I found a forgotten orange in the fridge on Friday so I just juiced it and made a chiffon cake out of it. The recipe was based on my vanilla chiffon cake with the following adaptations.
– milk was replaced with concentrated juice made with freshly squeezed orange juice;
– grapeseed oil instead of canola oil was used;
– chia seeds and orange zest were added to the batter.
Chia seeds have been often referred to as a “superfood” as they are packed with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, antioxidants as well as minerals. I sprinkled two tablespoons of chia seeds into the cake batter. The slightly crunchy seeds contrast with the light and fluffy cake and the orange flavor from the zests really shines through. I really love this combination and will definitely try a lemon version next time.
Orange & Chia Seed Chiffon Cake
makes a 7-inch cake
For the Yolk Batter
75 g cake and pastry flour
10 g granulated sugar
4 egg yolks, large
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1.5 medium-sized orange), boil and reduce to 55 g
50 g grapeseed oil
2 Tbsp chia seeds
Zest from half of a medium-sized orange
For the Meringue
4 egg whites, large
50 g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells.
Wash oranges and pat dry. Zest half of an orange then juice them. Avoid zesting any of the white pith as it tastes bitter. In a small bowl, rub sugar and zest with fingertips until fragrant. Set aside.
Measure about half a cup of juice then place in a saucepan. Cook juice over low heat for about 5 minutes until reduced in half. Measure 55 g of concentrated orange juice and set aside to cool.
Separate the eggs and place the egg whites In a clean mixing bowl (I usually wipe the bowl and the wire beater with paper towel and vinegar or lemon juice to remove traces of grease). Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC.
For the yolk batter, sift together the flour, zested sugar and chia seeds into another mixing bowl. Mix well and make a well in the center. Add oil, concentrated juice and egg yolks to the well and whisk gently until combined.
With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar (to stabilize the meringue) and continue to beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks. When you lift up the whisk, the peak will hold its shape but the tip will fall back slightly.
Scoop about one third of the meringue into the yolk batter and mix well to lighten. Then scrape this back into the meringue bowl. Fold gently and thoroughly (so you don’t deflate the meringue) with a spatula until you see no streaks of white.
Pour batter into the chiffon cake pan. Tap pan against the kitchen counter several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Smooth top with a spatula.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean (every oven is different so adjust baking time accordingly). Drop cake pan on the kitchen counter a few time upon removal from the oven. This will release any gas trapped in the cake cells and minimize shrinkage. Invert pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Unmold cake and serve.
This is how I unmold my cake without using any tool. All you need is your hands and the help of gravity! The video is in Cantonese.
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