Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tangy Orange Chiffon Cake

This is a delicious tasting cake that is peppered with tangy orange zest. It has a light sponge texture.
  • 120g cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • Zest (grated skin) of 1 large orange
  • 100ml fresh orange juice
  • 80g plus 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 60ml cooking oil (eg. corn oil, canola oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Sift the cake flour and baking powder. Mix well.
  • Whisk the egg yolks for a few seconds. Whisk in sugar (80g), salt, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla essence and cooking oil.
  • Pour orange mixture into flour mixture and whisk till just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
  • Ensure that the whip attachment of the electric mixer is free of grease and water. Beat egg whites till frothy (about half a minute on low speed). Add cream of tartar and 3 tablespoons sugar. Beat at medium speed for about 8 minutes till egg whites look stiff.
  • Add half of the egg white to the yolk mixture and fold in using a spatula. Add remaining egg white and fold. Do not overmix.
  • Pour mixture into a 23cm diameter chiffon tin (round cake tin with a hollow tube in the centre and removable bottom).  
  • Bake for 40 minutes. To test if the cake is done, insert a satay stick. If the stick comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly, it is ready.
  • Turn the cake (still in the tin) upside down. Remove the cake from the tin with a knife when it has cooled completely.
Recipe Notes:
  • Eggs are easier to separate when cold.
  • Make sure that the bowl in which the egg whites are placed in is free of grease and water as the presence of either will affect the ability of the egg whites to be whipped till stiff. Egg whites are also easier to whip when they are at room temperature. 
  • When grating orange rind, do not grate the pith (white part of the skin) as it is bitter and will affect the taste of the cake.
  • Using cold ingredients will result in dense cakes. Allow ingredients such as sugar and essences to reach room temperature before preparing the cake.
  • When combining stiff egg whites and yolk mixture, do so by folding in gently with a spatula. Do not overmix and never stir using a spoon. Doing so will destroy the air pockets in the egg whites and this will result in a dense cake.
  • Check the oven during the last ten minutes of baking. If the cake looks burnt at the top, remove it from the oven and cover the top of the tube pan with aluminium foil. Place the cake back into the oven and continue baking. The foil prevents the top of the cake from burning further.
  • After the cake is baked, turn it (still in chiffon tin) upside down. This helps it to retain its height while it is being cooled.


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