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Café au Lait Angel Food Cake

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
Yield 12 servings (serving size: 1 cake slice, about 3 tablespoons sauce, and 2 teaspoons hazelnuts)
The custard, a versatile dessert sauce that's also great with fresh fruit, makes use of some of the extra egg yolks. For a fitting garnish, arrange a few chocolate-covered coffee beans around the cake.

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso granules or 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Sauce:
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut-flavored liqueur)
  • Remaining ingredient:
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Nutrition Information

  • calories 271
  • caloriesfromfat 18 %
  • fat 5.5 g
  • satfat 1.4 g
  • monofat 3 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 7.7 g
  • carbohydrate 46.8 g
  • fiber 0.6 g
  • cholesterol 58 mg
  • iron 1.1 mg
  • sodium 162 mg
  • calcium 90 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk, and set aside. Combine espresso and hot water, stirring until espresso dissolves; set aside.

  3. Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon salt; beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

  4. Beat in espresso mixture and vanilla extract. Sift 1/4 cup flour mixture over egg white mixture; fold in. Repeat procedure with remaining flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time.

  5. Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly. Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan; cool completely. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Invert cake onto plate.

  6. To prepare sauce, place egg yolks in a large bowl; set aside. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in remaining milk. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into the milk mixture; add bean to mixture. Heat milk mixture over medium heat to a boil. Remove from heat; gradually add hot milk mixture to egg yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk.

  7. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook mixture over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 4 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Spoon milk mixture into a bowl; place bowl in a large ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until milk mixture comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from ice; stir in liqueur. Cover and chill completely.

  8. Remove and discard vanilla bean. Serve angel food cake with sauce, and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts.