Thursday, August 4, 2011

Daring bakers challenge july: Strawberry chiffon cake

I didn't post for a few weeks, but with good reason (for my family and me), we were on vacation. No computer and therefor no possibility to blog. The weather was great (we weren't near the Netherlands, because there the weather was like it is in autumn) and we are so relaxed. Manjana, which means relax, it is going to be allright sometime, is our new word (and we hope this is going to stay for a litle while).

For the daring bakers challenge of July, we had to make a strawberry chiffon cake. It's a big recipe, but it is so great. My oldest had his birthday and I made one strawberry chiffon cake and he ordered five for next year (so everyone could have a piece). The strawberries are from my own garden and they tasted great.

So I want to thank Jana, form the blog Cherry Tea Cakes, for this great challenge. And also from my son who's a big fan.


Chiffon Cake:
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (155 gm) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder 
- 3/4 cups (170 gm) sugar 
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil 
- 3 large egg yolks 
- 1⁄3 cup + 1 tablespoon (95 ml) water 
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, grated 
- 5 large egg whites 
- 1⁄4 teaspoon (1 gm) cream of tartar

- 1/3 cup (75 gm) of sugar 
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) of water

Pastry cream filling:
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk 
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher 
- 2 tablespoons (10 gm)cornstarch 
- 1/4 cup (55 gm) sugar 
- 1 large egg 
- 2 tablespoons (30 gm) unsalted butter 
- 3/4 teaspoon gelatin 
- 1/2 tablespoon  water 
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

Assembly the cake: 
- 2 lbs (900 g) strawberries 
- confectioners’ sugar for dusting 

Chiffon Cake:
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45
ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine. In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly. Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth. Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a
medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks. Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about 1⁄3 of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form
sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly. Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.

Pastry Cream filling:
Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine  Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.  When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard
is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten
minutes stirring occasionally. Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth. Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days. In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften. Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Measure 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water. Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches. In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks.
Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.

Assembly the cake:
 Line the sides of a 10-inch (25 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan. Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers. Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When 
the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough. Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place 
the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring. Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake. Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the 
 Place the cut side of 
strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream. Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream Coverer with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.  Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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