This cake was actually inspired by my desire to make a red dessert for a watch party when Ohio State University's Scarlet and Gray played in the Orange Bowl. As I'd recently made red velvet cheesecake brownies (https://www.instructables.com/id/Red-Velvet-Swirl-Brownies/ ) I wanted something a little different and decided to create this recipe.
I adapted my usual angel food cake recipe from the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book to add cocoa powder and food color to get the classic red velvet flavor and color. Since angel food cake contains cream of tartar, an acid, I figured that would cover the usual vinegar used in red velvet cakes, and the flavor was just what I wanted. The chocolate-y goodness of red velvet cake, with the light, airy texture of angel food cake. To replicate the standard cream cheese frosting, I used a cream cheese glaze.
While I was very proud of my Scarlet and Gray cake, you can really use any colors you desire. For Valentine's Day I would keep the red cake and make a pink glaze.
I hope you treat your loved ones, or yourself, with this yummy cake soon! Enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE:
3/4 cup sifted cake flour (3 ounces)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (0.75 oz.)
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (10 1/2 ounces, I blended granulated sugar in my blender for one minute until it looked like powdered/confectioner's sugar.)
1 1/2 cups egg whites (I used 10 farm fresh eggs, if store-bought you might need a dozen)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tsp. gel paste red food color, or color of your choice
FOR THE GLAZE:
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (6 ounces)
3 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Black gel food paste (optional, for Valentine's day I would use pink, a black glaze could be interesting, or just leave it white)
Step 2: Prepare Batter
Have ready an ungreased large tube pan (9-inch diameter, 16-cup capacity), preferably with a removable bottom. If the pan bottom is not removable, line it with parchment or wax paper.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour and cocoa powder with 3/4 cup sugar. Place remaining 3/4 cup sugar in another small bowl next to the mixer.
In the bowl of a standing mixer beat egg whites and cream of tartar at low speed until just broken up and foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. With the mixer still at medium speed, beat in the salt and 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all sugar is added and whites are shiny and form soft peaks,1 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla and red gel food paste and beat until just blended. (Use medium speed to get the gel paste mixed in to the color you desire, it will look like a coral pink, the color will deepen after cocoa powder is added.)
Step 3: Bake
Gently scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Wipe any drops of batter off the sides of the pan and gently tap the pan a couple of raps on the counter to release any large air bubbles.
Bake until the cake is deep red (golden brown if no food color is used) and the top springs back when pressed firmly, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
If cake pan has prongs around the rim for elevating the cake, invert pan onto them. If not, invert pan over the neck of a bottle or funnel so that air can circulate all around it. Let the cake cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.
Step 4: Glaze and Enjoy
Let sit until thickened, about 25 minutes.
Pour the glaze over the top of the cake after it has cooled completely, letting the glaze drip down the sides. Let the glaze set before serving, about 25 minutes. Cut, serve, and enjoy!
This cake can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days, let come to room temperature before serving.