Feb 21, 2008

Coffee Chiffon cake

Making chiffon cakes is very addicting. I think it's because of the height. I haven't always had success with chiffon cakes, and this is completely due to the fact that advertisements lie!!! When I first bought a tube pan, I bought the nonstick tube pans. The descriptions says it's perfect for making chiffon cakes and angel food cakes. NOT!!! When you make chiffon cakes, it's imperative that you have a surface that will stick. The reason is because both chiffon cakes and angel food cakes have to be cooled upside down. If you have a nonstick tube pan, the cake will fall out of your pan. If the cake is not allowed to cool upside down, you'll have a dense cake. The pan that I use is one from Wilton's and I love it.

The original recipe for this chiffon cake is called Espresso Chiffon cake. But because I didn't have any instant espresso, I used instant coffee, and doubled the amount for extra flavor. This recipe comes from Just Baking. It's a pretty straight forward recipe, and the result is great. This is a very light cake, not too sweet. It's great for a snack.

Coffee Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Just Baking

4 tablespoons instant coffee
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup unflavored vegetable oil (canola or safflower)
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (separated into 1 cup and 1/2 cup)
6 extra large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 325.

2. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and cut out a hole in the middle to fit the center tube of the pan. This cake is baked in an ungreased pan because greasing the pan would keep the batter from rising and gripping the sides of the pan as the cake bakes.

3. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, dissolve the coffee powder in the water, Add the oil, vanilla and egg yolks. Whisk until well combined.

4. Over a large piece of parchment paper or bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Add 1 cup of sugar and salt and stir together. Make a well in the center of the mixture by pushing the dry ingredients towards the side of the bowl. Add the coffee mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir together until thoroughly combined.

5. Place the egg whites in the grease free bowl of an electric mixer or in a large grease free bowl. Using the wire whip attachment or a hand held mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Slowly sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites hold glossy and firm, but not stiff, peaks - about 5 minutes.

6. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter in 3 to 4 stages, blending thoroughly after each addition. Transfer the batter to the tube pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.

7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

8. Remove the pan from the oven and invert it over a cooling rack onto its feet or over a funnel or a thin necked bottle. Let the cake hang to cook completely. Don’t set the pan on a cooling rack on its base. This will cause the cake to collapse onto itself.

9. Don’t shake the cake out of the pan before it is cool. Once the cake is cool. use a thin blade knife or flexible blade spatula to run across the outer edge and the inside tube to help release the cake from the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack, then reinvert onto a serving plate.

  • The original recipe puts a caramel or a chocolate glaze on the cake. I prefer mine plain. If you want the recipe for the glaze, go to Just Baking.



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