Monday, October 20, 2008

Cappucino Chiffon Cake (TCS)

I recently stumbled up a new baking group called The Cake Slice. The Cake Slice is about discovering a great baking cookbook and using it all year long. The goal is to bake one recipe every month from a single book.

I had to pause and ask myself "do I really need to participate in another baking group?". That question was quickly answered with an emphatic YES when I discovered that the group is baking its way thru Sky High: Irresitable Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. Along with some really wonderful cake recipes, the pictures in this book are totally gorgeous!

I've seen many beautiful cake creations made from the recipes in this book. I need to take a second and give props to Mary of The Food Librarian, as she's made some spectacular cakes from this book here and here and here...after admiring her creations I couldn't resist trying my hand at these recipes!
Our first recipe is Cappucino Chiffon Cake. As a I read through the recipe, one word came to mind --- tiramisu. The cake consists of 3 espresso-flavored chiffon cake layers that are soaked with a booze an espresso syrup. All of this goodness is frosted with a simple vanilla whipped cream.
As our liquor cabinet was depleted of dark rum (damn those mai tais), I used coffee liqueur to flavor the espresso syrup:
I didn't have the 8" cake pans the recipe called for, so I used the 9" pans I had on hand. As a result, the cake layers turned out a bit thinner than I would have liked. As the cookbook calls for 8" pans for many of the recipes, it looks like I'll be making another investment in baking equipment (I know, twist my arm :) ) I need to work on my cake layer technique, as I would have liked the layers to be more even.
Aside from my nitpicking at the appearance, I would have to say that the flavor of this cake is heavenly! The espresso syrup-soaked cake along with the whipped cream was delicious, and the texture was very light and not overly sweet (two pluses in my book).
To see other fantastic versions of this cake, check out The Cake Slice blogroll.

Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake

Cake Layers
1/4 cup of neutral oil, ie. vegetable, canola, or soybean
6 eggs separated
6 tablespoons of freshly brewed espresso, room temperature (I used strong brewed coffee)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 and 1/3 cups of cake flour*
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
Cocoa powder or cinnamon for dusting

(*The recipe calls for cake flour and if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can substitute 3/4 cup (105 grams) all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom s of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper but do not grease.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, egg yolks, espresso, and vanilla; whisk lightly to blend. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 1 cup of sugar, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until frothy. Raise the mixer to medium high and gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Do not whip to stiff peaks or the cake will shrink upon cooling.

4. Add the espresso-egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together just until combined. Add one fourth of the egg whites and fold them gently into the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites just until no streaks remain. Divide the batter among the pans.

5. Bake the cakes for 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans. Once cooled run a knife around the edge of the pans to release the cakes. Invert onto a wire rack and remove the parchment papers.

Espresso Syrup
makes 1 cup

1/3 cup hot freshly brewed espresso (I used strong brewed coffee)
1/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup dark rum, such as Meyers*
(I used coffee liqueur)

(*if you want to leave out the rum you can use molasses thinned with pineapple juice and flavored with almond extract to equal 1/3 cup. Or use 1 to 2 teaspoons of rum extract flavoring but you'll have less syrup.)

In a bowl, stir together the espresso and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the rum and let cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
makes 6 cups

3 cups of heavy cream
1/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in large chilled mixing bowl with chilled beaters. With the whip attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble The Cake
1. Place one cake layer flat side up on a cake stand or platter. Soak the cake with 1/3 cup of the espresso syrup. Spread 1 and 1/3 cups of whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake. Repeat with the next layer the same steps. Finally top with the third layer. Soak with syrup and frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream.

2. To decorate the cake smooth out the whipped cream as much as possible on top. Lay a paper doily on top and sift cocoa powder or cinnamon over the doily to reveal a lacy detail.


SiHaN said...

hurray for cake slice bakers!

that looks awfully good against the purple backdrop! Great job. I'm afraid to post mine up on my blog as i failed to take a picture of it before it was massacred at the table. ARGH!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful presentation.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful presentation.

Anonymous said...

Beautifiul presentation.

Jo said...

I do love how your decorated your cake. Great presentation and nice pictures as well.

Bunny said...

Your cake is beautiful! I love the way you decorated!

Kim said...

I just love the way this Chiffon Cake looks. As a lover of all things cake, I could probally polish this off given half the chance. Just gorgeous!

Rosie said...

Your cake looks amazing Linda - well done!

Rosie x

The Food Librarian said...

Oh my gosh! I love it! The big drops of cream on top are so perfect (and so professional!!) Thanks for the shout out! I hope to join you guys next month!

Also, if you are ever near the South Bay, the makers of Magic Line have their factory/shop in industrial Gardena. (Surfas carries mostly Magic Line cake pans - they make all the wedding pans). Only open M-F til 4:30 is fun to go and take a peak at them making pans!

Jodie said...

Great pics. I love the piping on the top!

Mara said...

Looks YUM, Linda!!! I loved this cake and lol re: the whole 'do I really need to join another baking group'...I thought about that too. BUT layer cakes are something I want to do more of. So YES!

The Bahens said...

I'm the first to comment! Yay! Beautiful cake and gorgeous pictures! Well done!

Gigi said...

Love love you cake! It came beautiful and great idea on the liquor substitution!

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful and hasn't suffered at all from being baked in 9inch pans. I love how you decorated the top, that piping work looks fab.

Mary Ann said...

Your cake turned out beautifully. I really like your decorating and cake stand.

Deborah said...

Your cake is absolutely beautiful! And I love your cake stand!

Sonya said...

I love your nice BRAVO

Steph said...

That cake looks gorgeous!! I really want to go buy that book now!

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