Today’s instalment is another non-paleo, non-gluten free, non-diary free post for the cake decorating, sugar, dairy, wheat loving fans out there.
Strawberries are in season at the moment, as cheap as chips not to mention lushes and juicy. Nothing beats fresh local produce and we have a strawberry grower down the road that has been having half price pick your own strawberries, so we’ve been visiting a bit lately. By the way for the international readers down the road is about 50Km away but SO! worth the drive.
Inspired by one of my favourite online pastry chefs Gretchen’s Bakery and an abundant supply of strawberries, I had an attempt at her Strawberry Chiffon Cake. I have never made a chiffon before but the results were great so I will no doubt do it again. I’m also working on a Paleo strawberry cobbler so Paleo fans keep an eye out.
Those of you who regularly read my blog will recall from my last post I mentioned I didn’t take many photos again for this post, I always remember after the cake is assembled sorry. Please enjoy the photos I did take of the finished product and the photos after it was devoured. I have just finished reading a post from Kristine at The Gluten Free Lifesaver about food blogging photography and it’s the kick in the pants I knew I needed to pick up my game so I will try harder from now on.
For those of you like me that weren’t aware chiffon cakes even existed, it is a light airy cake made using the foaming method ( like a sponge cake). So for those that don’t know there are a few different mix methods for cakes, most commonly the foaming method and the creaming method. Both unique for their results but common in their goal being to trap air into the batter. The foaming method does this by beating the air into the eggs then gently folding it into the cake batter where the creaming method does it but cutting little air pockets into butter with the sugar crystals.
The foaming method generally results in a lighter dryer style cake while the creaming methods end up more moist and dense. There are other methods but these are the two main ones I use.
So strawberry Chiffon uses strawberry puree which helps give it a pink colour and a strawberry flavour (though I did cheat and put a drop of red food colour to help it). The first job was to cook down the strawberries over a low heat. By cooking them down you are not only removing some of the moisture you are intensifying the colour and flavour too. Once they’re cooked down you can blitz them or transfer them to a blender to make it smooth. Now that you have your puree you now have the choice to keep or leave out the seeds. If you want to take the seeds out strain it through a superfine sieve. I left them in for the cake but took them out when I decorated.
When baking this cake you don’t use a greased tin like most other cakes, I’m guessing because it is so light that it uses the wall of the tin to cling to as it rises. When it’s cooked you cool it upside down before cutting it out to help stop it deflating before you move it to a cake rack.
To decorate I chose to use whipped cream because what’s better than strawberries and cream! After I whipped the cream till it was thick and fluffy I deseeded the rest of the puree and added some of it to give the cream a subtle tint of pink. In between the two cake layers I put a layer of cream and chopped some fresh strawberries into it. Then covered the rest of the cake and smoothed it off. To finish the cake, I grabbed the last of the puree in a zip lock bag cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzled it over the top.
I piped a little star boarder on the bottom and it was done. I think the cake looked awesome and I was really proud of the way it looked. The only worry I had was that this was my first chiffon cake I had no idea what it tasted like or even what it looked like inside. Well this is what it looked like inside.
And this was all that was left after the first sitting.
The word from the staff room was that it was Yum! Really light like you could just keep eating it! and obviously they did. I’ll call that a success.
And on that note, until the next time.
Thanks for Readin’