Friday, May 25, 2018

Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake

Throw back to my first successful chocolate sponge/chiffon cake in 2010 (original post here). My family and I loved it so much that I made this cake a couple more times following - as seen here and here. Somehow somewhere this recipe got a bit forgotten in the past 7 years or so.

For my dad's birthday this year, I decided to dig up this oldie to see if it's as good as remembered. I made some slight modifications and encountered a bit of a mishap.

My cake broke.

Read on to see how I made my cake presentable at the end.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake
recipe from Corner Café
-makes one 8" round cake
4 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
85ml canola oil

30g (3 1/2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules*
125ml (1/2 cup) boiling water*

100g cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
120g caster sugar

*coffee granules and boiling water replaced with 1/2 cup brewed coffee

step 3
step 4
step 5
Ready to pour into pan and bake

Do you see the difference in the two photos below? Left is when the cake was fresh out of oven. It was domed and springy. Right is after my cake broke when I inverted it to cool. The fallen piece fits right back in. 

While the cake was cooling, I looked up other chocolate sponge recipe to restart this project. (Like this cooked dough method). But it was getting late. And the piece fit right back in. AND it smelled good. And what do I do with this cake? 

I decided against restarting and just worked with what I got, I un- molded and flipped my cracked cake. Ta-da! The bottom is smooth with clean edges. I used this as the top layer for my cake in an effort to hide the broken pieces in between the bottom layers.

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 8" round spring-form cake pan (no need to line or grease pan).
2. Dissolve cocoa and coffee in boiling water and set aside to cool. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times and set aside.
3. Whisk egg yolks, 60g sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy, add oil and room-temperature cocoa mixture, beat well to combine. Gradually sift in the flour mixture in a few small batches and fold in. Set aside.
4. Whisk egg whites and salt until foamy. Gradually add 120g sugar, spoonful by spoonful, until near stiff peaks form.
5. Scoop 1/3 of the meringue into the cocoa mixture and fold in with a metal spoon. When combined, fold in the next 1/3 of the meringue. Repeat with the remaining meringue until thoroughly combined. (I used a regular wood spatula instead of a metal spoon.. result is still good!)
6. Pour into the cake pan. Lightly tap pan on the kitchen bench to get rid of any large bubbles in the batter.
7. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from oven and tap the tin again. Immediately turn the tin upside-down (use cups or drinking glasses to elevate the pan) and let cool completely this way.

I layered the cake with whipped heavy cream that had been mildly sweetened with powdered sugar and folded with chopped strawberries. I then did a crumb coat on the exterior. 

I wanted to do something special with the whipped cream and busted out my piping tips. I went for a ruffle lace look on top with straight lines and left the sides bare. I learned that it's very difficult to pipe a circular ruffle on top and ruffle on the side without a turn table. Until I get a turntable, this is what I settled with. 

Happy (early) Birthday BABA! We went to K-town for some yummy lamb skewers, watched A Quiet Place, and came home for cake.

You can probably tell from this last piece that the bottom layer was a bit shattered. The taste is not affected at all.

Taste: 4 stars out of 5
A bit nutty? Need to invest in a good quality cocoa powder and espresso powder!
Texture: 4 stars out of 5
Cake is light and pairs well with cream!

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