Checkerboard Chiffon Cake


checkerboard cake

I baked a checkerboard cake for my husband’s birthday.  Since he loves chiffon cakes, I thought putting two flavors in one cake would be a good idea.  The first time I made this cake, the chocolate flavor overpowered the orange flavor and both cakes did not rise too much (I used a recipe for an 8″ cake but divided half of the ingredients for the orange cake and half for the chocolate cake).  I also realized putting two cakes in the oven at the same time had also cause the cakes to not rise properly.  So I made some adjustments – (1) increased orange zest to 2 tbsps to enhance the orange flavor, (2) bake a full size cake for each flavor, and (3) bake one cake at a time.  This time the cakes came out beautifully.

Ingredients (makes two 8″ checkerboard cakes):

Orange Cake Chocolate Cake
6 Egg whites 6 Egg whites
105g Caster sugar 70g Caster sugar
1 tsp Cream of tartar 1 tsp Cream of tartar
6 Egg yolks 6 Egg yolks
30g Caster Sugar 35g Caster Sugar
80g Cake flour 70g Cake flour
1/8 tsp Salt 1/8 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking powder 1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract 1 tsp Vanilla extract
50g Olive oil 50g Olive oil
80ml Fresh orange juice 90ml Non fat milk
2 Tbsp Orange zest 25g Unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions for making the Orange Chiffon Cake, please click here.

Directions (for Chocolate Chiffon Cake):

  1. Preheat oven to 340 °F.
  2. Separate egg whites and egg yolks.
  3. Mix egg yolks and 35 g sugar until well combined.  Add in olive oil, milk and vanilla extract, mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
  5. Sift in cocoa powder and flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture, mix well to make sure there are no lumps.  Set aside.
  6. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  It is best to begin at a slow speed and gradually move up to high when beating.  Add cream of tartar to stablize the egg whites.   After mixing well, add 70 g of sugar in three batches, about one-third at a time, and beat well between additions.  Continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.  Don’t over beat it, overbeaten whites look lumpy and watery.
  7. Gently fold-in half of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture and repeat the same with the remaining egg whites.
  8. Pour mixture into an 8″ tube pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan immediately.  Let cake cool completely.
  10. Remove the cake by running a thin-bladed knife around the pan, angling the knife towards the pan to try to get the full crust on the cake.

Assemble Cake:

  1. Before assembling the cake, place both cakes in the refrigerator to chill so they will be much easier to cut into circles.  I used a cake leveler so they will all be even.  Bear in mind this is a chiffon cake, unlike the regular buttery checkerboard cake, it is harder to cut through as the cake is super soft and fluffy.
  2. Use a sharp knife to remove the top thin layer of the cake (picture 1)
  3. Also trim off the edges with a knife (picture 2).
  4. Cut the cake into 2 to 3 equal layers with a cake leveler (depending on how thick your cake is) (picture 3)
  5. I did not make this cake with a special pan that has dividers so I cut out circle templates.  I used an 8-inch cake pan, so my circle templates were 6″, 4″ and 2″) (picture 4)
  6. Put the biggest circle on top of your cake and use a sharp knife to cut around the rim, repeat this cutting process with the remaining circles.  (picture 5)
  7. Lift slowly and remove the cake pieces.  (Picutre 6)
  8. Start your layers on a cake plate or stand.  I started with the cocolate flavor first, don’t forget to frost the edge of each ring.  (Picture 7)
  9. You will alternate the colors for each layer, creating a target shape.  Remember to frost the edge of each ring.  (Picture 8)
  10. Once you have assembled the first layer, spread frosting on this layer. (picture 9)
  11. Now assemble the second layer which will have the opposite colors (orange flavor first).  (picture 10) Repeat Step 10.
  12. You can make a cake with four, five or six layers.  Each time you just alternate the colors for each layer.  (picture 11)
  13. To decorate the cake, apply frosting all over the cake.  (picture 12)  The whipping cream frosting recipe is below.

