Cocoa Angel Food Cake

My mind is buzzing'
I've been working my kitchen into a frenzy lately.  I'm just on a canning roll.  Well, not compared to actual 'canners' but for me this is unprecedented.  Here's what I've made so far:
1.  Strawberry/Rhubarb jam
2.  Rhubarb/Strawberry/Blueberry preserves
3.  Canned sweet Cherries
4.  Blackberry/Raspberry jam

Here's what's still on my list:
1.  More Cherries
2.  Canned Peaches
3.  Canned Tomatoes
4.  Tomato Sauce
5.  Ketchup (yup - I'm gonna try it)
6.  Green Tomato Salsa (with all the junk left in the garden)

These are the blackberries that I picked at my friend's place to make the jam.   Yum.
Cherries, I've discovered, are a pain in the ass because you need to pit them first.  That's what makes it tedious.  The rest of it - easy.
I'm managing to get some crap in my freezer too.  Blueberries, cherries, corn, peas, beans, pesto, green seasoning... all waiting for the dead of winter to remind us that we used to have gardens and farmers markets, that sometimes the sun shone for more than a couple of hours a day and that soon it will do so again.  Remember those dark days in winter when the memory of the heat of sun of July is the only thing that is keeping you going?  I've been finding something oddly satisfying in my heart getting all this stuff from the summer ready to be used in the winter.  A stocking up thing.  But not for hoarding, for truly using up when it's needed.  It's actually important to use it up because next summer it needs to happen again.  There's a soothing cyclical'ness' to it all.  It's been helping me cope with the fact that before we know it school will be starting and the whole rat race starts up again.

All of my canning frenzy has absolutely nothing to do with this cake which is so good that it really deserves to be paid attention to.  If you are a fan of this kind of thing then you will LOVE this recipe.  Even I was eating this one.  Plus it didn't turn out looking weird and lopsided like some of my other Angel Food's.  Spongy, sweet but not too, just the right colour - could be coffee or mocha (ain't that a great idea), not filling or heavy at all.  That must be the allure with Angel Food.  I like it because it's a rather substantial way to use up all the egg whites that I save when I make ice cream.  I think that I've found the magic trick with 'Angel Food' (where did that name come from anyway!?).  Cooling it upside down.  You know, I read it in recipe after recipe.  Did I do it?  No.  Do I know why I didn't do it?  No... duh.
All I can tell is don't do as I did, do as I do.  Turn the damn thing upside down and cool it for what seems like way too long.  Aside from that it's just Angel Food cake with some cocoa in the mix.  But who knew that would be so good?

Cocoa Angel Food Cake from The Story of Chocolate

1 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder (I use Cocoa Camino)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (I just whizzed gran. sugar in the blender for a bit)
12 lg egg whites (about 1 1/2 cups) at room temp.
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Get a 10 inch tube or angel food tin ready.
Sift the flour about 3 times.  Sift a fourth time but this time add in the cocoa powder, salt and 3/4 cup of the sugar.  Sift and set aside.
In another bowl (or your mixer bowl) begin to whip the egg whites (make sure that the bowl is grease free) on low speed until they are slightly frothy (mine were quite frothy and were already increasing in volume). Add in the cream of tartar and continue to whip but on medium speed until the egg whites are firm but not dry.  Don't feel like you've got to rush through this step, it took me about 15 minutes with my hand mixer.
To the egg whites add in the rest of the sugar about 2 tbsp at a time (I continued to whip while doing this).
Add the vanilla.
Gently fold in the flour mixture little by little (about 1/4 cup at a time).
Once the flour is all mixed in then gently pour the batter into the baking tin.   Smooth out the top and tap it on the counter a couple of times to remove air bubbles if you wish.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
NOW:  Turn the cake upside down.  You can use a wine bottle or something similar.  Let the cake cool completely upside down - this could take 2 - 3 hours.  Then carefully remove from the tin.

Thai'ish' Veggies

You know, I spend a lot of time on this blog telling you all about myself.  I talk to you about how I'm feeling socially (or 'un'socially), politically, environmentally, personally, spiritually (kinda).  I've also read a whole lot of other blogs that do exactly the same thing.  Here's something I've never seen though:  A post about what the reader would say to the blogger.  That sounds ludicrous right.  Ludicrous or not I'm gonna try it 'cause I'm in just that kinda mood.
Here it goes:
Reader #1:  I think that you bake and cook like a god.  (Nuff said right?) Sometimes you just talk too much.
Reader #2:  I love your pictures, especially the ones that have nothing to do with the food.  Sometimes the goopy, soupy looking things are gross but 90% are decent.  I'm looking forward to you getting a better lens on your new camera so that the focus will be better.
Reader #3:  Sometimes I don't understand what you write.  It could be because you seem not to spell check and/or proof your work (very true Reader #2, very true).  It's cool that you give a damn about things though.  I think that sometimes you are coherent enough for me to almost get your point.  Other times though it's just weird.
Reader #4:  I just had a baby and named it 'Wanda' because I love your blog so much.  P.S.  My baby is a boy!
Reader #5:  I think that when you write one of your cooking recipes you might fudge your spice amounts just a bit - sometimes they feel a bit off.  (Another astute reader that #5.  And I like that you might have actually tried my recipes and found that out)  I think that you write funny things though.

