The reason why I tried making this cake so soon after my last effort is because I wasn’t entirely pleased with my prior attempt and alright, I admit that it is also partially because we wanted to eat the cake again, lol.
Here is a list of things I am not too wild about with my first try. I lined the bottom of the cake pan with parchment to ensure that the cake comes out intact. However, in the process, that means the bottom of the cake does not have a surface to cling on when the pan is inverted. Consequently, the bottom bowed in towards the middle, which I noticed only after I loosened the sides to remove the cake from the pan. Now, when I turned the cake right side up, it looked fine but once I halved it, you could see that the bottom half kind of flattened out, which pulled the sides down and out, causing the sides to slope. Ugh! Not to mention that I overwhipped the heavy cream and that frosting work is absolutely shoddy! Am I too hard on myself, lol?
Anyway, I baked the cake again and I did not line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment this time (I was so nervous). Cake rised up nicely and I inverted it to cool as usual. Once cooled, I loosened the sides with a knife and tried tapping the bottom of the pan to get the cake to drop out, lol. Didn’t work! Then, I squeezed my hand in between the cake and the pan and kind of gently pushed the cake in a little to loosen the outer edge of the bottom of the cake. After I did that, I turned the pan over and the cake came out…in one piece! Lol. Not fool-proof but doable. (I’m contemplating acquiring another cake pan that might make this process a little easier – will update this post when I do).
In addition, I altered the measurements for the whipped cream frosting slightly just so I can use the entire packet of gelatin. Hence, there would be some leftover – just serve it on the side or use it for something else, like topping your hot chocolate, yum! I did not overwhip the cream this time but it is still a little grainier than I would like. Then again, that could be the effect of the gelatin…..I’m tempted to just use Dr. Oetker Whipped Cream Stabilizer next time.
Regardless, everything came together well in the end. Isn’t it so beautiful? I almost, almost did not want to cut it but eh, what the heck? We need cake! We must eat cake now! So delicious! ❤️
Vanilla chiffon cake
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk (I use vanilla soy milk)
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Note: Eggs are easier to separate when cold. Once separated, let them sit for a bit to bring them to room temperature (about 30 minutes) or at the minimum, to ensure that they are not fridge cold, which would make them easier to whip up and help maximize the volume.
1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350ºF.
2. Whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, oil, milk, and vanilla extract together.
4. With an electric mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Then increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites until soft mounds form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
5. Whisk egg yolk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Fold 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula until combined. Then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
6. Pour batter into a 9” x 3” round cake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick/skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert cake pan, using three mugs to suspend the pan above the table surface and let cake cool completely. To remove the cake, run a small, thin-blade knife around the edge to loosen the sides. Then, squeeze your hand in between the cake and the pan and kind of gently push the cake in a little to loosen the outer edge of the bottom of the cake. After that, turn the pan over and the cake should fall out. Turn it right side up onto the cake stand or platter that you are using.
Stabilized whipped cream frosting
1/4 cup water
1 (¼-oz) envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Place water in a small prep bowl. Sprinkle gelatin evenly onto the water, and set aside for a few minutes until all the water is absorbed. Microwave the gelatin mixture on high until melted, about 15 seconds. Stir and set aside for a moment (if it sets, just microwave the mixture again). Meanwhile, mix and whisk the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt together (I use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until almost soft peak. Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture and continue to whisk until stiff peak. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
Fruit topping and filling
Note: I just use whatever I have on hand. This time, it’s fresh oranges and blueberries. Also, I did increase the filling amount slightly compared to before.
4 to 5 oranges, rinsed and segmented
1-1/4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and divided
To segment the oranges, slice off the ends of each orange. Then, cut away the remaining peel (including the white pith). Hold the orange over your dish, use a paring knife to cut the sections of fruit cleanly out of the membrane. Click here to watch a video on how to segment any citrus fruit (courtesy of saveur.com). Cut some of the orange segments into smaller pieces to obtain 3/4 cup and combine them with 3/4 cup blueberries and 1-1/2 cups whipped cream – this will be the filling.
Putting the cake together
Cut the cake in half horizontally. Remove the top layer. Spread the top of the bottom layer with the fruit-cream mixture and then, cover it with the second cake layer. Spread sides and top of cake with the remaining whipped cream and decorate the top with the remaining orange segments and about 1/2 cup blueberries. Refrigerate until serving time.