Checkerboard Cake

How to make whipping cream frosting:

Ingredients:

2 Cups      Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsps     Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsps     Vanilla Instant Pudding

Directions:

  1. Whip the heaving cream with medium speed until it’s smooth and firm, add powder sugar and whip for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. To make the cream more firm, add Vanilla Instant Pudding and whip for 1-2 minutes.

Note:

The tube pan has a hole in the middle.  I saved some batter and poured into a 3″ springform pan and bake separately (do this for both flavors).  These small cakes are used to fill the middle part of the checkerboard cake.

 

 

 

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Orange Chiffon Cake


Orange Chiffon Cake

So happy had another successful attempt at making chiffon cakes.  After baking black sesame and marble cakes, I wanted to try an orange flavor.  The recipe was based on Christine Ho’s Black Sesame Chiffon Cake recipe.  I substituted/added a few ingredients and opted for fresh squeezed orange juice.   A tip — It is better to taste the oranges first as sweet oranges will make the cake taste better!  I had tried using OJ (100% pure) out of a carton but the orange flavor tasted artificial.

Ingredients:

8” Pan 10” Pan
6
105g
1 tsp
6
30g
80g
1/8 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
50g
80ml
1 Tbsp
Egg whites
Caster sugar
Cream of tartar
Egg yolks
Caster Sugar
Cake flour
Salt
Baking powder
Vanilla extract
Olive oil
Fresh orange juice
Orange zest
7
120g
1 tsp
6
35g
100g
1/8 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
58g
95ml
1 – 1.5 Tbsp

Directions (for an 8” tube pan):

  1. Preheat oven to 340 °F.
  2. Separate egg whites and egg yolks.
  3. Mix egg yolks and 30 g sugar until well combined.
  4. Squeeze fresh orange juice from oranges (about 2 oranges) (picture 1).
  5. Add orange juice, olive oil, vanilla extract, orange zest, salt into the egg yolk mixture and mix well (pictures 2 and 3).
  6. Sift in 80 g flour and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture, mix well to make sure there are no lumps (picture 4).
  7. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  It is best to begin at a slow speed and gradually move up to high when beating.  Add cream of tartar to stablize the egg whites.   After mixing well, add 105 g of sugar in three batches, about one-third at a time, and beat well between additions.  Continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.  Don’t over beat it, overbeaten whites look lumpy and watery.
  8. Gently fold-in half of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture and repeat the same with the remaining egg whites (picture 5).
  9. Pour mixture into an 8″ tube pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes.  After baking the first 15 minutes, if you find the cake surface gets browning, reduce heat to 320 °F.  The cake will rise to the top after baking (picture 6).
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan immediately.  Let cake cool completely.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake

  • Remove the cake by running a thin-bladed knife around the pan, angling the knife towards the pan to try to get the full crust on the cake.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Marble Chiffon Cake


Marble chiffon cake

After making the black seasme chiffon cake many times, I wanted to try something different.  I saw many beautiful pictures of marble chiffon cakes on the internet and had tried different recipes, but none of them turned out to have the taste/texture I liked.  So, I decided to go back to Christine Ho’s black sesame chiffon cake recipe and made changes to it.  I’m very satisfied with the result and my kids loved it, the cake was gone in one day.

Ingredients:

8” Pan 10” Pan
6
110g
1 tsp
Egg whites
Caster sugar
Cream of tartar
7
128g
1 tsp
6
25g
80g
1/8 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
50g
80ml
Egg yolks
Caster Sugar
Cake flour
Salt
Baking powder
Honey
Olive oil
Non-fat milk
7
29g
94g
1/8 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
58g
93ml
10g
10g
Cocoa powder
All purpose flour
11g
12g

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 340F.
  • Separate egg whites and egg yolks.
  • Mix egg yolks, 25g sugar, salt and honey until well combined.
  • Add in olive oil and mix well, then add in milk and mix well.
  • Sift in 80g flour and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture, mix well to make sure there are no lumps.

Marble Chiffon Cake egg mixture

  • Divide the egg yolk mixture into two equal portions in separate mixing bowls.   I got 338g in my bowl, so I put 169g in each bowl.
  • Mix 10g of the flour into a bowl of egg yolk mixture and 10g of cocoa powder into another bowl of egg yolk mixture.
  • Now, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until bubbles form.  It is best to begin at a slow speed and gradually move up to high when beating.  Add cream of tartar. After mixing well, add 110 grams of sugar in three batches, about one-third at a time, and beat well between additions.  Continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.  Don’t over beat it, overbeaten whites look lumpy and watery.

beating egg white

  • Gently fold-in half of the egg white mixture into the cocoa egg yolk mixture and half into the plain mixture until well combined.

Marble Chiffon Cake

  • Spoon batters into an 8” tube pan, alternating spoonfuls of plain mixture and cocoa mixture to simulate a checkboard.  To create marbling, run a table knife through the batters in a swirling motion.

Marble Chiffon Cake batter knife

  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.  After baking the first 15 minutes, if you find the cake surface gets browning, reduce heat to 320F.
  • Remove the cake from the oven.  Invert the pan immediately on a wire rack.  Let it cool completely (at least an hour).

Marble Chiffon Cake Pan

  • Remove the cake by running a knife around the pan, angling the knife towards the pan to try and get the full crust on the cake.

Black Sesame Chiffon Cake


Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

Is there any difference between a chiffon cake and sponge cake?  They are quite similar but a chiffon cake calls for oil, its texture is more fluffy and airy while a sponge cake is oil/butter/fat free.  Most people complain that their chiffon cake sunk after cooling or did not rise.  I have made this chiffon cake many times and never encountered any problems.  I’m Christine Ho’s big fan and learned how to make this black sesame chiffon cake from her blog.  Her tip on how to prevent the cake from sinking is very helpful (i.e. never grease the pan or use a non-stick pan).  The reason I chose her recipe over many others found on the net is because her cake is so light and the sweetness is just right.

I slightly adjusted her recipe by adding more sesame powder and using 6 egg yolks.  You will love this recipe – it’s easy and the cake is even fluffier and softer than the store-made ones!

Ingredients:

6
60g
1 tsp
Egg whites
Caster sugar
Cream of tartar
80g
1/8 tsp
1 tsp
30g
6
30g
50g
80ml
Cake flour
Salt
Baking powder
Black sesame powder
Egg yolks
Caster Sugar
Olive oil
Non-fat milk

DSC_0703

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 340F.
  • To separate eggs, place 3 small bowls side by side. Crack the first egg and pull the shell halves apart. Pass the yolk back and forth, letting the white fall into the first bowl. Put the yolk in the second bowl. Transfer the white to the third bowl and repeat with the remaining eggs.  By doing it this way, if you have one bad egg, you do not need to discard all egg whites.
  • Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until bubbles form. It is best to begin at a slow speed and gradually move up to high when beating.  Add cream of tartar. After mixing well, add 60 grams of sugar in three batches, about one-third at a time, and beat well between additions.  Continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.  Don’t over beat it, overbeaten whites look lumpy and watery.

beating egg white

  • Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt and black sesame powder. Use a spoon to press through the sift if necessary. (Picture 1)
  • Whisk the egg yolks with 30 grams of caster sugar, until the sugar completely dissolves. (Picture 2)
  • Stir in the oil, bit by bit, until completely combined. Add milk and stir well.  (Pictures 3 and 4)
  • Sift the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture, in three batches. Combine well.  (Picture 5 and 6)
  • Fold-in the beaten egg whites with a spatula.  (Picture 7)
  • Pour the batter into an 8″ tube pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. After baking the first 15 minutes, if you find the cake surface gets browning, reduce heat to 320F. Continue to bake until cooked through. A needle comes out clean when inserted in the middle.  (Picture 8)
  • Remove the cake from the oven. Invert the pan immediately on a wire rack.  Let it cool completely (at least an hour).  (Picture 9)

Sesame Chiffon Cake

  • Remove the cake by running a thin-bladed knife around the pan, angling the knife towards the pan to try to get the full crust on the cake.

Black Sesame Chiffon Cake