Jul 23, 2009

Lime-Coconut chiffon cake

I will bake for a lot of reasons, sometimes for no reason at all. Today, I bake for Chinese drama!! I know Chinese dramas aren't as popular as Korean or Japanese drama, but I love them! My mom's friend supplies us with the current Chinese dramas from Hong Kong and as a thank you to her, I baked her a Lime-Coconut chiffon cake. I made a big one for her, and reserved a bit of batter for my baby chiffon cake pan so that I can have a taste. It's so light and airy. It's also very moist and has a really strong lime flavor with some chew from the coconut. Delicious!!

This chiffon cake comes from Baking Illustrated. It's similar to the Apple Banana nut chiffon cake I made earlier, with just a few tweaks. Here's the recipe.

Lime-Coconut Chiffon Cake
adapted from Baking Illustrated
total time: 1.5 hours

1 cup sugar (see note)
1 1/3 cups plain cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7 large eggs, 2 whole, 5 separated at room temperature
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp lime zest
2 tbsp strained lime juice
1 cup of lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut (chopped a bit with chef's knife)

1. Adjust the rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Whisk the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in the 2 whole eggs, 5 egg yolks (reserve whites), water, oil, lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla extract until the batter is just smooth. Fold in the coconut.

2. Pour the reserved egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer; beat at low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar, gradually increase the speed to medium-high, then beat the whites until very thick and stiff, just short of dry (as little as 7 minutes in a standing mixer and as long as 10 minutes with a handheld mixer). With a large rubber spatula, fold the whites into the batter, smearing in any blobs of white that resist blending with the flat side of the spatula.

3. Pour the batter into an ungreased large tube pan. Rap the pan against the countertop 5 times to rupture any large air pockets. If using a pan with a removable bottom, grasp both sides with your hands while firmly pressing down on the tube with with your thumbs to keep the batter from seeping from the pan during the rapping process. Wipe off any batter that may have dripped or splashed onto the inside walls of the pan with a paper towel.

4. Bake the cake until a toothpick or thin skewer inserted int the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (see note). Immediately turn the cake upside down to cool. If the pan does not have prongs around the rim for elevating the cake, invert the pan onto the neck of a bottle or funnel. Let the cake cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.

5. To unmold, turn the pan upright. Run a thin knife around the pan's circumference between the cake and the pan wall, always pressing against the pan. Use a skewer to loosen the cake from the tube. For a one-piece pan, bang it on the counter several times, then invert it over a serving plate. For a two piece pan, grasp the tube and lit the cake out of the pan.

  • *The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sugar, I decreased it to 1 cup. It was just the perfect amount of sweetness for me.



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