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Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake for Father's Day

Jun 8, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose



This is the original photo by Ben Fink, from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. filled and frosted with whipped cream and adorned with ValRhona chocolate pearls or mini chocolate chips.

My dad had a major sweet tooth. He would pile three heaping tablespoons of sugar into his tea and when I expressed shocked indignation, after all his wife, my mother, was a dentist, he would out an out lie that he didn't stir the sugar into the tea!

I thought he would adore angel food cake because it is so unremittingly sweet but, in fact, he complained that it was too sweet so I came up with this version that he loved. I fold grated bitter chocolate into the batter. The very lightest and most tender texture comes from using Wondra flour as it blends easily into the batter without deflating it significantly. This recipe is adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.
Note: Egg whites from Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs offer the most stable meringue foam. Be sure to double the cream of tartar for the best results.

The Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake

Equipment: a 5 quart or larger stand mixer, an uncoated 10-inch two-piece metal tube pan (16 cup capacity). A long necked soda or wine bottle, or a large inverted metal funnel that will fit into the opening at the top of the pan (have this ready before baking and weight it by filling it with water or marbles to keep it from tipping).

superfine sugar1-1/2 cups, divided10.5 ounces300 grams
Wondra flour OR cake flour3/4 cup (lightly spooned and leveled off) OR 1 cup (if cake flour sifted into the cup and leveled off) 3.5 ounces100 grams
salt1/4 teaspoon..
16 large egg whites, preferably from Safest Choice Pasteurized eggs2 cups (473 ml)17 ounces480 grams
cream of tartar2 teaspoons (4 teaspoons if using Safest Choice Pasteurized eggs)..
pure vanilla extract4 teaspoons..
fine quality unsweetened or 99% cacao chocolate, grated.2 ounces56 grams

Preheat the oven 20 minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F /175˚C.

Make the Batter

Mix Together Half the Sugar, Flour, and Salt In a small bowl whisk together half the sugar, the flour, and salt until evenly combined. Sift the remaining sugar onto a piece of wax paper.

Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy. With the mixer off, add the cream of tartar. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the sifted sugar, and continue beating on medium-high speed until very stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. While continuing to beat, add the vanilla and beat until combined.

Add the Flour Mixture and Grated Chocolate to the Meringue Dust the flour mixture over the beaten whites, 1/4 cup at a time, (if using cake flour sift it over the mixture) and with a large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or large silicone spatula fold it in quickly but gently. It is not necessary to incorporate every speck until the last addition.
Add the grated chocolate and fold it in until evenly incorporated.

Bake the Cake Spread a thin layer of batter onto the sides of the prepared pan to ensure smooth sides. Empty the rest of the batter into the pan. In a 16 cup pan it will be 1/2 inch from the top of the. Run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent air pockets and smooth the surface.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. (A wooden skewer will still have a few moist crumbs clinging to it.) During baking, the center will rise about 2 inches above the pan but will sink to almost level with the pan when done. The surface will have deep cracks like a soufflé.

Cool and Unmold the Cake Invert the pan immediately, placing the tube opening over the neck of the bottle to suspend it well above the counter and cool the cake completely in the pan (this takes about 1-1/2 hours).

Loosen the sides with a long metal spatula and remove the center core of the pan.
Dislodge the bottom and center core with a metal spatula or thin, sharp knife. (A wire cake tester works well around the core. To keep the sides attractive, press the spatula firmly against the sides of the pan, moving the spatula up and down as you go around it.) Invert the cake onto a flat plate covered with plastic wrap, lightly coated with cooking spray, and reinvert it onto a serving plate. Allow the cake to sit for 1 hour or until the top is no longer tacky. Then cover it with a cake dome or wrap it airtight.

Store: 3 days room temperature, 10 days refrigerated. Freezing toughens the texture.

Complementary Adornments: a light sprinkling of cocoa. Lacy drizzles of melted chocolate or fresh flowers.

To Serve: for the fluffiest texture, use two forks back to back. Alternatively, use a serrated knife but hold the cake gently without compressing it as you cut.


Thank-you for your prompt response. I have decided to use fresh egg white and it turned out great. I measured by weight and it needed only 14 eggs. I will be using the egg yolk for a very rich cake originated from Indonesia - "Kueh Lapis" or layered cake, which required 15 egg yolks and two egg white.


Hi Ally,
We do not use them as others like Cook's magazine test kitchens have found that they produce a shorter and denser cake.
Also, they are more expensive than just buying whole eggs.

You can freeze egg yolks as long as you add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per egg yolk. Best to store the yolks and sugar in a ball jar, spraying the top of the yolks with cooking spray, then covering with plastic wrap, and then the jar's cover. Mark the jar for how many yolks and the amount of sugar so that you can reduce the amount of sugar when using the yolks.
We will many times make buttercream with the left over egg yolks and freeze it.
Rose & Woody


Can I replace 15 egg whites with a carton of pure egg white? I have not used these before.


Thanks for this information, Woody. I did use an uncoated, 2-piece, 10-inch tube pan. I have not confirmed that my flour is bleached... I've found information online that says you can get bleached or unbleached flour here, but I've not found both in the store, so I don't know the difference. I'll look for a wedding shop bakery to ask them about the flour they use. Thanks for the tip!

I'm heading to the U.S. soon, so I'll bring back some cake flour and my tried and true tube pan and see what happens when I bake the exact cake that I'm used to making, and then I'll try to hone in on what might have caused both of my German cakes to fall out of the pan. Yours is the best advice I received so far. No surprise there. :o) ~~Michele


Hi Michele,
For angel food and chiffon cakes, we generally state to use an uncoated 10-inch two-piece metal tube pan (16 cup capacity) as the batters will not seep out between the sections of the pan. The two-piece pan makes it easier when unmolding the cake.
We hope your using the cornstarch and flour mixture will help. Have you confirmed that your flour is bleached?
We suggest that you to talk to some bakery and wedding cake shop bakers on what flour they use for sponge cakes. You may be able to buy some from them. I used to buy chocolate in bulk from a candy shop.
We also have changed to a new method for elevating sponge cakes during cooling. We place a large wire rack with wires running length and width wise set on top of four 4 inch or higher glasses or cans. This technique is more stable than using a bottle or funnel, keeps the cake pan level, and you can place the cake pan on it quicker than a bottle. However, this technique is for two-piece pans that have the 3 legs around the rim of the pan.
Rose & Woody


Michele Linder
Michele Linder
08/ 1/2013 09:45 AM

I just moved from the U.S. to Germany and I've attempted Angel Food Cake twice now... both times the cake fell out of the pan when I inverted it to cool. I finally found a pan at the American Heritage store in Munich, but it's the two-piece kind, so I'm wondering if that has something to do with it, as I've never used a two piece pan? Also, I'm wondering if the flour here in Germany is different and that's an issue? I used the type 405 flour (everything I've read says it's close to cake flour), but to be on the safe side I removed two Tablespoons of flour, per cup, and replaced with corn starch.

Any pointer would be greatly appreciated, as I'm hungry for Angel Food, and I'm tired of wasting expensive ingredients. ~~Michele


Thanks so much, Woody!


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Anonymous
07/ 1/2013 11:20 AM

Hi AK,
Yes. We think the grated chocolate will work in a butter cake.
Rose & Woody


Apologies -- a teeny follow-up question:

If you think the gated chocolate would work to "tweed" a butter cake, do you think a 70% chocolate would work or is the firmer nature of the 100% chocolate required for success?

Thanks again!


Hi, Rose & Woody,

Would the grated chocolate work in a butter cake, as well? I realize it would make it less sweet, and that's fine -- I am just asking if there's any technical reason it would probably -- or probably not -- work.

With thanks for your thoughts!



Rose and Woody, how generous of you to post this recipe! The chocolate almond whipped cream filling and frosting that goes with this cake is one of my top favorites from The Cake Bible. Must get this on my to-bake list.


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston
06/ 9/2013 10:37 PM

Hi Jeannette,
In the US, a standard carton of a dozen eggs is currently ranging from $1.20 to $2.00. Free range and organic eggs are around $5.50.
Rose & Woody


Jeannette Mara
Jeannette Mara
06/ 8/2013 10:57 AM

Are eggs as expensive in the US as they are in the UK, these days? When I look at recipes with more than a half dozen eggs in them I quickly go on to another page/recipe as eggs are approximately £i.50 a half dozen here nowadays. I always buy free-range eggs and they can cost even more than this so it puts up the price of baking cakes and other goodies quite considerably. Butter is also another commodity that has escalated in price in the last year or so, all the things we need to make our own cakes unfortunately. I still bake because I like it but it makes you stop and think sometimes.



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