Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Roundup

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!! Thanks to everyone that participated this month. This is a tricky month thanks to the holidays so I'm glad we got a few chiffon cakes out. Looking forward to next month!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 2011: Orange Saffron Chiffon cake with cardamom

Posted by - Vivian Thiele

I was intrigued with the Perisian Love Cake challenge but couldn't find all the ingredients (small towns tend to have that problem from time to time).  So I looked up some chiffon cake recipes and found a few that used some similar ingredients to the Persian Love cake and did a bit of a combination of recipes.  A result that produced a very delicious, airy, aeromatic cake.  I would say it ended up a success!

I combined the Orange Saffron cake from Ifood.tv and the Orange Chiffon Cake at Joy of Baking Having never really tried my hand at such a massive addaptation of two recipes, the end result quite pleased me.
     First I started with the Orange saffron cake ingredients combining:
3/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

zest of 1 large orange (grated or curls, not large strips)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads soaked in 2 tbsp of milk
half of a  of cinnamon stick freshly grated
freshly grated nutmeg using half of a fresh "nut"
5 fresh cardamom pods with seeds removed and crushed
1 tsp of vanilla

Directions: In a saucepan on low heat, I combined the orange juice with the orange zest. I Added the saffron (along with the milk), the vanilla and the other spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom). Brought it to a gentle boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Removed from the heat and allowed it to cool.

Next I moved on to Orange Chiffon cake and did the following:
6 large eggs, separated plus 1 (30 grams) additional egg white

2 1/4 cups (225 grams) sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) superfine white (castor) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil or safflower oil
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions: Separate the eggs and place the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Cover with plastic wrap and bring them to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and have ready a 10 inch (25 cm) two piece tube pan (ungreased).
    In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, sugar (minus 3 tablespoons (42 grams)), baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks and oil, as well as the milk, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract and spice mixture that has been cooled been. Beat about one minute or until smooth.
     In a separate bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 tablespoons (42 grams) of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).
Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan and bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (When lightly pressed the cake will spring back). Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert the pan and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter. Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan (about 1 1/2 - 2 hours).
     To remove the cake from the pan, run a long metal spatula around the inside of the tube pan and center core. Invert onto a greased wire rack.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Peppermint Cocoa Chiffon Cake??

Posted by -colleen
So the question marks are there because my cake DOES NOT merit having the same title as the previously posted GORGEOUS cake by Angela. Mine looks more like a giant doughnut. Oh well. Here is my post (written prior to seeing that "other" cake and I'm just too lazy to re-write or make a new cake)!!!
Every month when the new challenge gets posted, I feel like I'm in college again. I was the one who HAD to get an assignment done right away; it didn't matter if we were given a month to read the book, I started right away so it would be done. Same with this. I check for the post right away on the first of each month and immediately start researching recipe ideas. Chiffon cake posed quite the dilemma for me-so many options. I lingered over lime chiffon cake recipes, a cinnamon chiffon cupcake recipe, various lemony-luscious recipes before hitting on this one: Cocoa Peppermint Chiffon Cake. Perhaps, it's the way-too-early influx of holiday stuff everywhere but this just sounded perfect to me. Chocolate and peppermint can do no wrong.
Here is the original recipe from the Hershey's site (the stars mean I wavered from the ingredient a bit-I explain what I did at the end):
  • 2 cups sugar, divided *
  • 1-1/2 cups cake flour *
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda *
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil *
  • 7 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract *
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar *
  • VANILLA GLAZE(recipe follows) *
1. Heat oven to 325°F.

2. Combine 1-3/4 cups sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl. Add oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla; beat until smooth.

3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in extra-large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gradually pour chocolate batter over beaten egg whites, folding with rubber spatula just until blended. Pour into ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

4. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Invert pan on heat-proof funnel until completely cool. Remove cake from pan; invert onto serving plate. Spread top of cake with VANILLA GLAZE, allowing some to drizzle down sides. 12 to 16 servings.

*for sugar I used Splenda
*for cake flour I used All-Purpose flour with a little cornstarch instead (the ratio is 2 T cornstarch per 1 c. cake flour)
*I substituted all baking soda for the baking soda/powder/cream of tartar b/c I didn't have any cream of tartar-this may have contributed to a little dryness :(
*I used Pure Peppermint extract instead of vanilla.
*I made a chocolate glaze instead: melt 2 T. butter. Add 1/4 c. cocoa, 1/2 t. vanilla and 3 T. water. Remove from heat. Slowly add 1 and 1/2 c. powdered sugar. Stir well adding water as needed until you get the consistency you want.

