Hello... I am back from my short hiatus with cake.
Here we are in November where the weather has taken a turn and Thanksgiving is starting to nudge more permanently in my mind and thoughts. October was a blur. Since I last posted, fires continued to blaze through Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, I turned 25 and transformed into a Hobbit for the day.
It was difficult to find the right words to say these past few weeks and to put myself out there on the Internet. It's challenging to balance stuff that is going on in the world without either ignoring it or sounding like everything is always so dreary. Even though I wasn't here, I was still making food, working on some Hapkido projects but mostly enjoying my introvert time. It made me grateful that I don't blog full-time or have to be "on" the Internet full-time but I suppose if this was my job rather than a personal hobby, it would be a little different. It was especially nice to take a break from posting on Instagram for a while. But, we'll talk about my feelings about Instagram on another day.
I've always been an avid member of #teampie but ever since making my birthday cake, I've been dreaming about taking a stab at cake more often than I have in the past. Most of those dreams revolve around layered cakes, ombre colors, cake stands and piping bags but first lets take a step back to good ol' cake with no frosting and no fluff. Homemade Angel Food Cake (like most things homemade) is a thousand times better than anything store-bought. Kristen was really into Angel Food Cake for a while. For my 21st birthday, Kristen made me a Vanilla Angel Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache and chocolate chips nestled on top. We were staying with Popo that weekend and they both surprised me by setting up the cake and a bottle of champagne in the backyard. It was a sweet memory and I recall that Angel Food Cake being moist, fluffy and slightly sticky with a light crumb and delicate flavor that was more than just sweet.
Several years later, we were watching the Great British Bake Off and Angel Food Cake was a Technical Challenge. We were on the edge of our seats waiting to see which contestants remembered not to spray the pan and cool theirs upside down. It was sooo nerve-wracking at times. Unlike any other type of conventional cake, you don't want to spray the Angel Food Cake pan (!) and you want to cool it upside down for maximum airiness and fluffiness. It can feel like you are breaking all of the cake making rules (which you kind of are) but this cake is an exception to that rule.
This Chocolate Angel Food Cake came from a desire to clean out my freezer (it is always a mad house) and all of the extra egg whites I had been hoarding. I've never had a chocolate version of Angel Food Cake so that was a must to try. And why wouldn't you try a chocolate version of it? It turns out a little bit denser than its vanilla counterpart and lightly chocolatey but definitely not dry and definitely still very tasty. I liked this paired with mango and a glass of milk—cake always goes well with milk. But you could also top it with a ganache or raspberries or strawberries, too. And if you're old fashioned, that is what an Angel Food Cake cutter looks like. Popo would call it "an old timey giveaway" but presently I think it could be considered as a vintage collectible.
An extra "so good" cake.
Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Yields: 12 servings
Recipe from Serious Eats