I am not a drinker and usually use alcohol only for cooking and baking. A splash of Kahlua liqueur definitely adds an unique flavor profile to any cake, and this chiffon cake is one of the liqueur-infused cakes that I (as well as other coffee lovers) would enjoy. This recipe is written specifically for the use of round cake pan with removable bottom in order to accommodate novice bakers who don’t own any tube pan (yet). At the end of the post you will also find a video demonstration of how to remove cake from this type of pan without using any tools. Unlike traditional chiffon cakes baked in tube pans, this cake is not served upside down on the serving plate. If you would like neater cracks on the cake surface, cut a few slits once the cake has formed a skin in the oven during baking. Otherwise, the cake will develop irregular cracks which prevent itself from rising uniformly.
Kahlua Chiffon Cake
For 6” pan with removable base
60 g cake and pastry flour
3/4 tsp instant espresso powder (dissolved in 1 tsp hot water)
3 large eggs, separated
30 g grapeseed oil
20 g milk
2 Tbsp Kahlua coffee liqueur
45 g granulated sugar
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells.
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 dampened with vinegar or lemon juice to remove traces of grease). Dissolve espresso powder into hot water and let cool. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC.
Place sifted flour into another mixing bowl. Make a well in the center then pour in the oil, milk, espresso mixture, Kahlua liqueur and egg yolks. Whisk gently until incorporated. Set aside.
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 beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks form. 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 fold with a whisk to lighten. Then scrape this back into the bowl of meringue. Fold gently and thoroughly (so you don’t deflate the meringue) with a spatula until homogeneous.
Pour batter into an ungreased pan with removable bottom. Tap pan against the kitchen countertop several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Smooth top with an offset spatula.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until a skin forms on the cake surface. Take the cake out and make an X using a greased knife with thin blade. Continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes more 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 countertop at a distance upon removal from the oven. This will release any gas trapped in the cake cells and minimize shrinkage. Invert pan on a wire rack to cool completely before unmolding.
This is how I cool my cake.
Below video is a demonstration of how I remove the cake with bare hands from a pan with removable base.
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