This cake is a good compromise for people who prefer a lower-in-fat dessert. It would go nicely with the Port-Poached Pears from the Hazelnut Cake recipe. Because this recipe calls for so many egg whites, you might want to devise a use for the extra yolks or freeze them.
- 1 1/8 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
- 18 large egg whites (2 1/4 cups; do not use cartons of egg-whites-only product)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready an ungreased 10-inch tube pan with a removable insert.
Sift together the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cocoa powder 3 times into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and set on medium speed, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract and salt. Beat for 1 minute until the whites are frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar, continuing to beat about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to carefully fold the flour-cocoa powder mixture into the egg whites in 3 additions. Spread the batter evenly in the tube pan and rap it firmly on the counter to remove any air pockets. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely by inverting the tube pan on its "feet" or over a long-necked sturdy glass bottle. Run a long metal spatula or sharp knife around the insides of the pan to loosen the cooled cake, and remove the cake and its insert. Next, run the spatula or knife along the bottom and around the center core of the insert. Transfer the cake to a serving plate; to serve, carefully cut slices with a serrated knife.
Adapted from Valerie Hill of Johnny's Half Shell.
Tested by Robin Levin.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.