Samoa Angel Food Cake
It’s official. The Girl Scouts have emerged once again to look up at us with their doe eyes and make us want to buy their delicious cookies. What’s ironic is that, as I was leaving the grocery store with the ingredients for this cake, I was approached by one of those said scouts. It was a sign. This cake was meant to be.
Start by beating a dozen egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy like this, about 1 minute. Make sure the eggs are room temperature, otherwise you won’t get the same volume and overall cloud-like airiness.
Add a smidge of cream of tartar, a dose of lemon juice, a splash of vanilla, and a dash of salt. In those exact amounts. Or close to it. Beat again until soft peaks form like this, about 2 1/2 minutes.
Now, with the mixer still running, slowwwwwlyyyyyy add a cup of sugar and mix for just a minute until firm, but not stiff, peaks form. See the above photo. That is what a firm/not stiff peak looks like. Got it?
Sift together a cup of cake flour and 1/2 cup of sugar. Then sift again. And once more. Now gently fold the flour mixture into the egg whites one-third at a time until just incorporated. Remember: egg whites require a gentle hand!
Carefully spoon the batter into a 10-inch tube pan, smooth the top, then run a knife through the center in a circular fashion to pop any air bubbles and make a cool ring shape that will show up when the cake is done. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
Cake is done! See how cool? Now do that weird thing that you have to do with angel food cake where you invert the cake pan onto a bottle and let it hang there until the cake is completely cooled.
While the cake is left to just hang around, toast 3 cups of coconut by tossing it in a large dry sautee pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Doesn’t toasted coconut look exactly like hashbrowns? By the way, that’s my rubber stirring fork in this pic, not a scary monster claw, in case you were wondering.
Then, make the frosting! This one is just a simple fluffy white frosting. Start by cooking together a cup of sugar with a 1/3 cup of water, cream of tartar, and some salt until the sugar is dissolved and it starts to bubble. Let it cool for just a minute.
Place 2 egg whites and some vanilla into an electric mixer and, with the beater running on medium speed, slowly pour in the sugar syrup, then turn the speed up to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
When the cake is cooled, run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan, then pop it out, and invert it onto a cake plate. You now have a traditional angel food cake. But traditional is not the name of the game today!
Stick pieces of wax paper underneath the edges of the cake to catch any drippings, then frost the top and sides of the cake with a fairly thin layer of frosting, keeping it smooth.
Now press the toasted coconut all over the cake until well-coated. I can’t stop being amused at how interesting this cake looks!
To make the chocolate ganache, just melt a cup of chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over a double boiler or very low heat until smooth.
Now, either with a spoon or a piping bag, drizzle the ganache over the cake. The traditional samoa cookies have the chocolate in a zig-zag pattern, but I liked the look of the star design here. Whatever your artistic mind wants to create!
I usually think of myself as a Thin Mint kind of girl. But my love for coconut calls to me just as much to Samoas. And, I must say, this is now my favorite kind of angel food cake. It has an extremely cool variety of flavors and textures with the crunchy coconut, creamy frosting, and airy cake, I just might have to give myself a pat on the back for making this creation come to life. Please try it, dear friends!
Samoa Angel Food Cake
Source: Angel food cake adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cakes
Yield: One 10-inch cake
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
12 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Using a sieve, sift flour with 1/2 cup sugar onto a piece of wax paper. Set sieve over a bowl, and sift again.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tartar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt; beat until soft peaks form, about 2-1/2 minutes. With mixer running, add remaining 1 cup of sugar, very slowly, then raise speed to medium-high, continuing to beat until firm, but not stiff, peaks form. Carefully fold in the flour mixture, one-third at a time, using a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites. Gently transfer the batter, a spoonful at a time, into a 10-inch tube pan. Run a knife through the center of the batter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and immediately invert pan onto its legs or over a glass bottle and let cool completely. Turn pan right side up. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen; turn cake out onto a serving plate or cake stand.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Place the sugar, water, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until bubbly and sugar is dissolved. Let cool for just a minute.
Place the egg whites and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. With the beater running on medium speed, slowly pour in the sugar syrup, then raise the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Place pieces of wax paper underneath cake; frost the tops and sides of the cake.
3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. heavy cream
In a large dry sautee pan, toast the coconut over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Let cool. Press the toasted coconut into the top and sides of the frosted cake.
Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a double boiler or a saucepan over very low heat. Cook and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool slightly; drizzle or pipe the chocolate over the top of the cake to decorate.