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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes

Since I made the frozen cherry limeade pie, I've had quite a few egg whites hanging out in my fridge. I immediately thought I'd make some sort of angel food cake, since I'd seen this heavenly sounding lime angel food cake on Maria's blog. However, I wasn't sure if an angel food cake would come out if I made it in a bundt pan, and I was wary to experiment. Then I saw a recipe for chocolate angel food cupcakes and I knew I was in business.

I've always loved angel food cake. My best memories of it are from 8th grade basketball, when one particular tournament sold funfetti angel food cake at their concessions stand. I think my teammates and I were more excited about this than how well our team did in the tournament, sad as it is to say! Since then, I've had angel food cake a few times, often with strawberries and whipped cream. I had never tried, or even heard of, a chocolate version of this light, airy cake. The original recipe comes from Martha Stewart, so it's no surprise that these are quite delicious!

This recipe yielded about 18 cupcakes. I kept some plain, topped a few with whipped cream, as you see in the pictures, and then shared a bunch with some friends at work. For theirs, I sent a little jar with cream cheese frosting (4 oz. cream cheese beaten with about 1 cup of powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla extract) so that they could frost them if desired. I tried them all ways and liked them all ways. Ryan also thought they'd be good with a regular buttercream frosting. That being said, make them, choose your favorite topping (or not), and enjoy!

Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes
from Telly's Tasty Tidbits

-3/4 cup sugar
-scant 1/2 cup cake flour
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated (about 1/4 cup)--I just chopped a Hershey's bar in my food processor and used 1/4 cup of it
-6 large egg whites
-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp pure almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oven rack in center. Sift together in a small bowl 1/3 cup sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in grated chocolate and set aside.
2. With the whisk attachment and an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. With machine running, add remaining sugar in a slow steady stream, beating until fully incorporated and stiff glossy peaks form. Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine.
3. Gradually stir in flour mixture, gently folding into egg-white mixture until fully combined. Pour batter into lined muffin tins, filling about 2/3rds of the way. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cakes spring back when depressed with a finger. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing and cooking completely on a wire rack.
5. Serve with desired frosting and/or fresh fruit. Store at room temperature and eat within 3 days.