Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting and Drizzled Fudge Icing could be the best chocolate cake you will ever eat. I grew up eating this cake until my favorite ¬†bakery closed many years ago. This was our “special occasion” cake.
Since then, I have tried to find a recipe that comes close to duplicating this decadent dessert, and last summer was able to find the son and daughter of Arthur, the man whose bakery was named after him, who created this masterpiece. Try it for special occasions. It is worth the effort and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
CHOCOLATE ANGEL FOOD CAKE
1/2 cup (180 grams) confectioner’s powdered sugar ¬†or 180 grams (do not substitute granulated sugar)
3/4 cup (103 grams)¬†cake flour ¬†or 103 grams (do not substitute regular flour) spooned & leveled
1/4 cup (34 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder ¬†or 34 grams
Ingredients For Egg White Mixture
12 egg whites from large eggs, separated ¬†or
1 1/2 ¬†cup egg white ¬†(room temperature¬†¬†(364 grams)
3/4¬†cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoons ¬†(9 grams) salt
1 1/2 teaspoon (9 grams) cream ¬†of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together confectioner’s powdered sugar, cake flour and cocoa. Set dry ingredients aside.
Use a clean bowl. In a food processor, whip egg whites for about one minute on high. As eggs begin to come together, slowly add the¬†3/4 cup of granulated sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Whip until egg whites are soft peaks (about two minutes). Don’t over process or whites will become dry.
Gradually fold dry ingredients into egg white mixture. While turning bowl, gradually add 1/4 of dry ingredient mixture at a time. Use rubber spatula to cut down through center and come up on sides, slowly blending the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture. Do not over mix.
Use a 9 – 10″ angel food cake with a removable bottom.¬†Kasia lightly butters the pan, even if it is teflon, so the cake releases easily.Then pour into cake pan. Smooth top so the mixture is evenly distributed ¬†(otherwise you will have one side higher than the other after baking). Lightly tap on counter to remove any air pockets.
Place the cake in the middle rack.¬†Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until cake springs back. ¬†Test with toothpick at 30 minutes. If comes out clean, it is done. Otherwise, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Invert cake and let cool in pan for l hour. Top of cake should not be touching anything. Depending on how high the cake is (size of pan), ¬†you ¬†may have to place pan onto something to keep top from resting on counter and flattening cake. After cooled, run knife around the inside of the pan, the tube and bottom of pan tube to release.
I have too many less than fond memories of pulling a batch (3 sheet pans of 3 cake molds) of what appeared to be a perfect cake in the pan out of the oven. Within 10 minutes, it fell to the bottom of the mold. Arthur would walk over to the cooling rack and just shake his head and say, “you pulled them too early. . . “Why did you pull them too early,?” ¬†(He would) give me a look over his shoulder as he walked back to the ingredients scale to start weighing another batch. This was Arthur’s way.¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† – Memories from Arthur’s son trying to create the chocolate Angel Food Cake in the bakery.¬†
I didn’t pay too much attention to the batter being even before I put the cake in the oven. My first try at this recipe had one side on the finished cake one inch higher than the other. Oops. Now, I take the time to even the top out
Also, make sure that when inverting cake, the cake itself isn’t higher than the pan. Otherwise, the cake will deflate. If it is higher than the pan, prop the entire cake pan on something that will keep the cake and pan elevated while cooling.
MINT FROSTING (The best!)
1 1/2 cups (318 grams) shortening (I don’t have access to baker’s shortening, so I substituted Crisco)
7 1/2 cups (1000 grams) confectioner’s powdered sugar
1/2 (9 grams) ¬†teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (136 grams) evaporated condensed milk
2 ¬†1/2 teaspoons vanilla (10 grams)
2 teaspoons peppermint extract ¬†(7 grams)
1/4 teaspoon green food coloring (2 grams)
Up to 2 tablespoons (44 grams) water (adjust depending on consistency)
Add shortening to food processor and mix about l minute. Gradually add confectioner’s powdered sugar, salt, condensed evaporated milk and vanilla. Turn processor on high until mixture looks whipped. Slowly add water, scraping bowl, until mixture is a smooth consistency. Add peppermint extract and green food coloring.
“ALWAYS make more frosting than you think you will need. You can always freeze leftovers. Half way through the cake is too late to make more. It also allows you to spread the icing so you are not picking up cake crumbs. You can always scrape off excess without picking up cake crumbs if you spread it thick the first time and always push icing from inside out – never pulling from the cake across the icing.”
¬† ¬† – Kasia
ARTHUR’S CHOCOLATE FUDGE ICING
1 1/2 cups (170) powdered confectioner’s sugar
2 cups (408) hot water
1 (22 grams) tablespoon corn syrup
2 cubes/sticks (4 sticks are in a l lb box of butter) ¬†3 l tablespoon unsalted butter (272 grams)
16 ounces baker’s unsweetened chocolate baker’s chocolate ( 450 grams)
In a mixing bowl, mix powdered confectioner’s sugar, hot water and corn syrup until well blended.
Melt chocolate in the microwave and stir often so chocolate doesn’t burn (about once every one minute) ¬†for a total of ¬†two minutes. Then remove from microwave and stir for another minute.Remove from microwave and let remaining chocolate melt.¬†You can also heat in a double boiler, so as not to burn the chocolate.
Add margarine and baker’s chocolate. Work quickly so mixture doesn’t cool down.
If not smooth, heat to spreadable consistency (not runny), but do not overheat or the mixture will crystalize. It should be smooth like a thick chocolate buttercream and is NEVER boiled.
Cool slightly and drizzle icing over the mint frosting, so that top of the cake is covered with chocolate icing and the icing drizzles down the side of the cake, with lots of the green mint frosting showing through on the sides.
Arthur also used this icing ¬†for chocolate eclairs, cupcakes, or donuts.
Many thanks to both Arthur’s daughter and son, who have been patient and generous in sharing many stories about their dad, Arthur, which I will share with you in future posts.
Arthur, who created many bakery favorites of mine, ¬†woke up at 2:00 am every morning to bake at his namesake “Arthur’s Bakery.” Those who grew up savoring Arthur’s incredible raspberry pies, breadsticks, cakes, cookies and just about every wonderful smelling bakery item you can imagine, were deeply saddened when he passed away.
Arthur’s son and and daughter and I hooked up by chance. Lucky for me, the daughter shared the only recipe from the now closed bakery that was converted into a recipe that could be used at home. Good thing, as the first ingredient that I saw when she sent me the recipe started with 27.5 pounds of confectioner’s sugar. I converted the recipe as best I could ¬†from the metric measurements used by professional bakers. ¬†Kasia has preserved many of Arthur‚Äôs recipes and has been generous to share this one with The Gourmet Review.
Arthur’s daughter not only shared her father’s recipes, but provided some notes on making this cake successfully. Kasia was patient with me as I tested this cake repeatedly over the ¬†summer. I enjoyed reading her notes as much as I did making the cake. ¬†It’s a bit of nostalgia for me.
A general note here is that this cake recipe was created by Arthur many, many years ago when commercial shortenings, which had a shorter lifespan, were slightly different from what is available to home bakers today. Adjustments between liquids and flours had to be made, because Arthur often used a blend of cake and pastry flour and different shortenings that were bro-mated and fortified. Kasia has already made these adjustments. Just for the record, pastry flours and bro-mated shortenings are a discussion that is WAY beyond my culinary skills!
– The Gourmet Review