I just baked a "chocolate brownie cake". They just came out of the oven and from outside they look fine. Inside is still a mystery. I did it from a recipe in the Food & Home magazine and it was done and explained with pictures by a chef from a five-star hotel in Johannesburg. In most "fancy" cake recipes you will need to seperate the egg yolks and whites. The whites are beaten to stiff peaks before being folded into the batter right at the end. This is to 'ligthen' the cake.
This turned out to be tricky and nearly a disaster (could still be - depending on the cake's innards).
Here's what happened.
The egg yolks and castor sugar are beaten until light and fluffy. No problem. Then you add a mixture of melted butter, chocolate and cocoa powder. Now things got tricky. What they don't tell you in the recipe is that you need earth moving equipment to mix this stuff. It is THICK. Then you still need to add the flour! Elbow grease is not the word. You need Hercules to help out. After nearly dislocating my shoulder, I could start adding the stiffly beaten egg whites. I've read that when you add egg whites in this manner, you add about a third to 'ligthen' the batter. Once encorporated, you add the rest and then very gently, you fold it in until just mixed. Do not overmix they say otherwise you lose the 'ligthening' aspect of this process. I added a little of the egg whites and started folding it in. But I had a problem. They USED to be stiffly beaten.
Here's a tip: DO NOT USE THE WOODEN SPOON YOU USED TO MIX THE REST OF THE CAKE BATTER TO START ADDING THE EGG WHITES. YOU WILL GET CHOCOLATE MIX IN THE REST OF THE WHITES AND WHEN YOU REALISE THAT THE EGG WHITES HAD ACTUALLY FALLEN FLAT AND LIQUIFIED YOU CAN NOT RE-BEAT IT!!!
So now I had to guess how much egg whites I still had to incorporate. I re-seperated 4 eggs and beat the whites (I forgot to say that in-between the one whisk of my electric hand beater had broken off). This I then folded into the batter. It looked ok.
So, as they say, the proof of the pudding / cake is in the eating. Will do an update once the results are in!