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Monday, June 9, 2008

Neapolitan Chiffon Cake


There is this Masak Masak Challenge going on in the forum I frequent. The instructions were to combine all 3 ingredients in the dish, namely, chocolate, cream cheese and fruit/s of your choice. I started out thinking about the possible combinations, the easiest would be a mousse cake (but no one to help me finish it), brownie (so very sinful), I even thought of using dark chocolate, cream cheese and orange to make a sauce for a steak (weird, no?)! In the end, I came up with the above, Neapolitan Chiffon Cake on last Friday. You may say that I slipped into my comfort zone once again. But this time round, it is not as easy as it looks. I ended up with plenty of bowls to wash and I am not that satisfied with the result. Couple of things I learnt when I made this; 1) Get a digital scale for Pete's sake! 2) Never attempt this in the wee hours of morning, especially at 1.30 a.m. 3) Do not use a silicone spatula. 4) Read the texture of the egg whites and work fast!

Point #1 & #2 : I have been using those spring scale for the longest time without any problem. However, it's either I weighed it wrongly (the mixing bowl was way to big for the scale anyway) or my noodle wasn't working at 1.30 a.m. I had to divide the yolk batter and the egg whites into 3 portions. After adding the respective ingredients, I realised that I ended up with lesser batter for the strawberry portion. Half way through dishing out the whisked egg whites, I forgot which line was the datum! Argh! Photobucket So I had to rely on estimation by eye. Thank goodness the cake turned out alright!

Point #3 : I tried out using the silicone spatula I bought from Daiso. It is too soft for mixing chiffon cakes, especially when you need to scoop up the yolk batter. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer to use the regular plastic type so I can make quick and swift moves while mixing. So I switched back to my trusty plastic spatula.

Point #4 : For this attempt, I have added the egg whites to the respective batters just before pouring them in the pan. By the time you reach for the last layer, the egg white will be slightly deflated. You have to whisk it again before you mix it into the yolk batter, or you will end up with a deflated top. However, take care not to overbeat the egg whites. Work out the procedures in your mind and re-run it again and again. Prepare everything you need and work fast! Time and egg whites wait for no man. Photobucket

This is how I do it. This cake is more difficult than a Marble Chiffon Cake and I would not recommend making this cake if it is your first attempt in baking Chiffon Cake.

Neapolitan Chiffon Cake

4 egg yolks
30g castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
40g corn oil

*Divide into 3 equal portions

120g Cake flour
1/2 tbsp Baking powder

*Sift 2x and divide into 3 portions

5 egg whites
50g castor sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

*To be divided into 3 portions later

(D) Chocolate Layer
1/2 heaped Tbsp Cocoa Powder
40g Evaporated Milk (warmed)

*Mix well

(E) Cream Cheese Layer
10g Cream Cheese
35g Evaporated Milk
1/4 Tsp Vanilla Essence

*Melt cream cheese using double boil method, add milk and essence

(F) Strawberry Layer
45g Strawberry Puree (I used store bought)
1/4 Tsp Strawberry essence
3 Drops Red Colouring

*Mix together

1) In a bowl, using hand whisk, whisk yolks and sugar till sugar dissolves.

2) Add oil and salt, whisk well. Weigh and divide into 3 portion, you will need 3 bowls. Add (D), (E) and (F) into each respective bowls and mix well.

3) Fold in portioned flour into each bowl and mix well. Set aside.

4) In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat till the whites are frothy. Add in Cream of Tartar and beat till soft peaks. Add in sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.

5) Weigh and calculate the required egg whites for each portion. Scoop out the required portion and fold in the whites into the chocolate batter till incorporated. Pour into a 21 cm chiffon tube pan. Level the batter with a spatula.

6) Repeat for the cream cheese batter.

7) The egg whites left will be slightly deflated by now. Whisk the egg whites again and repeat the mixing procedure for the strawberry batter.

8) Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.

9) Oil a piece of aluminium foil and cover the pan loosely. Bake at 170 deg.C for 10mins.

10) Turn down the temperature to 160 deg.C and bake for 20mins.

11) Reduce the temperature to 150 deg.C and bake for 10mins. Insert a skewer to check if the cake is done. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 10mins to brown the surface.

12) Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled.

I finished baking this cake at 3.40 a.m. Photobucket I left it to cool in the pan and cut it later in the morning.

*Note : I may still have to attempt this cake again (when I get my hands on a digital scale and definitely make this in an afternoon) as I am not very satisfied with the result. The chocolate layer rose too much; I may have to switch off the lower heat at 1 stage.

It smelled really nice in the oven (think strawberry and cream). Taste-wise; not too bad although Ah Girl only chomped off the chocolate part and commented I should bake the whole thing chocolate. Okay, point taken. So now I know she loves chocolate and she is not adventurous when it comes to food. She called me a 'magician' when I cut the cake.

I will consolidate and put up the tips on making chiffon cakes later in my blog. Hope it will be useful for those trying to attempt chiffon cakes. Trust me, it's not as scary as you thought. ^_^

Happy baking~ それじゃ~~


Yuri said...

Hey Rei, wonderful achievement you've got there. I'm still grappling with baking times as my oven (or thermometre) is behaving a little strangely.

Looking forward to your tips on baking chiffon :)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

how clever, this looks beautiful n tasty! if this weren't so much work, i'd make one right now. chiffon cakes r so much more healthier than butter cakes. and addictive to eat.

Anonymous said...

Very pretty cake!!