Learning from my past mistakes separating eggs, I had 3 bowls at the ready this time (one for yolks, one for the whites and one for cracking the egg) so I was able to get through this part of the recipe without tainting the whites! The whites whipped up perfectly. The cocoa portion of the recipe was quite thick-almost like a brownie batter but once it was folded into the whites the whole thing was amazingly light and fluffy. I poured the batter into my (borrowed) tube pan an popped it in the oven for about an hour (no where near the 1 hour 20 minutes the recipe says).
Now, here is where I encountered a problem: the recipe says to use an ungreased cake pan so I did BUT the tube pan I borrowed must have been old or the coating was all worn off because there was no getting the cake out of the pan. I pounded. I shook. I tapped. I left it suspended upside down hoping gravity would kick in at some point. Alas, I had to poke and scrape and cajole it out losing a bit of the bottom and some of the part around the tube. It didn't fall apart, though so the holes can be covered with glaze! I poured the glaze over the top and then sprinkled some smashed up candy canes on top. The cake looked like an enormous donut!
Flavor-wise this cake rocked. Texture-wise? I suggest having it with a beverage as it was a bit dry.
The tube pan? Yeah. It is still soaking. I think I may have to buy the person I borrowed it from a new one. It has scratches on it and I've scrubbed it a couple times and there is still chocolate coating on it! No more ungreased pans for me....

Holiday Peppermint Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Posted by -Angela/Soap Mom's Kitchen

Since November came rolling in, I have been in Holiday Mode. I have made chiffon cakes before and they are usually moist and light and very easy to handle. The one rule of thumb is you have to keep in mind that the fillings should be light. This particular chiffon cake is not a dense cake and cannot really withstand heavy fillings.

This recipe for Chocolate Chiffon Cake is from reknown pastry chef, Bo Friberg who is my idol. I have been wanting to make this chocolate chiffon cake for sometime, so this is the perfect opportunity. Since the holidays are almost here, I decided to add peppermint extract to the batter and do a light textured peppermint frosting and chocolate peppermint ganache.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake: adapted from Bo Friberg
1 cup canola oil
8 egg yolks
1 cup room temperature water
1 tsp. peppermint extract
11 oz. cake flour
3 oz. Hershey's Cocoa
14 oz. granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 egg whites

Grease the bottom of a tube pan, not the sides. This is very important. The cake batter needs to be able to grab onto the sides of the pan to lift.

Whip the egg yolks and oil together until combine, add water and peppermint extract, mix well.

Sift flour, one third of sugar, baking powder and the salt. Add to egg yolk mixture and mix on high speed for 1 minute, put to the side.

Whip your egg whites until light and at soft peaks add slowly the remaining sugar. Continue to beat just until firm peaks begin to form. Do not over beat!

Slowly fold in egg whites to chocolate batter. Take your time folding until it is well incorporated. Do this with a light hand. You do not want to deflate the batter. Pour into prepared tube. I had to leave out about 3/4 cup of the batter. I was afraid it would overflow.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Everyone's oven varies in temperature, do the toothpick test!

Allow cake to cool completely. I ran a very thin paring knife around the cake pan to release the cake. Invert onto a serving plate.


1 stick room temperature soften unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream cold
4 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

Whip butter until light and fluffy, add cream and extract, continue to beat until fluffy and well incorporated. Add one cup at a time of powder sugar and continue to beat for several minutes until it is fluffy and white.
I cut cake into 4 layers and layered with peppermint frosting!

Peppermint Chocolate Ganache

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 T. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

Heat heavy cream in sauce pan, until very hot, add chips and beat with whisk until well incorporated, add corn syrup and extract, mix well.

Spoon ganache over cake and let drizzle down sides. I crushed some peppermint candies to add a festive look to the Cake.

Piped Frosting:
1 stick soften butter
3 to 4 cups of powder sugar
a few drops of more peppermint extract
and milk if you need to thin out

Beat butter until creamy and light, add extract. Add one cup at a time of powder sugar. Add milk if need be. Pipe rosettes on top of cake with pastry bag and large star tip. Add a peppermint candy to each rosette.
It really is delicious! Moist, light and the peppermint is divine with the chocolate ganache! My family loved it!
I will be making this for my Holiday Dinner Party! It reminds me of the candy, York's Peppermint Patty .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Almost Chiffon Cupcake Disaster

Posted by - Nancy

I can't believe I am first this month. Wow.

