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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Culinary School - Session 56: Lemon Chiffon Cake

Culinary School: Session 56 (12.29.14)

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Cakes, 2.0...

It's amazing what a little innovation can do.

Up until now, all of our egg foam sponge cakes have suffered from one common problem: they were all rather dry and flavorless. Cake wash (simple syrups infused with spices and booze) helped to address the issue. And there are few things in the world of pastry that can't be fixed with a heavy coat of Buttercream. But nevertheless, no one was craving an unadorned slice of Genoise.

But here comes the Chiffon Cake -- by some magic, a cake that is light and airy, yet still moist. 

This session introduced hybrid cakes - one part egg foam cake, one part sponge cake. And for those who enjoy massive quantities of Mousseline (Pastry Cream "lightened" with butter), we also finished decorating and unmolding the Fraisier Cakes.

Lemon Chiffon Cake with Lemon Curd and Basket Weave of Buttercream

Fraisier Overhead View - Strawberry and Mousseline Sponge Cake

- Ingredients Running Tally -

Ingredients used to date (12.29.14):
  • Flour: 23,350g
  • Eggs: 13,250g (265x)
  • Sugar: 14,955g
  • Butter: 14,390g
  • Milk/Cream: 12,610g

- The Recipes -


Lemon Chiffon Cake

The Chiffon Cake: the 1927 pastry invention of a California insurance salesman turned baker (and oddly enough, named Baker). Sounds like my kind of cake.

A unique confection, the Chiffon Cake is a hybrid of a traditional egg foam cake and a liquid fat cake. Like an egg foam cake, where eggs are whipped to trap air for leavening, the Chiffon Cake has a somewhat airy structure. But unlike a basic Genoise, which suffers from being extremely dry, the liquid fat (in this case, oil) keeps the cake very moist. 

The cake is made by folding a meringue into a liquid fat batterBecause the liquid fat is rather dense, a pinch of chemical leavening is added to help with the rise. 

For this lemon version, lemon juice and lemon zest were added to the liquid fat batter. The cake was layered with tart lemon curd and covered in a basket-weave of Buttercream. 

Not too bad...

Focus Techniques:
- Making a hybrid cake batter. For this hybrid batter, a meringue is whipped to stiff peaks and folded into a liquid fat batter.
- Flavoring a Chiffon cake. Various flavoring agents (juice, zest, essential oils, etc.) can be added to the liquid fat portion of this hybrid batter to create a wide variety of Chiffon cakes. The flavor of the cake can be enhanced or complemented with different layered filings.
- "Knocking down" Buttercream. In order lay a smooth crumb coat of Buttercream, the Buttercream must be soft and free of air bubbles. By beating the Buttercream with the paddle attachment and heating the bowl, the Buttercream will be smooth and spreadable.

Layering the Lemon Chiffon Cake

Front View of Lemon Chiffon Cake with Lemon Curd and Basket Weave of Buttercream

Angled View of Lemon Chiffon Cake with Lemon Curd and Basket Weave of Buttercream

Top View of Lemon Chiffon Cake with Lemon Curd and Basket Weave of Buttercream

Next - Session 57: White Cake (High Ratio), Fruit Mousseline and Rolled Fondant

Previous - Session 55: Buche de Noel and Fraisier

Take a look at the full syllabus

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