Commercial low-fat desserts are commonly found in supermarkets. However, home cooks don't need to buy new-fangled products to serve heart-healthy desserts. Homemade angel food cake has always been virtually fat-free.
The following recipe for chocolate angel food cake with coffee sauce combines two outstanding flavors in one delicious dessert. The cake is made with egg whites, cocoa, sugar and cake flour and contains absolutely no fat. The sauce is made with instant coffee, rum or brandy and low-fat milk, and thickened with a cornstarch.
The cake is best made within one or two days of being eaten. The texture can become dry if allowed to sit for too long.
Chocolate angel food cake
with coffee sauce
Makes 10 servings.
3/4 cup cake flour
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups egg whites at room temperature (about 9 or 10 eggs)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift the flour and cocoa together. Add the salt and 1/4 cup of the sugar and sift again into a very large bowl.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together. Start on low speed and increase speed as whites begin to form soft peaks. When soft peaks are raised, gradually sprinkle in remaining 1 cup sugar. Whites should be stiff and glossy like meringues. They should not slide when the bowl is tipped.
Stir about 1 cup of egg whites into the flour mixture. Pour in vanilla. Using a stirring motion (or an old-fashioned angel food cake mixer if you have one) fold the first batch of egg whites into the flour. Spoon half the remaining egg whites into the mixture. Continue folding in flour and cocoa. It isn't necessary to incorporate every speck of flour but avoid hard clumps.
Fold in remaining egg whites. Make sure the batter is well-incorporated with no large white streaks remaining. Pour into an ungreased, 10-inch tube pan. Smooth top with a spatula.
Bake for 35 minutes without opening the door. Test with a toothpick; it should come out clean and center should bounce back when pressed lightly.
The cake will sink back like a souffle when removed from the oven. To cool the cake, suspend the pan from the neck of a soda or wine bottle for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Loosen from the pan with a long, thin knife and invert on a serving platter.
Serve with coffee sauce and garnish with a mint leaf if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: calories, 188; fat, 0.2 gram; carbohydrate, 41.4 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 138 milligrams.
Makes 1 1/2 cups or 10 servings.
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons brandy, dark rum or Irish whiskey
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat together confectioners' sugar and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Mix cornstarch, brandy or other spirit, and coffee powder. Stir into milk mixture. Return to heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
Nutrition information per serving: calories, 15; fat, 0.05 gram; carbohydrate, 2.8 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 2.3 milligrams.