Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stop 10: Pennsylvania Chocolate Chiffon Angel Food Cake

The second recipe from Pennsylvania was a chocolate chiffon angel food cake.  I decided to hold off on making it right after the traditional angel food cake, partially because of the horrible outcome of the original cake, and partially because I was at my parents' and my candy thermometer was at my house.  I had learned my lesson about winging it, it was time to go all out and follow directions.  Of course, about half way home, I realized that the reason I had gone to my parents' house to make the cake in the first place was because I didn't have a bundt pan.  I am happy to announce that I am now the proud owner of a 12 cup bundt pan, purchased for $6.99 at the Star Market near my house (at which I had to stop anyway because I'd forgotten the cream for the recipe).

Moving on...

I was well into the cooking process when I read Brown's notes on the recipe (I have got to start doing that earlier!) and saw that he said that he has wanted to share this recipe for a while, but hadn't because of how complicated it was.  This, of course, made me balk, but I stuck with it.  

You might be asking yourself why this is called a chiffon angel food cake.  I think Brown kind of made up that description on his own, but basically, it's an angel food cake because it has whipped egg whites, and it's a chiffon cake because it doesn't have butter.  In this case though, rather than replacing the butter with oil, like you would in a normal chiffon cake, you replace it with cream.  This doesn't exactly strike me as having the same results, but it seemed to work.

Making the cake started the same way as making the angel cake, by creating a meringue.  This time I boiled the sugar syrup until it was definitely at temperature and it went into the egg whites a lot more easily.  I also let the egg whites beat for far longer to after adding the syrup to let it incorporate than I had the other time.  It worked a lot better this time.  

After that, you remove the meringue from the mixing bowl (put it into another bowl), then you mix the wet ingredients (including TWO cups of heavy cream and FOUR egg yolks!!) together and add the dry ingredients to that.  Then you mix in a third of the meringue.  After that you fold in the rest and put it in the oven to bake and it comes out looking like this:
a.k.a. AWESOME.

Then, after a little bit you flip it out of the pan and it comes out like this:

After this, we reach one of those magical moments where I get mad at Warren Brown for a lacking of detail.  He says that once the cake is cool and the sugar syrup you've made is cool, you should soak the cake in as much sugar syrup as you'd like.  I don't know how to soak cake.  I don't know how much is too much.  I was confused, but I gave it a shot.  This is what it looked like (the yellow stuff in the middle was a pool of sugar syrup):

Eventually, I let the cake soak overnight, flipping it once so the pool of syrup would end up at the top and not just be pooled at the bottom.

I was taking it to a potluck (more about that below) and thought that it needed a little something special, so I dusted the top with a cocoa powder-powdered sugar mix and then drizzled some chocolate icing that I had leftover from another cake.  Unfortunately, the powder mixture all dissolved in by the time I arrived at the dinner, but I can't imagine it made it taste worse :-)

About the aforementioned potluck...  I have new friends!  And they have a dinner potluck every week and if I bring a cake, they'll give me dinner!  For me, it's a very good deal, since I am a savory, far more than a sweet, and have this affinity for baking.  I need a new outlet for cake-sharing anyway since being the only person to bring in sweets to work feels a bit thankless.

They all liked it and said very nice things.  One dinner attendant commented that it was, "Mmmm, good."  I thought it was a little dry.  But then, I don't like cake.

Next Stop:  The next two stops we're making will be in Vermont for Maple Creme Brulee, and New York for cheesecake.  They'll definitely be made within the next week and a half since they're the only two I can make Passover-friendly and Passover starts on Monday!

I'm also taking a chocolate truffle making class with my brother on Saturday morning.  I'm sure I'll have lots to say about that!

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmm. I was going to comment but my mouth was full of delicious cake.