Yeah, I could go on but I think that I've proven myself convincingly enough.  I can get into the heads of my readers.  I can.  And since you've been so honest with me, here is what I'm going to promise to you my imaginary Readers #1 through 5:

I will do my best to continue baking and cooking like a god but I can't promise that I won't fudge my spice amounts sometimes because when I'm in the middle of my creative genius it just doesn't feel right to stop and write things down.
I will get a new lens for myself as soon as I can so that even the goopy, soupy crap that I'm not going to stop taking pictures of will look even better.
I will let you all know my middle name in some random post in the future.  That way you'll have options for children's names (or what if you have more than one child).
I will keep writing cheerful and funny, weird things and will do my best not to ignore the annoying correction prompts from my blog program.  I can't make any promises about the proofing reading citing the same kinds of creative genius from a few sentences ago.

I'm glad that we had this little talk.
Here are some more pictures of the goopy, soupy mess that tasted really good.  I made it the other night and was really going for a thai thing but it ended up not really being thai at all and just tasting good.

Thai'ish' Vegetables adapted (rather generously) from BBC GoodFood magazine
serves 4 - 6

1 onion, sliced
1 zucchini, cut into large strips
2 cups green beans (or purple or yellow), keep long or cut in half
3 cups greens - I used Kale - chopped
3 - 4 cups potato in large chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can chickpeas
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 lg lemongrass or quite a few small ones
2 tbsp Thai Basil chopped

1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp ginger (I used powdered for this one but fresh would be fine, just add it with the lemongrass and basil)
1/2 tsp cloves
2 tsp salt

In a small bowl combine the curry paste, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, cloves and salt together.  Add just enough water to make a paste of it all.  Set aside.
Saute the onion, zucchini, beans and potatoes over medium heat (add some oil or something too).  After a few minutes add in the Kale and garlic.  Saute another 5 - 6 minutes or so.
Lower the heat and add in the rest of the ingredients.  Stir and then simmer over low heat for about 15 - 20 minutes.  Don't let it simmer too long or else it will all start to look wilty and kinda gross.
Check the tastes and adjust if necessary.
Serve over rice.
Here is a little bean flower with some baby beans to boot.

Pasta with fresh tomato and mozzarella

This is not salad.  I repeat.... This is not salad.
It is however, a fresh pasta sauce.  You don't cook it.  The sauce that is.  You do cook the pasta.
Let's say it's a hot day.
Let's say that you've got some wonderful, fresh tomatoes from your garden or from the farmers market.
Let's say that you've got a little pot of basil growing somewhere nearby.  Oh, and maybe a little pot of parsley too.
Let's say it's late in the afternoon.  The tree toads are singing long and loud.  The kids are playing and you are tearing yourself away from your book because you are incredibly hungry.  You haven't had lunch yet.  You are truly allowing yourself to indulge in the 'lazy days of summer' b.s. that flies around this time of year.  You're not even letting yourself feel guilty that you're reading and not cleaning or cooking or canning the blackberry/raspberry jam that you've got to get done ASAP.  Nope, not you.  You are living in the moment.

Well... if that's you then maybe you've found the dish that will keep you happy and satisfied for the rest of the summer.  The rest of the tomato producing summer.
This time of year is exciting.  Seasonal eating is exciting.  It doesn't get better than fresh tomato.  I have black princes growing in my back yard.  They're beautiful.  They have these green shoulders that never go away, even when they've turned red.  Beautiful.  And tasty.  There just aren't as many of them as I would like.  So I'm supplementing with farmers market tomatoes or my own cherry tomatoes.  Whatever... they all taste incredible right now.

This is the sunflower that Kid #2 starting growing in school this year... we have a flower now.

This dish is about as carefree as you are going to get outside of cereal.  Believe me, I know.  This is not going to pull you out of your summer stupor for long at all.  You'll be back in that 'moment' before you know it.  It looks beautiful with the parley, basil and tomato.  A little hitch here is that you have to have fresh (ie. soft) mozzarella here.  The firmer stuff just won't do.   If you are looking for it in the grocery it will be sold in a little bag of water.  I suppose that you could try another soft cheese though if you can't find it.  Let me know if you do.

Pasta with fresh tomato and mozzarella
serves 1 (feel free to double, triple, quadruple...)

1 1/2 cups pasta per person cooked al dente
1 cup fresh tomato cut into large chunks
1 cup fresh buffalo mozzarella cut into med/small chunks
1/2 cup fresh basil and parsley (lighter on the parsley) ripped or cut into large chunks
1 clove garlic crushed
olive oil to drizzle over the top
coarse salt to sprinkle over the top
parmesan (optional) to sprinkle very lightly

Gently toss the pasta (I used spaghetti), tomato, mozzarella, parsley, basil and garlic together in a large bowl.  The pasta should still be warm (if you have a little saved pasta water you could throw that in too).
Drizzle some olive oil over the top and a little coarse salt over that.
Sit down somewhere quiet and shady and let it slide on down to your tummy.

Powered by Blogger.

Archivo del blog

About Me

My photo
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

My Favourite Cookbooks

  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
  • The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • More-with-Less Cookbook
  • Moosewood Cookbook

About Me

My Photo
Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
View my complete profile



Blog Archive



FBC Member