I couldn't wait to make this month's Avid Baker's Challenge: Orange Chiffon Tweed Cake with Milk 'n' Honey Sabayon. In all honesty, I was more excited about the chiffon cake than the sauce, since I've only made chiffon cake once before and I definitely needed more practice :o) If at first you don't succeed, try again. Boy, am I glad I did. This cake was awesome! The recipe can be found in Flo Braker's "Baking for all Occasions".
|I love the height of this cake. It rose perfectly! Keep reading to see how pretty it looks on the inside.|
To increase my chance of success in making this chiffon cake, I decided to read up on it a bit, so I grabbed two of Rose Levy Beranbaum's books: The Cake Bible and Rose's Heavenly Cakes. One thing that caught my attention immediately is how similar the recipes were for the Orange Chiffon Cake by both authors. Anyway, I decided to make a couple changes to Flo's recipe and instructions (sorry Flo!). I added some cream of tartar to the egg whites as a little insurance. Rose's chiffon cake recipes also let you mix everything but the egg whites and a little bit of sugar in one bowl, which simplifies the recipe a lot. So that's what I did. I combined the cake flour, most of the sugar (I reserved 4 Tbsp for the egg whites), baking powder, salt, egg yolks, oil, orange juice (store bought), and orange zest from 2 large navel oranges. I also added some vanilla. Beat together in a bowl until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites, the cream of tartar and the reserved sugar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.
Instead of grating 3 oz of chocolate and having it fly all over my kitchen, I used my food processor to finely chop the chocolate instead. I used all milk chocolate (37% cocoa solids) instead the suggested combination of semi-sweet and milk chocolate.
Using a large whisk, gently fold the meringue and the chopped chocolate into the flour/yolk mixture. Pour the batter into an ungreased (yes ungreased!) tube pan, preferably with a removable bottom like an Angel Food cake pan.
The recipe says to bake the cake in a 350F oven which I did. But halfway through, I found that the cake was browning too much and so I lowered the temperature to 320F. Rose bakes her chiffon cakes at 325F for 55 minutes. My cake baked a total of 45 minutes. Immediately upon removal from the oven, invert it over a long-necked bottle. Let it "hang out" for about 3 hours until completely cooled.
Since the Milk 'n' Honey Sabayon was only cooked over a double boiler, I was afraid it would taste and smell eggy. So I made a cooked Milk 'n' Honey pastry cream instead. Unfortunately, I was playing around so much with the recipe, that I don't have exact ingredients to share with you. All I remember is that I started with half the egg yolks (3) and half the Orange Blossom Honey (2 oz), the full amount of milk and orange juice, and then I made a slurry of 2 Tbsp of corn starch. After that, I kept on adding small amounts of milk, until I got the consistency I was looking for. I strained it, and into the fridge it went.
|The next day, I whipped 1/4 cup of cream with a dash of sugar, and folded it into the pastry cream to lighten it. I think next time I'd add some orange zest to the pastry cream.|
When I cut into the cake, I was pleasantly surprised. It looked "tweedy" indeed :o) You could see the specks of chocolate, and the orange zest. Very pretty.
The cake had a pleasant orange aroma and didn't smell eggy at all. I took one bite (sans pastry cream) and immediately started doing my happy dance :o).
The cake was lighter than air, moist (which I didn't expect from a chiffon cake), with a big orange punch. The chocolate flavor is very subtle. I could only taste it towards the end of my bite. I'm thinking the chocolate is there for the visual effect, not to be a dominant flavor.
|Cake + pastry cream = yummy in my tummy!|
(I will be updating the links to the actual post as they become available)
- Shandy of Pastry Heaven
- Monica of Sweet Bites
- Vicki of Heavenly Cake Walk
- Faithy of Diary of Faithy, The Baker
- Raymond of Your Just Desserts
- Toni of Big Smiles and Bigger Hips
- Karen of Bake My Day
- Margot of Effort to Deliciousness
- Billie of Chocolate & Chakra will start baking with us in November
- Lola of Lola's Artistic Endeavors will start baking with us in November
- Hubby and I loved this cake. He liked it with and without the pastry cream. I thought the cake was moist enough and could be eaten as-is. Hubby's rating 9 out of 10. This cake is definitely going to be made again and I might try variations too, like subbing lemon zest for the orange.
- A little over half of this cake went to work with me today because it was too dangerous to have it sitting on the counter (it's so light you'll think it has NO calories, ha ha). Everybody loved it!
- I mixed everything but the egg whites, a little bit of sugar and chocolate in one bowl and beat it until smooth.
- To make sure the egg whites whip up like they're supposed to, I added 3/4 tsp of cream of tartar to them.
- I like vanilla in baked goods, so I added a couple splashes of that to the batter (about 2 tsp).
- Have all your ingredients at room temperature, especially the eggs.
- Instead of grating chocolate, I like to finely chop my chocolate in the food processor. I tried this once and loved it. It's a snap and you have very easy cleanup afterwards!
- Check the cake halfway through baking. If it's browning too quickly, lower your oven temperature by 25-30 degrees F.