This guilt-free chocolate angel food cake is moist and light, and flavored with juicy orange and deep dark espresso.
Notes: Do not grease the pan here. The cake needs to grab onto the sides to rise properly. As you stir in the first amount of beaten egg whites into the bloomed chocolate mixture, make sure it's smooth before continuing. Take care not to deflate the egg whites as you fold into the batter. Take care inverting the pan upside down. Don't set the pan on a wine bottle—my cake fell out that way.
- Yield:makes one 9-inch cake
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:4 hours
- 1 cup (3 ounces) cocoa powder, divided
- 1 3/4 cup (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon zest from 1 orange
- 15 large egg whites
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 orange, sliced thin for garnish
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa, 3/4 cup sugar, and flour into medium bowl; set aside.
Place remaining cocoa, espresso powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in boiling water and orange zest until smooth; set aside.
In standing mixer fitted with whip attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until whites are beginning to turn opaque, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly add remaining cup sugar. Continue to beat until meringue forms stiff but not dry peak, 3 to 5 minutes.
Whisk about 1 cup meringue into cocoa and water mixture to lighten. In three stages, gently fold in remaining whites. Sift 1/3 flour mixture onto meringue and gently fold in. In two additions, sift and fold remaining flour mixture into batter until combined, taking cake not to deflate egg whites.
Gently spoon batter into pan. Bake until cake is puffed, just set, and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
Set pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert pan onto wire rack so that cake can completely cool in pan upside-down, about 4 hours. Run knife along inside of pan and invert cake onto serving plate to serve. Serve with orange slices.