These tempting mocha angel food cakes, studded with mini chocolate chips, are topped with a devilish salted caramel glaze and chocolate-coated espresso beans. The marriage of chocolate with coffee is heaven on earth. Use a mini bundt or angel food cake pan to make the six 4-inch cakes.
- 1½ tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus 1 teaspoon for the glaze
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup cake flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup miniature chocolate chips
For the glaze:
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 6½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⅓+ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 24 chocolate covered espresso beans, to garnish
- Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, blend the espresso, water and vanilla and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a hand held electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and beat into soft peaks. Add the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and beat on medium-high until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Fold in the dissolved espresso.
- Sift together the flour and cocoa; add it to the egg whites by half-cupfuls, folding in each addition until the flour is no longer visible. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the pan. It should come about three-quarters the way up the sides. Using a small knife, cut through the batter several times to remove any air pockets.
- Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove, invert onto a cake rack and let cool completely, up to 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the icing: In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, cream and butter to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining salt and vanilla and cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, adding additional amounts of sugar by the tablespoon to make a spreadable glaze.
- Run a sharp knife around the cake edges and carefully remove. Place on a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Using a bamboo skewer, pierce the cakes vertically 4 or 5 times. Spoon the glaze over the cakes. Top each with four chocolate espresso beans, and let the glaze set.