Saturday 25 January 2014

Mandarin Orange Chiffon with Orange Peel Decorations

A neighbor wanted to learn how to make chiffon cakes because I have been offering her some and she loves these soft cakes that are full of flavor and not too sweet. Since it is the Chinese New Year season and we are flooded with mandarin oranges, I thought why not make a mandarin orange chiffon. As she wanted to learn the basics and I wanted to play around with my bakes at the same time, I decided on using pre-cut orange peel to pretty up the cake so that my baking session with her will not be disrupted by funny things I do to decorate the cake. Here's my mandarin orange chiffon with orange peel flower decorations :).

The cake is really soft, fluffy and full of orange flavor. In fact it is so soft that I had some difficulty unmolding by hand without denting the sides of the cake! Take a peek at the insides filled with orange zest...

The recipe for this cake is adapted from Small Small Baker and I used my 17cm chiffon tin to bake this:

Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks (I used 65g eggs)
20g caster sugar
30g Canola oil
40ml fresh mandarin orange juice
Zest of 2 large mandarin oranges
52g cake flour
1/3 tsp baking powder

4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Peel a mandarin orange and remove the pith (the white fibrous part of the skin) so that the peel will not be bitter when eaten. Use cookie cutters and a small fruit carving knife to carve out the shapes. Line the chiffon tin with the orange surface facing down. Keep in mind that your patterns will turn out laterally inverted so you have to be careful with patterns that involve forming words. I forgot to remove the pith for my first attempt as you can see from the photo below. The decorations turned out really bitter!

2.Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
3. Whisk egg yolk and caster sugar until well combined. Add in oil, followed by orange juice and zest.
4. Whisk sifted flour and baking powder into the batter bit by bit until there is no trace of flour.
5. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer. When soft peaks are formed, gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed and the bowl can be overturned without the meringue falling out.
6. Add one third of the meringue into the egg yolk batter and mix well. Fold in gently but quickly the rest of meringue in 2 additions until there is no trace of egg whites.
7. Pour the batter into the chiffon tin and tap the tin a few times on the table to release any trapped air bubbles.
8. Bake for 45 minutes. Immediately invert the chiffon tin to cool completely for about an hour. Remove the cake by hand for a cleaner and prettier cake surface. Use a spatula to dislodge any stuck sections carefully and only when necessary. Store the cake in an air tight container. I personally prefer to refrigerate my chiffon cakes as they taste better that way :).

With love,
Phay Shing

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