Thursday, November 18, 2010

Orange Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cakes are fluffy, light slices of yumminess.
Updated: January 5, 2011
***I apologize to any readers who tried to read through this and got frustrated.  I did not realize I missed out a few tips and some clarification.  And in retrospect, I am also adding some extra info on beating egg whites.  Thank you mommy, for actually going through and letting me know the frustration you encountered. MUAH!***

1- Have all your ingredients weighed, measured and ready, that will help the work-flow tremendously.
2- If you're working fast, you can beat the egg whites first, then the egg yolks.  This saves time of washing up the bowl before beating the whites if you don't have a separate mixing bowl.
3- Make sure your mixing bowl is clean and grease-free when you work with egg whites.
4- This recipe is for either a large bundt pan or for two 9-inch round cake pans.
5- If you only need one cake, feel free to wrap the other cake tightly in clingwrap and freeze it.  When you need the cake, just put it in the refrigerator 24 hours before using.
6- If you are using bundt cake pan, do not oil.
7- If you are using 9-inch pans, do not oil, but line the bottom of the pans with parchment papers.
8- I started learning making chiffon cake with self-raising flour, but have recently moved to using a mixture of plain flour, baking powder, and salt.  Either recipe should work just fine.  With plain flour, you just have to mix the flour thoroughly before you use.  With self-raising flour, you can get away with just a quick sift.
9- One way to test if the egg whites are ready: Dip your wire whip into the egg white foam, give it a quick turn and lift the whip.  You should see a beak-like egg white tip on your whip.  It might sag just a tad, but should not be limp or runny. You should still be able to see a glossy sheen on your foam.  If you see your egg whites starting to loose its sheen and form clumps, it has been over-beaten.  I have never tried this before, but I have seen this tip being promoted over and over again.  Add in one more egg white into the mixture, and beat until just right.  Of course, you will need to remove 1/8 of the egg white before continuing with the recipe if you add the extra egg white to rescue the batch.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Egg White Mixture:
7 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Egg Yolk Mixture:
7 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup milk
2 cups plain flour                     )
2-1/2 tsp baking powder          )  or 2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 tsp salt                             )
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp orange essence
1 tablespoon orange rind, chopped

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
Combine plain flour, baking powder, and salt, and sieve 2-3 times until well mixed.  
Or if you are using self-raising flour, you may just sieve it once.
Beat egg yolks, sugar, orange juice, and milk until sugar is dissolved.
Slowly mix in the flour and salt mixture until no clumps visible.
Add in oil, rind, and orange essence and combine well.
Use a separate mixing bowl or transfer the egg yolk mixture to a separate bowl and wash the mixing bowl well so that no grease remains, because any remainder of grease or yolk leftover in the mixing bowl will cause the egg white not to rise. (see Tips 2 & 3)
Beat egg white with a wire whip until it is foaming on the surface but is still liquidy below.
At this point, slowly add in sugar and keep beating until soft peak forms.
Now add in cream of tartar while beating.
Keep beating until stiff peak forms but still glossy.
Mix a quarter of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it up to help the folding process.
Gently and quickly fold in the rest of the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
***Folding technique:  Using a big spatula, cut the mixture down through the center until you scrape the bottom.  Then lift up the spatula and fold the mixture over.  Do not pat the mixture down, just lightly flip it over will do.  Then give the mixing bowl a quarter turn and repeat the cutting, scraping, and flipping motion.  Then give the bowl another quarter turn and repeat...  You get the gist :)  Cut, scrape, flip, turn, cut scrape, flip, turn...***
Fold until just mixed, no visible streaks visible.
Pour the mixture into the bundt pan or equally into the two 9-inch pans.
Bake at 300°F for 30 minutes until lightly browned.
Switch the oven heat up to 350°F for another 10 minutes or so until golden brown.
Remove the pans from the oven and invert immediately, then leave to cool completely before removing the cakes from the mold.

p/s: If I come upon more tips on chiffon cakes, I'll add them below.  If anyone has any tips, please let me know, I'd like to learn ^.^

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