by Beng J.
Chiffon cake -- a piece of cake!
I remember during our birthdays when we were growing up in Malabon, Papa would always buy a Mocha Chiffon birthday cake from the Joni's Bakeshop in Caloocan City. It had mocha buttercream icing with Sugar flowers on toothpicks, mounted on one corner of the cake. We get to call dibs on the flowers if it's our birthday and get to decide who else gets them...fun, fun times!!!
For my mom's 78th birthday, I decided to make her a cake!
It's been years since I last baked a layered cake, so the confidence level was, I should say, not at an all time high. Unlike my title, I wasn't too confident when I volunteered to make the cake. I was even ready to remake it (or buy one from the nearby bakery) if came out bad!
The good thing about the self-doubt, though, is that I was extra cautious from beating the egg whites, to folding the egg yolk in it, peeping thru the glass oven door to make sure the cake was rising properly.
I initially wanted to decorate with a lot of gumpaste roses but ended up using just a few -- evidently, in decorating, sometimes, 'less is more'.
That's, actually, my excuse when I run out of time!
Though the years of no practice was visible in the amateur-ish finish on top, luckily, no one noticed. The cake tasted great and it was a hit! It was even hard convincing some of the guests that I made the cake -- well, people of little faith ;)
Ok, here it goes, I hope I can explain the procedure clearly, this is quite lengthy!
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon instant coffee
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
BUTTERCREAM ICING :
1 1/2 cup Butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup Crisco brand Shortening (so the icing is real white)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds sifted confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla flavor(or your flavor of choice)
1-2 tablespoons water
GUMPASTE FOR SUGAR FLOWERS :
I buy prepared gumpaste which is readily available in cake supply stores, Walmart or craft stores. They come in white color. I also get the gel paste colors(not the liquid food color) pink and green for roses and leaves.
Pre-heat the oven at 350 deg. F.
Grease 2 9-inch round pans and sprinkle flour. Tap the pan to remove excess flour.
1. To do the egg yolk batter :
- mix together all the dry ingredients and sift.
- whisk together the dry with the wet ingredients, then set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat on high the egg white with sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks. (To test for stiff peaks, hold the whip upside down, the egg white peak must stay up).
3. Fold the egg yolk in the egg white using a spatula:
- To do this, first get a third of the white and whisk with the yolk to thin out the batter.
- Then fold (or do a cutting motion from center to side of bowl, rotating the bowl as you fold) the yolk in the white in three batches, being careful not to deflate the white.
4. Once thoroughly mixed, divide equally onto 2 round pans.
5. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.
1. Mix the butter and Crisco Shortening and salt until fully incorporated.
2. Add the sugar in three stages, mixing well after each addition.
3. Add the flavoring.
4. Depending on humidity, add 1-2 tablespoons water to thin out the icing a bit for a smoother, easier to handle consistency.
To assemble, first cake goes at the bottom, 1 cup of icing spread evenly on top of it, then second cake laid bottom side up(so the top is leveled). The whole cake is then iced evenly from side to top and decorated.
As for piping decorations, please look up a youTube video and search "wilton basketweave piping" for the side of the cake, and for the border, search "wilton icing shell" to get better piping instruction.
For flower making instruction, please look up a youTube video and search "gumpaste roses" and "gumpaste leaves" to watch detailed rose and leaves making instructions.
Sorry, it is far too elaborate to explain piping and gumpaste techniques here.
I hope the cake, icing and sugar flowers inspired you to go ahead and try your hand in making a cake. It is much harder explaining the steps in writing than making the cake itself, believe me!
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