Sunday, January 1, 2012

Berry Chiffon Cake

I set out to make a pink cake and this is what happened. My little cousin's favorite color is pink, so I thought it only appropriate to make her a cake that matched her love of the color. She's six, so there aren't very many things she's passionate about yet, though the color pink is one of them. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to make a pink cake without the use of food coloring, especially with the addition of raspberry puree, so what resulted was a greyish pink cake. It was intended to be a strawberry cake, but I just couldn't find good strawberries at this time of year. So, I made it into a raspberry cake with a strawberry raspberry chiffon cake as the base. I filled the cake with a raspberry mascarpone cream filling and frosted it with whipped cream.
The cake overall tasted pretty good, but with fresh puree, the cake would have been much better in flavor and texture. I pureed frozen berries, so the resulting cake was not as moist as it could have been. However, in late fall, it's good to know that you can still make a nice berry flavored cake with frozen berries.

I'm still on the hunt for simple not-nonstick aluminium baking pans that are good quality but at a reasonable price so that I can start baking chiffon layer cakes without using a tube pan. They are actually surprisingly hard to find since nonstick has become the norm in bakeware. I think the cakes baked in such pans might not be as light as cakes baked in a tube pan, but a cake with a hole in the middle doesn't look all that great and is harder to decorate. A cake the size of a 10 inch tube pan is also too big for my family, so another alternative might be to get a smaller tube pan.

I'll just share the berry chiffon cake recipe here because the whipped cream frosting is already on this blog and the filling is just something I mixed up to my taste. I combined raspberry puree with powdered sugar and mascarpone cheese lightened with whipped cream.

Berry Chiffon Cake
Adapted from

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
large pinch of salt
3/4 cup fresh berry puree(I used frozen strawberries and raspberries)
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7 large eggs, separated, room temp
food coloring(optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Add 8-10 drops of red food coloring to the berry puree or a small amount of gel food coloring if using.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the berry puree, vegetable oil, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix the berry mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.

In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium high speed until foamy, then gradually add in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue whisking until stiff peaks. Take a third of the whipped egg whites and whisk vigorously into the berry-egg yolk base to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites with a spatula until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into a 10 inch tube pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Invert and let cool completely before unmolding.

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