Monday, April 02, 2007

Fantastic cake and delicious dinner

The last time I made a large angel food cake was back in January of '06... I love them and really don't know why we have not made another one since! I decided to rectify the situation today with this recipe for a Black and White Angel Food Cake.

I've been wanting to make this cake since I came across the recipe a couple weeks ago - now, while angel food from scratch does take a bit of effort, with rewards like this it is certainly worth the time involved. This melt-in-your-mouth cake has two distinct layers in taste and color - the white layer has a light vanilla flavor with a subtle lemon hint to it. For the dark layer, Dutch-process cocoa powder is sifted into half of the vanilla batter and gently folded in. The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons, but I added another as the batter didn't seem dark enough to me. The 3 tablespoons added just enough chocolate flavor into the cake - I wouldn't be tempted to add much more as we really liked the gentle change from vanilla to chocolate.

This striking cake has that classic airy and light texture with just enough moisture that it does not come across as being dry. You don't want to coat this delicate cake in a thick heavy frosting, so two-toned lines of a quick vanilla and chocolate cream cheese frosting are drizzled on top. The listed recipe made way more glaze than I felt comfortable with pouring over the cake, so I reserved quite a bit of it. I will serve some of it on the side and use the rest for dunking the first of the season strawberries that we ended up having leftover after topping the cake.

*Tip - Cold eggs will separate better, but do let the whites come to room temperature as you will get the best volume that way. You will have lots of leftover yolks now - use them for a zabaglione, creme brulees, or how about a tiramisu? You can refrigerate the leftover yolks for a couple days or you can even freeze them if so inclined.

Jeff about fell over when he saw this 2 pound pile of baby spinach tonight when I said we were having it for dinner... thankfully we bought it at Costco, otherwise it would have cost an arm and a leg!

I needed all the spinach to fill up the inside of this Spinach-Feta Calzone Casserole I made. Think a spanakopita filling hugged with a white whole wheat crust instead of phyllo dough. The dough is kept very simple with just flour, salt, yeast, water and oil - it was a pleasure to work with and came together pretty quick. I used half white whole wheat flour instead of a full two cups of all-purpose and it worked very well. Instead of doing a free-formed shape, the dough is pressed into an 8" baking dish to give the calzone some shape and to catch any leaks if they happen - mine did not leak at all though! Before you fill the calzone, the dough is brushed with olive oil that has been marinating with a couple of garlic cloves that have been thinly sliced. This helped to create a seal so any liquid from the filling does not make the bottom soggy.

Inside this golden crusted package is the giant mound of spinach that we wilted down and tossed with chopped softened onions and thinly sliced garlic cloves. Also included with the mixture is a healthy dose of feta cheese and crushed red pepper. Before this baked, we also smeared on another layer of that garlic oil - you can see the lovely browned garlic chips that crisped up on top. With a crisp outer shell, the filling was surprisingly delicious (Jeff's words!) - it had a salty edge from the feta, a bite from the chopped onions and a very garlicky finish.

I think my garlic cloves were pretty big as I was not expecting such a garlic rush, but it worked so well here. Thankfully we have two pieces left for lunch tomorrow... one for each of us - there might have been a fight if there wasn't enough!



  1. Jeff, your cake looks gorgeous!
    It is just as the CL cover picture! I can't wait to try this one too! As soon as my magazine arrived I started drooling and keep saying everyday that I need to make this cake! :o)
    Nice to see a review from the Calzone Casserole, it is another recipe I marked to try!!

  2. I saw that recipe and have been thinking about trying it for Easter, though I don't think my brother would eat it and I always like to try and have something he'll eat. We'll see...I'm going to try it sometime.
    BOTH of these look great. Your pictures are wonderful. LOVE all the garlic in the calzone. One of my resolutions is to make spanikopita this year, so I'm going to check out your filling recipe.

  3. Looks wonderful, you did a really great job.

  4. I have never seen such a fabulous Angel Food Cake! I love the dessert and this would last all of 2 seconds in front of me. Yum!!

  5. Mmmm... I've so been eyeing that Spinach calzone. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting on a ride to Costco!

    The cake looks beautiful too.

  6. Oh Joe,
    You always get a jump on the Cooking Light recipes. Your cake looks better than the cover.
    Any plans to make the carrot cake? I think I am going to for easter.

  7. Gorgeous cake, looks just like the cake on the cover of CL. I really need to get an angel food pan. Its the one pan I dont have.

  8. Oooh those look so yummy! But what on earth do you do with the leftover 12 yolks??

  9. Thanks guys! Anon - I gave a couple suggestions in the post about what to do with the yolks... you can freeze them too!