Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee or 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 7 eggs, separated
- 1⁄2 cup Kahlua or 1⁄2 cup Tia Maria
- 1⁄4 cup cold tap water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- powdered sugar
- Position oven rack 1/3 up from the bottom of the oven; preheat oven t 325°.
- You will need a 10 x 4 inch tube pan; it must NOT be a nonstick pan and it must be the kind made in two pieces—the bottom and tube in one piece and the sides in a separatepiece; do NOT butter the pan.
- On a board, with a heavy knife, cut the chocolate into small pieces; aim for pieces ¼ inch in diameter; do not leave any pieces larger than ¼ inch, because this is a very light cake and larger pieces might sink to the bottom; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 1 ¼ cup sugar, instant coffee, baking powder, and salt.
- With a rubber spatula make a wide well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
- Add, in the following order, without mixing, the oil, egg yolks, Kahula, water, and vanilla.
- With a large strong wire whisk, beat the ingredients until smooth.
- Remove the whisk and with a rubber spatula stir/fold in the chopped chocolate; set aside.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat at high speed until the whites hold a soft shape.
- Decrease speed to medium and gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar.
- Then, on high speed again, beat until the whites hold a straight and stiff peak when the beaters are withdrawn.
- For the recipe the whites should be stiffer than for most; when the whites are firm, beat for 1 minute more to be sure.
- That should make them just right; more beating than that might make them too dry.
- Use a large-size rubber spatula—in three additions, fold about ¾ of the yolk mixture into the whites, without being too thorough (without being even a bit thorough).
- Then fold the whites into the remaining yolk mixture, this time being thorough enough to just barely incorporate the mixtures.
- Gently pour the batter into the cake pan and gently smooth the top if necessary.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes, until the top springs back when pressed gently with a fingertip; the top will crack during baking—it is ok.
- Immediately turn the pan over and hang it upside down over the neck of a narrow bottle (even if your pan has a raised tube in the middle or three little feet on the sides, they probably will not raise the cake enough to keep it off the counter top).
- When the cake is completely cool, remove it from the pan as follows—you will need a sharp knife with a firm blade about 6 inches long; insert knife between the cake and the rim in order not to cut into the cake.
- With short up and down motions, saw all around the cake, continuing to press the blade against the side of the pan; then cut around the tube.
- Remove the sides of the pan by pushing up on the bottom of the pan; then, carefully cut the bottom of the cake away from the pan, still pressing against the pan.
- Cover the cake with a wide, flat cake plate, turn the cake and plate over, and lift off the bottom of the pan, leaving the cake upside down.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar through a fine strainer.
- Use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to slice the cake without squashing it.