Espresso Cream Cake with Chile-Chocolate Sauce
|I was too tired last night to write about that 4th fabulous recipe from the Cooking Light book. Espresso Cream Cake is light and fluffy - a type of angel food cake, actually. I wasn't prepared for that. Not that it's a bad thing, it was delicious.. you can really taste the coffee, which I love. I've just never attempted an angel food cake before and even as I was folding in the meringue I had no idea how the cake was going to turn out. Silly me, guess that should have been my first clue, yes? hehe|
I did veer off the recipe when it came to the cream though. The recipe called for Silken Tofu and when I mentioned that to Hubbs the look of fear that came across his face was priceless. I have to admit, I'm still afraid to try tofu myself. I've read many a recipe with tofu as the main ingredient and those recipes make me want to try it as the recipe looks delicious, but all I can think about it how it looks as if it tastes like eating a flavored sponge, so I always chicken out. So for the espresso cream, I went to Nigella. Remember that gooey gorgeous sinfully rich cake I made a few months ago? Nigella had suggested serving that cake with her Caffe Latte Cream, which I didn't make. I figured this would be perfect with last night's cake and WOW! was I right! I could sit and eat this cream by myself.. the whole bowl. The coffee flavor is outstanding and the cream is neither too sweet nor too bland. It was heavenly. Here's the thing though, I didn't have white chocolate, so I subbed that for 3 heaping TBS. of confectioners' sugar. The final component of the Espresso Cream Cake is the Chile-Chocolate Sauce. I was intrigued because it called for chocolate infused with Ancho Chile powder. Yay.. another chance for added spice! I bought the Ancho Chile powder and couldn't wait to use it. Although the chocolate sauce is excellent, very creamy and chocolately, I could not taste any spice and I even doubled the amount of the chile powder. I'm hoping that maybe the spice will have boosted some after sitting for a day. We'll see tonight.
All in all this is a fabulous light dessert that I'll make again for company one night. =)
1 1/3 c. sifted cake flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 c. sugar, divided
6 large eggs, separated
3 TBS. brewed espresso, cooled (I don't have an espresso maker, but the recipe says you can use very strong coffee, which I did)
1 1/2 tsp. finely ground espresso powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Espresso Cream (Original version)
1/2 c. firm silken tofu (about 1/2 [12.3 ounce] package)
6 TBS. fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. brewed espresso, cooled
Caffe Latte Cream
3 oz. white choclate, broken into small pieces (I didn't have the chocolate so I subbed it for 3 TBS. confectioners' sugar)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
scant 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/4 c. (2 ounces) bittersweet chocolate
2 TBS. fat-free milk
1/4 tsp. ancho chile powder (I used 1/2 tsp.)
Preheat oven to 350º F.
To prepare cake, sift together flour and 3 TBS. sugar, set aside.
Combine 1 c. sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at high speed 5 minutes, or until thick and pale. Combine 3 TBS. brewed espresso, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl; add to egg yolk mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Sift flour mixture evenly over egg yolk mixture, stir until just moist.
Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy using clean, dry beaters. Add cream of tartar, beat until soft peaks form. Slowly add 1 TBS. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter, gently fold remaining egg white mixture into batter.
Pour batter into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350º for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan 1 hour, run a knife around outside edge, remove sides of pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare espresso cream (Original version), place tofu, condensed milk and 1/4 c. brewed coffee in a blender, process until smooth. Chill
To prepare Caffe Latte Cream (What I used), Melt the white chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and let it cool. Fold in the cream and espresso powder, whipping the latte cream together to thicken it a little. Nigella said, "For some reason the white chocolate seems to make the cream instantly thicker; if I whisk the cream first it can seize a little when it's stirred into the chocolate." If you don't have the chocolate and use the confectioners' sugar like I did, place heavy cream, sugar and espresso powder into a mixer and whip together on high speed until cream thickens.
To prepare chocolate sauce, combine chocolate and fat-free milk in a 1 cup glass measure, microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate is almost melted. Add chile powder, stirring until smooth.
Spoon espresso cream onto dessert plates, spreading evenly. Drizzle chocolate sauce in center of espresso cream, top with cake slices. (Or drizzle tons of chocolate sauce over the whole thing because it's chocolate for crissakes and it's a sin to only use a tiny bit. :P)
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 cake slice, about 1 1/2 TBS. espresso cream, and about 2 1/2 tsp. chocolate sauce)