So I did this:
And I'm looking for a new pan.
The cake itself? Many american sponge cakes tend to be a little rubbery in my opinion, and at first bite this cake is no different. Then, the moist angel foodieness comes through and it--literally--melts in your mouth. The cocoa powder not only adds a deep chocolate flavor, but tempers the usual horrible cloying sweetness of a regular angel food cake. I mean, this is the healthiest chocolate cakey love you'll probably ever find.