Thursday, June 30, 2011

On the lighter side

Sometimes I get to thinking that maybe I should try baking lighter fare – you know, things that you won’t feel guilty about eating.  This doesn’t happen often, because what is a baked good without butter and sugar, but it does have every so often.
Enter angel food cake.
Truthfully, before this recipe I had never made any sort of angel food cake, which did become a factor in why I chose it.  It’s such a classic cake, and I figured it would be a good idea if I knew how to make it. 
I saw this recipe in my Google reader, but you can find it here.  It’s pretty simple, and uses ingredients that you would most likely have in your pantry already (if you don’t have them, they are all good ingredients to keep on hand). 
A couple of quick notes:  When the recipe says to pile the batter high in the muffin cups, they mean it!  I felt like there was more batter piled on top of each muffin cup than there was actually in the muffin cup, but it worked out okay.  Because it’s angel food cake, it doesn’t ooze all over the place or make a mess.  Also, go easy on the sprinkling of powdered sugar, or the mini chocolate chips won’t really stick to the tops of the cupcakes.  You can always add more later.
These were really good!  I wanted to eat several of them in one sitting, but that would probably defeat the healthiness factor.  I will say that after a few days they started to get kind of sticky and gooey on the top.  I’m sure my container wasn’t as airtight as it should have been, but anyway, I recommend not keeping them more than a few days.  This shouldn’t be a problem, since they are so tasty!

Chocolate Angel Food Muffins
Makes 8 muffins

¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon cake flour
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ teaspoon espresso powder
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
6 large egg whites at room temperature
Pinch of kosher salt
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with 8 muffin liners (four spots will remain empty). Lightly spray the top of the pan with non-stick baking spray (fp note: I found this to be annoying.  I ended up spraying a paper towel with the spray and then wiping it on the top of the muffin pan).
2.     In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside
3.     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla on high until soft peaks form. With the mixer still running, gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until the mixture reaches stiff, glossy peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites in three additions. Generously fill each muffin liner high with the batter. Dust the tops of each muffin with confectioners’ sugar and sprinkle with several mini chocolate chips. Bake until the tops are puffed and dry, about 30 minutes. Transfer the muffin pan to a rack and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 1 hour before removing (This will help the muffin retain its shape). Gently remove the muffins from the pan.  Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.

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