Friday 2 October 2015

blood orange chiffon cake

We're into spring, hurray, but winter's blood oranges are still fantastic so why not juice a few and turn them into cake?

blood orange chiffon cake

6 eggs, separated

1 extra egg white
225g plain cake flour (if you can't find cake flour substitute with regular plain flour)
250g caster sugar
50g extra caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of one blood orange, grated super finely
180ml freshly juiced blood orange juice
120ml canola oil, or similar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (not essential, but will stabilise the egg whites)

 preheat your oven to 170ºC

• combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt, sift into a the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one, and with the paddle attachment mix through the 250g caster sugar and orange zest
• make a well in the centre of your flour combo, add the blood orange juice, egg yolks, oil and vanilla extract, mix until smooth
• in another, really large bowl whisk the 7 egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar then mix until you have soft peaks, gradually add the additional 50g caster sugar, whisking until you have firm peaks and the sugar has dissolved
• fold the egg whites into the batter in three stages
• pour the batter into an ungreasedunlined angel food cake tin and bake for 55-60 minutes
• remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert to cool, if your tin doesn't have "feet" balance the upturned tin over a bottle, guiding the neck of the bottle through the centre tube of your pan
• when completely cool, to release the cake, run a sharp knife around the inside and tube sections of the cake tin, remove the cake still sitting on the centre section of the tin; this next stage is a little tricky, slide a strong thread, I use dental floss, between the base of the cake and the tin, go all the way around, crossing each end of the thread around the tube, invert the cake onto your serving plate and you should have a super flat, neat finish on the top of your cake 
• you could simply dust the cake with icing sugar, it will be delicious, or go all out and frost with buttercream 
• slice giant slabs of cake with a serrated knife and enjoy!
• unfrosted the cake will keep in an airtight container for 3 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge; the frosted cake should be kept in the fridge and will be good for a week, allow it to come to room temperature before serving

vanilla swiss meringue buttercream

3 large egg whites

180g caster sugar
230g butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
pinch salt
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

• combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, place over a pan of simmering water, don't let the bowl touch the water; whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 72ºC (beware the perils of simultaneous mixing and temperature measuring...)

• return the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on medium high until the mixture cools, has doubled in size and forms stiff peaks
• change to the paddle attachment and add the butter a piece at a time, mix to incorporate each piece before adding the next; the mixture may look alarmingly curdled at times but keep mixing and it will magically come back together
• once all the butter is in, add the salt and vanilla seeds, mixing on slow until combined

to frost your cake...

Chiffon cakes are beautifully delicate, so soft and pillowy, that's why I love them, it does, however, make them kinda tricky to frost. If crumbs drive you crazy maybe just dust with icing sugar or opt for the drizzle. If the fully frosted cake is what you're after let's go...

• clear a space in the fridge and chill your cake for half an hour or so

• place your chilled cake on a turntable if you have one, step one is the crumb coat, it uses a super thin coating of frosting to glue any loose crumbs to the cake
• starting from the top and working your way down the sides and into the hole through the centre of your cake, use an offset pallet knife to spread a layer of buttercream over your cake;  using the edge of your pallet knife or a cake scraper, gently scrape back as much of the frosting as you can leaving a super thin crumb filled layer behind
• return the cake to the fridge for at least 15 mins to set the crumb coat
• again with the offset pallet knife, cover your cake with a final thicker layer of frosting, now you are ready to decorate

I went a bit crazy and mixed bay leaves and orange blossom from a friend's garden with oven candied blood orange slices, thanks Deb :) Fresh orange slices or a mound of zested orange strips would look great, flowers would be beautiful, a sprinkle of coconut flakes, so many possibilities!!

There are loads of online tutorials and cake frosting videos, if you not sure about this whole frosting crumb coat business have a quick search and check them out :)


Erika said...

Oh how I miss your cakes Sally! This one is SUCH a babe.

simmer and boyle said...

We miss you more! Hope you're loving London; maybe pop into Liberty's and post a pic of the Christmas install, miss that too 😘♡♡

Nicole - Champagne and Chips said...

I absolutely adore chiffon cake but the thought of making it terrifies me. Fortunately I have the most gorgeous little cafe nearby to sort me out.

You really are just so brave with your cooking. One day I really do hope to be able to conquer macarons and chiffon with your kind of flair :)

Eden Passante said...

This looks so amazing! I love baking with blood orange and you decorated it so beautifully!

Jess Jo said...

This is gorgeous! How do I make candied blood oranges? :)