Chiffon cake who?
She's fond of cakes, especially light, fluffy cakes.
I have a recipe for another light and fluffy cake, a chiffon this time. I hope you like orange?
To make a very orangey orange cake, you need lots of finely grated zest from the topmost, most oily part of the peel. Make sure you use a sharp grater or you'll have more of the precious orange oil on your grater than in your cake.
Before you start grating, please get rid of the nasty stuff that's sprayed on oranges. I wash mine in boiling water, then give them a good scrub and a thorough rinse under the tap.
Besides orange zest, you also need some orange juice.
If you use fresh OJ you squeeze out of oranges, you won't taste it when the cake is freshly baked. It needs to rest overnight or at least eight hours for the flavour to develop.
If you use "fresh" OJ you pour out of a carton or bottle, the orange flavour is artificial even if the juice is "100% pure and natural" and "not from concentrate". This is what I use for baking. The man-made flavour is heat-stable, so it tastes the same before and after it's baked. And it tastes like fresh OJ, which is why a lot of people don't know their store-bought fresh OJ isn't fresh at all. You're not one of these suckers, are you?
My orange chiffon cake recipe is adapted from the pandan chiffon cake recipe I use. Because OCC is made with orange juice whereas PCC uses coconut milk, I've made four changes to the original recipe:
• The cream of tartar, an acid used to stabilize the whisked egg whites, is reduced from ½ tsp to ⅓ tsp. Because orange juice is more acidic than coconut milk, the batter would be too sour if I use the same amount of cream of tartar as in the original recipe. The cake doesn't rise well when it's too sour because the more acidic it is, the quicker it sets.
• The baking powder is reduced from 1 tsp to ¾ tsp. This is necessary because the orange flavour is mild compared to coconut milk. It doesn't hide the baking powder's bitter taste as well, hence the lesser amount.
• To make PCC, corn oil is mixed evenly with egg yolks that have been whisked till thick and pale. For OCC, the corn oil is whisked with the thickened yolks till the mixture is thick once again, like mayonnaise. This helps prevent the OCC from drying out quickly in the oven. Why doesn't PCC need the same procedure? Because it has coconut milk which doesn't evaporate as easily as OJ when heated.
• OJ replaces only the non-fat part of coconut milk. To make up for the lack of coconut fat, there's more corn oil in OCC than PCC.
I like orange chiffon cake because it uses orange peel which I would have thrown away otherwise. And also because it uses corn oil which is cheaper than butter. And because it tastes of orange, which is nice. And because I like cakes that are soft and fluffy. Actually, I like dense cakes too. And also cupcakes, cheesecakes, ice-cream cakes, mooncakes, pancakes, crab cakes, fish cakes, two-way cakes . . . . Hey, there's cake on my face!
No, I'm not fat (yet), in case you're wondering.