I always have an egg white or two in the freezer. I love rich, custardy desserts that need yolks, and since egg whites freeze so well, I never think twice when a recipe calls for an extra yolk or few. I know I can stash away the whites and use them down the road.
Every now and then, however, those egg whites accumulate and grow into an almost absurd amount. When they start getting mistaken for frozen chicken broth, I know it’s definitely time to use them up asap. That’s when angel food cake comes in handy — it uses a whopping 1 1/2 cups or roughly 12 egg whites.
Having made a number of angel food cakes, some plain white, some chocolate, I began to dream up a combination of the two. It seemed like the best of both worlds — using up tons of egg whites, getting that specific marshmallowy, spongy texture, but also fitting in some chocolate (making it a sure crowd pleaser).
This was the result, and I’m pretty pleased. And so is the rest of the family :)
marbled angel food cake
[For the Base]:
1 1/2 cups egg whites (room temp is best)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
[For the White Part]:
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
[For the Chocolate Part]:
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
Prep: Preheat oven to 325 then:
As whipped egg whites are the main rise for this cake, you don’t want to have them sit too long once they have been whipped. So, in one small bowl, measure out the ingredients for the white part. In a separate small bowl, measure out the ingredients for the chocolate part.
Then, clean out the bowl of stand mixer thoroughly. If there is any possibility of grease, use a squirt of lemon juice and then wipe dry with a paper towel (grease is the enemy of egg whites whipping properly).
Finally, have a 9-10inch tube pan ready. DO NOT GREASE (as it will prevent the batter from climbing the pan and rising properly).
Make the Base: In the clean bowl, add the egg whites, salt, and extract. On low speed, beat until frothy. Then add cream of tartar. Increase speed to medium and allow 30-60 seconds to mix in the cream of tartar. Then start adding the 1 cup of sugar slowly, bit by bit. Once sugar is added, continue mixing on medium high speed until egg whites reach glossy, stiff peaks. Divide egg whites in half, transferring one half into a separate, clean bowl.
Make the White Part: Starting with one bowl of egg whites, add 1/3 of the white part mixture. Gently fold until fully incorporated. Add the rest of the mixture and gently fold until fully incorporated. Set aside.
Make the Chocolate Part: Taking the other bowl of egg whites, add 1/3 of the chocolate part mixture. Gently fold until fully incorporated. Add the rest of the mixture and gently fold until fully incorporated.
Now, you have a few options for the “look” of your cake:
Cow Pattern: Plop a few spoonfuls of the white part around the base of the tube pan. Fill in the gaps with some spoonfuls of the chocolate part. Continue with a second layer, or until you use up all the batter. Smooth the top.
Marbled: Do as directed above, but take a long skewer, stab through the batter to the bottom, and pull it through the cake several times to create a swirled marbled pattern. Smooth the top (if needed).
Two-Tone: Place all of either white or chocolate part on the bottom. Top with all the remaining part. Smooth the top.
Half & Half: Place all of the white part on one side and all the chocolate part on the other. Smooth the top.
Bake: At 325 or 45-50 minutes, or until the top is cracked and a skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs. (I find angel food cake is hard to dry out, as long as you haven’t over-whipped the egg whites. Err on giving a few more minutes if you’re unsure.)
To cool: Keep the cake in the pan. Flip upside-down and place on top of a wine bottle (or San Pellegrino) until completely cool to the touch. This will help maintain the full rise of the cake.
Once cooled: Gently ease cake away from the edges of the pan with a knife, then turn out onto a platter. Again, I find angel food cakes to be very moist, so no need to cover unless it will be out for an extended period of time (5hrs+). Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, a mixture of the two, and/or a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!