Monday 3 April 2023

lemon cream chiffon cake

It's the end of March and I've not baked much this year, the motivation just hasn't been there. Last week was my birthday, so I made the effort and baked this lemon cream chiffon. I really enjoyed the process, and the cake, big call I know, but I think this is my favourite chiffon yet. 

I used my base chiffon cake recipe with lots of lemon zest and a mix of lemon and orange juice, split the cake into 3 layers, then filled with a super tangy lemon curd. Chiffon sponge is very delicate but the layers held up well. I crumb coated with a lemon curd mascarpone, then covered the lot with softly whipped cream. It was SO good. Filling the layers with just lemon curd was a revelation. Whenever I've sandwiched cakes with curd in the past it's always been in tandem with whipped cream. Using the curd in isolation kept the layers from sliding, melding with the sponge to create intense bursts of lemon flavour, and the tang, so delicious! It's kick started my mojo, so hopefully I'll be back with more to share soon.

Citrus Chiffon Cake

6 eggs yolks (115g)
7 egg whites (270g)
225g plain cake flour*
250g caster sugar
50g extra caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
zest of 2 lemons, grated super finely
juice of 1 lemon made up to 180ml with freshly juiced orange juice
120ml canola oil, or similar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
250g mascarpone
lemon curd, recipe below
250ml thickened cream

* in Australia look out for the Lighthouse brand in the blue and white box "biscuit, pastry and cake low protein plain flour" take care not to buy the pizza flour by mistake... 

 preheat your oven to 170ºC
 combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt, sift into a large bowl (use a stand mixer, if you have one, with the paddle attachment) add the 250g caster sugar and lemon zest, mix to combine
 make a well in the centre of your flour combo, add the lemon/orange juice, egg yolks, oil and vanilla extract, mix until smooth
 in another, really large bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar then mix until you have soft peaks (the cream of tartar is not essential, not an issue if you can't find it, but it does stabilise the egg whites) 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, you might need to carefully tip the batter into the egg whites after the first addition if your mixer bowl is not big enough
 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" to stand on, sit the centre tube of the cake tin on an upturned mug, you want lots of air circulating around the cake as it cools
 when completely cool, to release the cake, run a sharp knife around the inside and tube sections of the cake tin, remove the cake leaving it sitting on the centre section of the tin; this next stage is tricky, slide a strong thread, I use dental floss, between the base of the cake and the tin, slide the string all the way around the cake, crossing each end around the tube, finally invert the cake onto your serving plate
 use a serrated knife to carefully cut the cake horizontally into 3 even layers (I use the cocktail stick method, watch this demo from the Martha Stewart site here)
 spread a thick layer of lemon curd on the base layer of the cake, stack the middle layer on top, taking care to line up the edges, repeat this process with the remaining layer. Pop the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up a little
 tip the mascarpone and remaining lemon curd into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Use an offset pallet knife to completely cover the cake with the lemon mascarpone cream, this is the crumb coat, it will look super messy, but don't worry, that's the idea. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
 whip the thickened cream to soft peaks, again use an offset pallet knife to cover the cake with whipped cream. You can serve the cake right away, but an additional 30 minutes or so in the fridge will firm up the cream for neater slices.
 use a serrated knife to cut your cake into slices, wiping the knife between slices, enjoy!
 the cake will keep covered in the fridge for 3 days

Lemon Curd

2 jumbo eggs 

2 egg yolks
150g caster sugar

80g cold butter
zest of 2 lemons
90ml lemon juice

• whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together then tip into a small pan with the lemon zest, juice and butter

• heat gently, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted and the mixture has thickened (enough to coat the back of a spoon)
• strain the curd through a sieve into a sterilised jar, cover the top with cling wrap as it cools to prevent a skin forming
• when completely cool remove the cling wrap, seal the jar and store in the fridge for up to two weeks


Joanne Kennedy said...

I’m going to make this for our Easter lunch 🐣

simmer and boyle said...

Oh Joanne I hope you love it!