Archangelfood Cake (with Celestial Seasonings)
How can such heavenly food be so sinful? It may have something to do with the chocolate topping that covers the light, fluffy cake.
You will need:
- 1 cup sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon each: ground star anise and nutmeg
- 1 3/4 cups egg whites
- pulp and seeds of 1 vanilla bean (slit open lengthwise and scraped)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 12-ounces chopped chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 guardian angel
- Place oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 F. Wash and dry a 9- to 10-inch two-piece angel food cake pan. Sift together the flour, half of the sugar, and the spices, set aside.
- Place the egg whites in a large, clean mixing bowl (do not use plastic) and beat at slow speed or whisk until frothy and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
- Add vanilla bean, salt, and cream of tartar. Beat at medium speed until the whites just begin to mound but haven't yet reached the soft peak stage (that's when a large dollop of the beaten egg white holds together but doesn't keep its shape on the edge of a spoon).
- Continue beating at medium speed while adding the remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture begins to shine and form soft peaks. Add the lemon juice and continue beating about 30 seconds.
- Combine the flour mixture and the remaining sugar in a sifter; sift a few tablespoons over the top of the beaten egg whites and fold gently together with a large rubber spatula. Repeat this process until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated into the batter.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown, about 55-65 minutes. The top should spring back nicely when tapped. Allow to cool upside down (an easy way is over the neck of a bottle). Unmold by gently sliding a knife around the sides and bottom.
- Bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat, add the chopped chocolate all at once and whisk until smooth. Ladle the warm chocolate mixture over the cooled cake and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
- Remember, the only true angels are the ones that volunteer to do the dishes...
Makes one 10-inch cake