Here’s a cake I made for a friend last month. Like I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes (2), I switched to another method when I prepare my cake base. I’ve been using this for a couple of months and so far I’m pretty satisfied with it.
Chestnut Cake with Fresh Fruits
Makes a 6″ round cake
For the Vanilla Chiffon Cake Layers
90 g cake and pastry flour
A pinch of salt
50 g grapeseed or vegetable oil
65 g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
3 large egg whites
1/3 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (I use Korean apple vinegar)
50 g granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
Notes: the eggs I use each has a net weight of 50 – 55 g.
For the Chantilly Cream
200 g whipping cream
15 g icing sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Chestnut Cream
200 g unsweetened chestnut puree (I used Clement Faugier Chestnut Puree From Ardeche)
45 g sweetened condensed milk
100 g (1 small pack) peeled, ready-to-eat roasted chestnut (chopped into chunks)
65 g chantilly cream
Fresh fruits as needed
無糖栗子泥 200克 (EC用法國Clément Faugier 栗子泥)
For the Cake 蛋糕體
Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in oil with a spatula to form a smooth paste. Stir in milk and vanilla until incorporated. Stir in egg yolks to form a smooth, glossy and somewhat slimy batter. The texture will look different than one made with the traditional method.
In another impeccably clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites and vinegar with a hand mixer using medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks form. Change to low speed to minimize the air bubble size toward the end of the beating stage. When you lift up the whisk, the peak will hold its straight and pointy shape but the tip will fall back only very slightly.
Add one third of the meringue to the yolk batter and fold with a whisk to lighten. Add mixture back to the meringue and fold gently and thoroughly first with a whisk then with a spatula until homogeneous. Tap the mixing bowl against the kitchen countertop several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Pour batter into an unprepared 6” round cake pan (4’ in height) with a removable bottom. Smooth top with an offset spatula.
Rest pan on a baking sheet, place a small cup of hot water beside it, then bake in a 300℉/150℃ preheated oven for 10 minutes. Spritz the surface with a light mist of water and continue baking for another 35 minutes. The cake is fully baked when it is golden on top and has reached its maximum height and decreased in height slightly. Every oven is different so adjust baking time accordingly while using the colour and height reduction as a hint. 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. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before slicing as the cake is delicate. Slice the chilled cake horizontally into 3 1-inch layers. Keep covered with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until use.
For the Chantilly Cream 香緹鮮奶油
Chill mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes before starting. In the chilled mixing bowl, beat chilled whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer until thickened and soft peaks form. Reserve 65 g for the chestnut filling. Cover and refrigerate until use.
For the Chestnut Cream 栗子忌廉
In a large mixing bowl, stir the unsweetened chestnut puree with a spoon until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir until smooth, breaking up any large clumps for a smoother mouthfeel. With a spatula, fold in the chopped chestnut pieces and then the chantilly cream reserved above until homogeneous. Cover and refrigerate until use.
For the Assembly 裝組蛋糕
Place the bottom cake layer, cut side up, on the cake turntable (I use a 6”x3” pastry ring as my guide). Spread on half of the chestnut cream in an even layer with a spatula. Cover with the second cake layer and press gently with an even pressure. Spread on the rest of the chestnut cream and top with the third cake layer. Press firmly with gentle pressure to level the cake then carefully remove the pasty ring. WIth an offset spatula, cover the cake with a thin layer of chantilly cream to seal in the crumbs. Chill the cake for 15 minutes.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Add a dollop of chantilly cream on top and level with an offset spatula. Cover the cake using the chantilly cream that gets pushed to the side while adding more if needed. Smooth the side with a bench scraper by holding the bench scraper with your dominant hand against the side of the cake while spinning the cake turntable with the other hand. FIll in any holes or gaps with more chantilly cream and smooth the sides again with the bench scraper until you get a smooth surface. Use the offset spatula to add marks on the side by lightly scraping the cake in an upward motion. Level the top edge by swiping the excess cream toward the centre. Chill the cake for 15 minutes before further decorating the cake with fresh fruit pieces. Keep refrigerated until serving.