Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in its lowest position.

  2. Whisk together and then sift the gluten-free multi-purpose blend, cocoa, cornstarch, 3/4 cup sugar, espresso powder or almond flavoring, and baking powder. Set aside.

  3. In a large clean, grease free mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Beat in the salt and cream of tartar.

  4. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer, and beat until the egg whites have increased in volume and thickened significantly.

  5. Gradually beat in the 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, a bit at a time, until the meringue holds soft peaks.

  6. Gently fold in the sifted flour/sugar blend, ¼ cup at a time, just until mostly blended. The cocoa makes it hard to blend in completely evenly, so leaving a slightly marbled effect is perfect.

  7. Spoon the batter into an ungreased, 10? round angel food pan.

  8. Bake the cake until the top springs back when pressed lightly, about 45 minutes.

  9. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan onto the neck of a heatproof bottle or funnel, to suspend the cake upside down as it sets and cools, about 2 hours.

  10. Remove the cake from the pan by running a thin spatula or knife around the edges of the pan, turning it over, and gently shaking the cake loose onto a serving plate.

  11. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, if desired. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you don't have Baker's Special Sugar or superfine sugar, process regular granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground. The result won't be quite the same, but will be better than using plain granulated sugar.
  • Tips for success:
    •Be sure your mixing bowl is absolutely clean; also, separate your egg whites carefully. The tiniest bit of fat or speck of egg yolk will inhibit the egg whites from beating up thick and foamy.
    •Cold eggs are easiest to separate. Don't worry about warming your egg whites to room temperature; they'll warm slightly while you're getting your other ingredients ready.
    •Don't over-whip your egg whites. Many recipes tell you to whip the whites until they hold a stiff peak, but it's better to whip only until the peaks are still soft enough to slump over at their peak. Under-beating slightly allows the air cells in the beaten whites to expand during baking without rupturing.
    •Directions call for you to both whisk and sift the dry ingredients. This might seem excessive in this time-challenged era, but each action performs a separate function: whisking makes sure the ingredients are evenly distributed; and sifting lightens them, removes any lumps, and allows the mixture to be mixed into the egg whites with little effort.
    •Finally, to retain the egg whites' volume, use the whisk attachment from a stand mixer, or a balloon whisk, to gently “fold” the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites.