Friday, September 21, 2007

One chiffon cake, Two ways

Espresso Chiffon Cake with Caramel Glaze

As much as I love my trustworthy chocolate cake recipes, I decided it's time to try my hands at making chiffon cake last week.But which recipe should I entrust my first chiffon cake experiment? In the end, I decided to go with Espresso Chiffon Cake with Caramel Glaze from Carole Broom's Essential Baker. Surely I can't resist a recipe with name like this! And what would be a better breakfast item to bring on OCT's weekly lab meeting?

Espresso Chiffon Cake with Caramel GlazeThe final result was light and flavorful. But not too sweet. I like how the espresso aroma filled the room when the cake was out from the oven. The soft and airy texture was reminiscent of my childhood. This is the kind of cakes which I liked to buy from the Asian bakeries. Often filled with chocolate buttercream. I was instantly transformed back to my childhood.

Needless to say, I am ecstatic that I could replicate this familiar comfort food memory in my apartment kitchen. Never mind that I am zillion miles away from home. I cut a huge piece for myself after the cake was frosted with caramel glaze, and paired it with a cup of coffee. It was a great afternoon tea. The rest was packed and sent for the next day's breakfast meeting.Now that I have a taste of my childhood chiffon cake, I can't stop thinking about it. I decided to do something unprecedented in my short baking life. I baked the same chiffon cake again! This time, frosted with a bittersweet chocolate ganache for a dinner party.

The effect is not unlike a woman who takes off her serious working clothes and put on an elegant evening gown. The version of Espresso Chiffon Cake adorned with Bittersweet Ganache albeit simple, was sophisticated and elegant. Not to mention, delicious; with the accompaniment of ice cream.

Espresso Chiffon Cake with Bittersweet glaze

I have to admit, I much prefer the second version. But I maybe bias, as I like anything with coffee and chocolate together.

Espresso Chiffon Cake with Caramel Glaze
adapted from Carol Bloom's Essential Baker

Ingredients for Espresso Chiffon Cake:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup unflavored vegetable oil (canola or safflower)
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used all purpose flour with no problem)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, separated
6 extra large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

For Caramel Glaze:
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 ounces (4 tablespoons, 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

For Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used 72% chocolate), finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons rum
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 325F.

Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and cut out a hole in the middle to fit the center tube of the pan. This cake is baked in an ungreased pan because greasing the pan would keep the batter from rising and gripping the sides of the pan as the cake bakes.

In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, dissolve the espresso powder in the water, Add the oil,vanilla and eggyolks. Whisk until well combined.

Over a large piece of parchment paper or bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Add 1 cup of sugar and salt and stir together.

Make a well in the center of the mixture by pushing the dry ingredients towards the side of the bowl. Add the espresso mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir together until thoroughly combined.

Place the egg whites in the grease free bowl of an electric mixer or in a large grease free bowl. Using the wire whip attachment or a hand held mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Slowly sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites hold glossy and firm but not stiff, peaks, about 5 minutes.

Fold the egg whites into the cake batter in 3 to 4 stages, blending thoroughly after each addition. Transfer the batter to the tube pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.(Mine took 45-50 minutes).

Remove the pan from the oven and invert it over a cooling rack onto its feet or over a funnel or a thin necked bottle. Let the cake hanf to cook completely. Don't set the pan on a cooling rack on its base. This will cause the cake to collapse onto itself.

Don't shake the cake out of the pan before it is cool. Once the cake is cool. use a thin blade knife or flexible blade spatula to run across the outer edge and the inside tube to help release the cake from the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack, then reinvert onto a serving plate.

Making the Caramel Glaze:
Place the sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture is very smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly. Stir in the confectioners' sugar until very smooth.

Place the cake on a rack over a lined baking sheet. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides. Let the glaze set for 10 minutes, then cut into serving pieces.

Making Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
Heat cream, sugar, rum in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers and bubbles forming on the sides of saucepan. Remove from heat and pour cream over chopped chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, stir to melt chocolate with hot cream until the mixture turns glossy and smooth. Let the chocolate ganache cool to pouring consistency. Pour over the chiffon cake. The leftover is delicious to eat with a spoon or as spread on bread.

Serves 12 to 14.

Note on keeping:
The unglazed cake can be kept in room temperature for 3 days and up to 4 month in freezer, when tightly wrapped in plastic. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Once the cake is glazed, it can be kept, lightly covered with waxed paper and then tightly covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 1 day. (Mine was kept in refrigerator for 3 days with no problem)


Anonymous said...

Enjoy your bog. Started reading when you started when i found your scone recipe the other day. I too love to bake and do a lot of scones, muffins, and cheesecake. Keep it up. I enjoy your recipes. Thanks.

Come see me at


Nora B. said...

Hi Mandy,
I love chiffon cakes too, it also reminds me of my childhood. Your description of the second cake was wonderful - I liked the analogy!

I can't decide which version I would like more...

Anonymous said...

I prefer the 2nd version since I like coffee and chocolate too!

Helene said...

The second one is definetely the one I would eat first, second and last! Beautiful!

Anh said...

Mandy, I prefer the 2nd version. But even if you hive me one slice of the first version, I will still eat it! Very nice...!

Kajal@aapplemint said...

i like the second option as well....anything with chocolate and i'm on my knees !

Anne said...

The chocolate glaze made the cake so elegant's very beautiful and I bet very delicious :)

Sylvia said...

I really love chiffon cakes. I like the both version ,but maybe I prefer the second version This post was great, I really enjoy.

Happy Homebaker said...

Mandy, your chiffon cakes are lovely!!! Me too, I prefer the chocolate glaze, it makes me drool :)

Mandy said...

hi Margaret,
I tried to visit your blog, but it returned an error message. Is there a typo in the URL?

good to know someone who share the same childhood memory of chiffon cakes!

I can tell your love for chocolate and coffee in your recent creation of Tiramisu. :)

Helen,Anh,kate,Anne, Sylvia, happy home baking,
thanks! Maybe I should write to Carole Bloom and tell her that chocolate glaze is much preferred than the caramel glaze originally stated in the book...ha.

Paola Westbeek said...

Your piccie JUMPED out at me on Tastespotting! What a fantastic looking cake!


dina (Lucas' mom) said...

This is my first time I'm visiting your blog and I am very impressed. I've always heard about a chiffon cake but never really knew what it was. I'll be trying this soon.

eatme_delicious said...

Oh my goodness that espresso caramel cake looks so incredibly delicious! I must save the recipe.

Mandy said...

thanks!Glad it lurked you to my blog!

Let me know how it works out for you if you try. :)


Belinda said...

Oh my goodness, Mandy! You have outdone yourself again with these two stunningly beautiful cakes...gosh, I don't know which I would choose! I would have to be greedy and have a slice of each! :-)

Jerry said...

Looks lovely and decadent

Deeba PAB said...

Hi...Have enjoyed your blog a lot, and love the cake. Got to your blog off Simple Anne's....and am I glad I did. The pictures are great too, and I can almost take the flavours in!!
Do drop by at my blog someday. I'm at and am quite new to blogging!! Take care...Passionate Baker

Abby said...

Beautiful pictures and a fabulous cake!

Ti said...

its a bit tricky with chiffon cake isn't it? sometimes they didnt explain what to do after the cake finish cooking. yours good recipe, thanks

Unknown said...


I tried your recipe and the cake is very delicious (even without the glaze). Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. It's definitely something I'm going to make all the time.

I also love your blog! I just started baking not long ago and your story is very inspiring. Keep up the good work!


sokeleng said...


This is a valuable baking blog. My hubby like this cake a lot. A great coffee flavoured cake will give us some kick in the morning. On top of the recipe, I add in coffee flavored liqueur ( Kahlua) and sour cream into the cake mixture. We have a small household, usually I will use c21cm
chiffon cake tin
to bake this cake.

Merry Xmas.

sokeleng said...


This is a valuable baking blog. My hubby like this cake a lot. A great coffee flavoured cake will give us some kick in the morning. On top of the recipe, I add in coffee flavored liqueur ( Kahlua) and sour cream into the cake mixture. We have a small household, usually I will use c21cm
chiffon cake tin
to bake this cake.

Merry Xmas.

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