It’s chiffon cake Tuesday!
This time I’m sharing my orange chiffon cake recipe. I have to say it’s slowly becoming my favourite chiffon cake flavour though it is extremely difficult for me to pick just one.
This orange chiffon cake is for people who find other flavours like chocolate and caramel too sweet but adore the citrus flavours in their cakes and desserts. My mum for one, would always be inclined to cakes and desserts with citrus flavours. Give her a passionfruit curd tart or a lemon olive oil cake any day and you will make her day.
This chiffon cake is jammed packed with orange flavour from the use of orange zest as well as freshly-squeezed orange juice. It is perfectly light and fluffy which makes it a wonderfully light afternoon snack with either coffee or tea, your pick. I think it goes extremely well with my green tea with orange, liquorice and vanilla Kusmi tea.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a gloomy afternoon with a tall slice of orange chiffon cake, a hot mug of tea, and flipping through the beautiful pages of my Kinfolk magazine.
Recipe: Orange chiffon cake
Makes a 23 cm (9.5″) chiffon cake
This is a very light chiffon cake, packed with lots of orange flavour. The orange flavour becomes more pronounced the next day. If this is your first time baking a chiffon cake, you may refer to my previous post on “how to make a chiffon cake” for tips to handle the tricky chiffon cake.
5 large egg yolks, room temperature
120g castor sugar
90ml corn oil (or any neutral flavour oil like canola and grapeseed)
130ml freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 2 medium sized oranges)
finely grated zest of 2 oranges ( I use a microplane to do this)
1 tsp vanilla extract
190g cake flour+
3/4 tsp baking powder (optional, just to ensure the lift. but I have baked without the baking powder and it works just as fine.)
1/4 tsp salt
5 large egg whites, room temperature
90g castor sugar
+ Cake flour substitution: If you don’t have cake flour, you can easily make your own at home. Measure out a cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tbp of flour, then replace 2 tsbp of cornflour. Sift this mixture twice to distribute the cornflour evenly.
1. Separate the egg whites and the egg yolks. Ensure that there is no trace of yolk in the whites. Allow them to come to room temperature. This is especially important for the egg whites to be whisked to their peaks.
2.Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Have your chiffon cake tin mould ready. Do not grease it!
3. Start with the group A ingredients as we only want to whisk the egg whites when everything else is done. If not, the egg whites will start to deflate.
4. In the bowl containing the yolks, add in sugar and whisk until light and pale. This can be done with a hand whisk. We just need some aeration in the yolks. Add in the oil and whisk until incorporated.
5. Add the orange juice, grated orange zest, vanilla extract into the yolk mixture and whisk. Then, measure and sift your dry ingredients and whisk into the yolk mixture (until just incorporated).
6. Next come the crucial step of whisking the egg whites. It is best to use room temperature egg whites because whites right out of the fridge will be too cold and will not whisk well. We are essentially whisking a meringue. Start with a stainless steel clean and grease-free bowl (I always rinse it with boiling water to rid of any remaining grease). Add in your room temperature egg whites and put it onto your mixer.
7. Begin whisking your egg whites at medium low speed till foamy. You can add a pinch of cream of tar tar (which increases the meringue stability) at this point if you like. This is optional and your meringues will still work even without it.
8. Turn your mixer speed to high and whisk whites until soft peaks. Soft peaks are reached when the peaks of the whites droop when the whisk is lifted.
8. Start to pour in your caster sugar slowly, in a few additions, while the mixer is still running. The sugar, when added gradually, greatly stabilizes the meringue. But the sugar needs to be added slowly to give time for the sugar to dissolve and not weigh down the meringue. The meringue should be whisked to a glossy, firm peaks – just slightly short of stiff peaks. The whites should look glossy and when the whisk is lifted, the peaks will hold but the tip will fall back slightly onto itself. Just a note: stiff peaks mean that when you turn the whisk is lifted, the peaks will hold up straight without collapsing onto itself at all.
9. Start by adding 1/4 of the meringue to mixture A (yolk mixture). Whisk lightly to combine until it is well incorporated. Do not be afraid to knock out air at this stage. We are lightening the yolk mixture so that it will be of a more similar consistency to the meringue which will help you fold the meringue through easily and more evenly.
10. Next, add in 1/2 of the remaining meringue to the mixture A (yolk mixture). Fold gently using a rubber spatula drawing a line across the centre of the batter then going under the batter and lifting up when the spatula reaches the sides of the bowl. Turn the bowl as you do this. Do ensure that the egg whites are folded into the mixture thoroughly so you won’t get egg white streaks after baking. Fold in the dried cranberries into the batter.
11. Gently pour the chiffon cake batter into the chiffon tin. Using a rubber spatula, level and smooth out the top of the cake batter and gently tap the chiffon cake tin against the kitchen counter twice to remove any large air bubbles.
12. Bake in a preheated 180 degrees celcius for about 1 hr 5 minutes (+/-). The top of the cake should be lightly browned and springs back to touch when it is done. The cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. At about 25 minutes into the baking, check on your chiffon cake. If the top starts to get too brown or starts cracking too much, cover the chiffon cake with a sheet of aluminum foil (oil it so that the cake would not stick to it) before you continue with the baking.
13. Remove the ready cake from the oven, place a funnel into the center hole of the tin and invert the cake to cool on a cooling rack. Only attempt to unmould the chiffon cake from its tin when it is cooled fully.
14. To remove the cake after it is cooled, run a palette knife against the sides of the cake tin. Turn it out gently onto a cake board. The base of the cake tin would now be on top. Run a palette knife in one swift motion against the base of the tin. Allow the chiffon cake to gently fall onto the cake board. Remember not to shake/yank out the chiffon cake – the crumb structure is very tender and you would only tear your cake if you do so.
*The chiffon cake can keep in an air-tight container in room temperature for a few days.