Anyway, I almost wasn't going to participate since I still have cake left over from last month and I am not supposed to be eating too many sweets. However, my husband invited a co-worker and his wife over for dinner tonight, so rather than feeding them frozen leftover coconut cake, I opted to bake some chiffon cupcakes.

A quick internet search popped up Alton Brown's Chiffon Cupcake recipe with rave reviews, both on the flavor and the ease of the recipe. And let's face it, who want's a finicky recipe when you are dealing with whipping egg whites? So yesterday I set out to make chiffon cupcakes. Unfortunately, with my pregnant judgment, I chose to make them after naptime. Note to self: a sick, cranky toddler is not the best sous chef, but live and learn.

The recipe went together easily enough, plus it was so fun to see this heavy batter become light and fluffy after the addition of the whipped egg whites.

Humm...there were 12 of these...
Me thinks my toddler has been here...

Because Alton swears by the scale
Using my scale, Alton

Ribbon Stage
Ribbon stage

Stiff Peaks
Stiff peaks

Now here is where things really went wrong.

I filled my cups 2/3 full. I baked my cakes for the suggested 30 minutes. I flipped them around and rotated the pans after 15 minutes. I checked the centers. However, something went wrong. It could have something to do with the quick load of laundry I folded and tried to put away while these were baking. It could have to do with my uncalibrated oven. Or maybe my pans suck. Whatever it was, I am pretty sure the bottoms of my cakes shouldn't have looked like this:
Ohh, not good eats.

What to do? The rest of the cake was still good, just the bottom tasted burned. So after some brainstorming I had an idea. First, a bit of kitchen surgery:
The aftermath

Next some jam 'glue':
A little strawberry jelly and non the wiser

And a dip in some ganache:
After a swim in the ganache

And tada:
Save! Chocolate ganache chiffon cupcake sandwiches

Chocolate Ganache Chiffon Cupcake Sandwiches. Light, fluffy and a strawberry surprise!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Challenge: Persian Love Cake

Posted by -Shri

Spanish Saffron..if wishes were to bring Kashmiri Saffron..
Green Indian Cardamom

Happy in the knowledge that my turn for a recipe would come in April, had selected this light Chiffon Cake, which I had never baked: colours perfect for the spring, flavours from home. However, one was jolted out to reality to find that one's turn was speeded up to November; so finally did some baking after a few months absorbed in books, papers and grading!

The idea is to bake a Chiffon Cake. The original recipe for the Persian Love Cake was sourced from Epicurious. The recipe has been updated and changed a little. The colours and flavours of this Persian Love Cake suited the upcoming Indian festival of lights Diwali: cardamom, pistachios, rose petals...

The reviews at Epicurious, were very helpful. The layers are smaller and many reviews suggest increasing the amount of egg-whites: 4, 5 and 8 in some recipes. I have increased the amount of cardamom: a favourite in Indian cuisine for both savoury and sweet dishes.

One could not keep up with the golden Fall sunlight... and then the troop of goblins, clowns, witches, supermen and superwomen of all sizes and ages starting interrupting. Hence the slight delay! 


1 cup cake flour
14 tablespoons baker's sugar or superfine sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
4 large brown eggs, separated
1/8 tsp cream of tarter for whipping the eggwhites
6 tablespoons water [ substituted 3 tbsps of water with rose water]
/4 cup vegetable oil
Grated lemon peel of one lemon = 1 1/2 tbsps
Seeds from 6-7 green cardamom pods, crushed and powdered
1 tsp Gulkand = rose petal preserves

1 3/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
A pinch or more of saffron threads
[ this will reflect in the flavour;
I prefer a light touch]
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rose water

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Prepare two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
Line pan bottoms with parchment paper.
Do not 'butter' anything!
Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker's sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl.
Whisk yolks, grated lemon peel, Gulkand, 3 tbsps of water, 3 tbsps of rose water in a small bowl until smooth.
Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.
Beat egg whites alongwith 1/8th tsp of cream of tartar, in medium bowl until soft peaks form.
Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker's sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff.
Fold whites into batter in 3 additions.
Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Wait for a few minutes,
Run a knife around the edge between the cake and the pan,
Gently invert onto cooling racks.
Peel off parchment, and cool completely. ( Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)

For Frosting
Combine 1/2 cup cream and saffron in small saucepan. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Chill until cold.

Beat remaining 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form; strain in saffron cream. Beat until peaks form.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Garnish cake with rose petals.

I have left the cake unadorned: time and sourcing issues.
The reviews at Epicurious were really helpful. Do not butter the pans. Do not put 'whole' cardamom seeds in the recipe. Add more egg whites. These were three important suggestions that were taken into account in this recipe.