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GOOD COOKING

Confessions of a Non-Chocoholic

February 15, 1996|ABBY MANDEL

The following confession will not be popular: I am not a chocoholic.

A small bite of chocolate more than suffices for me. In fact, the milder the chocolate or the smaller the taste, the more pleased I am. More than that, I can easily resist chocolate creations.

Consider these chocolate recipes within this context. Even I accept that there are times when chocolate is the perfect conclusion to a meal or when chocolate is the only dessert that satisfies. These recipes come either in small bites (chocolate lace oatmeal cookies), in very thin slices (glazed bittersweet torte) or in mild chocolate flavor (chocolate chocolate chip angel cake).

I'd enjoy hearing from readers whether these recipes are chocolaty enough for true chocolate lovers and learning about your favorite chocolate recipes.

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP ANGEL CAKE

This angel cake is not as virtuous fat-wise as most angel cakes because of the chocolate chips and the frosting, but the result is well worth the exceptions. The cake is best baked a day ahead and kept at room temperature, well covered, so the flavors deepen and the glaze firms up for easier slicing.

1 1/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons cake flour

1/3 cup cocoa

2 cups egg whites (about 16 large), room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon plus pinch salt

1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 pound semisweet chocolate

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup water

Sift 2/3 cup sugar 2 times to be sure all lumps are removed. Set aside.

Sift remaining 2/3 cup sugar with 3/4 cup cake flour and cocoa 3 times. Set aside.

Beat egg whites in 4-quart grease-free bowl at low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually increase speed to medium-high. Add sifted 2/3 cup sugar by tablespoons, beating well after each addition. When sugar is added, continue to beat whites until stiff peaks form. Whites will have increased in volume almost to top of bowl.

Using flexible spatula, gently fold sugar-flour-cocoa mixture into egg whites in 3 batches. Toss chocolate chips with remaining 2 teaspoons cake flour and fold into cake batter. Transfer batter to ungreased 10-inch tube pan (preferably with prongs for stability during cooling). Smooth surface with spatula. Cut through batter in 6 to 8 places to collapse any large air pockets.

Bake at 375 degrees until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (if edges become too dark, drape foil strips over pan). Be careful not to underbake. Invert on pan prongs or over narrow-necked bottle. Cool completely.

Gently melt chocolate with butter, pinch salt and water in top of double boiler over simmering water or in microwave oven on high power (100%) 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Let glaze cool at room temperature until thick enough to spread on cooled cake.

When cake is completely cool, use long flexible sharp knife to loosen from sides of pan. Invert onto rack. Use knife to separate cake from bottom of pan. Spread top and sides with chocolate frosting. Use serrated knife to cut into wedges.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Each of 12 servings contains about:

326 calories; 241 mg sodium; 21 mg cholesterol; 16 grams fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.33 gram fiber.

CHOCOLATE LACE OATMEAL COOKIES

These chocolate lace cookies are thin and shiny-crisp. Serve them with ice cream, frozen yogurt or steaming cappuccino.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

6 tablespoons cocoa

1/4 cup cake flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup minced walnuts

2/3 cup rolled oats

Cream butter and sugar in mixer until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and corn syrup; beat until smooth.

Combine cocoa, flour and salt in bowl.

Add flour mixture, walnuts and oats to butter mixture and mix with wooden spoon.

Lightly sprinkle greased baking sheet with water to ease release of cookies. Drop batter by scant teaspoons about 3 inches apart on pan (about 12 cookies).

Bake until cookies darken around edges, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool on pan until firm enough to transfer to cooling rack with metal spatula, 1 to 2 minutes. If cookies cool too much, return pan to oven for 30 seconds. Repeat using all dough, wiping baking sheet with paper towel and sprinkling with water between batches. Let cookies cool completely. Store up to 1 week in an airtight container.

Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Each cookie contains about:

36 calories; 23 mg sodium; 6 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams protein; 0.07 gram fiber.

GLAZED BITTERSWEET TORTE

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