|Mini chocolate angel food cake cupcakes|
It started out as a promising idea: I had a recipe for chocolate angel food cake, and a desire to bake mini things. Solution: make chocolate angel food cake. Unfortunately, there were several things that went wrong along the way, which resulted in really tough and chewy cupcakes. Read on to find out how not to make mini chocolate angel food cupcakes…
|Sift together cocoa powder, all purpose flour, granulated sugar
and instant coffee granuels
I think the first and most fatal mistake I made was using all purpose instead of cake/ pastry flour. All purpose flour contains more protein (gluten), which provide structure and chewyness. But in this case, cake flour is absolutely essential if you don’t want your cupcake to turn out bouncy and hard…
The original recipe also called for icing sugar. Again, due to a lack of supplies, I substituted granulated sugar. I don’t think this was that big of a deal. Although it was difficult to push through granulated sugar and instant coffee granules through the sieve.
|Whisk egg whites with salt until soft peaks form
add granulated sugar 1 tbsp at a time while whipping until hard peaks form
Whip egg whites. This step is a lot easier with an electric mixer, although it can be done with a fork, a lot of muscle power, and patience. Egg whites at room temperature are easier to whip than cold egg whites right out of the fridge.
|Fold flour mixture into whipped egg whites
divide into 12 ungreased mini cupcake tins
So folding dry ingredients into whipped egg whites is usually done with a rubber spatula (we lost ours a few years ago). I’ve seen Nigella Lawson use a whip to fold things so I thought, why not?
The whip worked pretty well for the first 1/4th of the flour mixture, then it got all clumpy and hard to move through the mixture. I reverted to a wooden spoon. Probable mistake #2: not folding in ingredients properly, deflating egg whites in the meanwhile.
I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F and popped in my filled cupcake pan. Mistake #3: over-baking these mini cupcakes. They sat in the oven for ~16 minutes when they only needed about 8-10 minutes. Although they weren’t burnt, they were definitely dried out.
|Mistake-laden mini chocolate angel food cupcakes|
So here’s what I’ve learned:
- Use cake flour for angel food cake
- Use a rubber spatula for folding things into whipped egg whites
- Bake mini cupcakes for 8-10 minutes
- Get icing sugar, just do it