Monday, October 20, 2008

Capuccino Chiffon Cake - Introducing the Cake Slice Bakers

I guess after having joined Daring Bakers and having successfully completed 5 challenges todate, it has given me some courage to join other baking groups. So when Gigi of Gigi Cakes and Katie of Apple and Spice decided to create The Cake Slice Bakers, I immediately wanted to be part of this group. What's so special about The Cake Slice Bakers is their goal of baking one recipe each month from a single book and all members get to vote on a recipe of choice for each month.

It may be coincidence but prior to even knowing of The Cake Slice Bakers existence I had borrowed the book which we would be baking from, "Sky High - Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne from the library. I was particularly inspired by the recipes showcased in this book due to some slight variations in baking style as well as the ingredients used. It also had unusual cake names such as Ginger Beer Cake, Fabulous Lady B Cake and Chocolate Cola Cake, don't you think so!

I am delighted to announce that today is our very first posting ... with many more to come! And the cake chosen to welcome this inspired group of bakers is a triple-layer Capuccinno Chiffon Cake.

I was extremely pleased that my cake came out exactly as it should have! Firstly I've never attempted a chiffon cake and secondly not attempted an actual triple layer cake before! The instructions to this recipe was simple enough and I finished whipping the batter in less than no time. Luckily I happened to have three 8" cake pans, although higher than I would have liked it to be - mine is about 3" high. I weighed the batter out equally into the pans to ensure that the layers were pretty much of the same height, then popped 2 pans into my oven and the other into the fridge to wait for it's baking turn. I had to bake the cake for about 20 minutes as the underside of the cake was still slightly moist. Once cooled, the chiffon automatically separated from the sides of the pan and it was just a matter of peeling the parchment away. I did notice that one of the chiffon was slightly deflated in the centre whilst the other 2 held up. This was good and I kept calling out to my husband to take a look at the cakes (I had an enormous grin on my face at that time).

The assembling part was somewhat tricky due to the weather here in Singapore. We were having an extremely hot Saturday afternoon with temperatures of about 33C. So you can guess what this does to whipped cream ... a near complete melt-down. I had to put the cake into the fridge at least 3 times and even then, the cream around the cake didn't turn out as smooth as I would have wanted it to. To decorate the cake, I had wanted to use a dolly and dust it with cocoa powder. Unfortunately my doily was meant for a 10" cake so what my husband did was design a doily for me by cutting out patterns using a parchment paper. And guess what .... it worked!

All I can say is this cake tasted oh so yummy and I personally felt that it was even better the next day. Especially when the syrup and the cream had seeped into the chiffon layers.

To view more beatiful creations, go to The Cake Slice Bakers

Cappuccino Chiffon Cake
(Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake)


1/4 cup of neutral oil (vegetable, canola, or soybean)
6 eggs separated
6 Tbsp of freshly brewed espresso cooled to room temperature
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 and 1/3 cups of cake flour*
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
Cocoa powder for dusting

(*The recipe calls for cake flour and if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can substitute 3/4 cup (105 grams) all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch.)

Espresso Syrup

1/3 cup hot freshly brewed strong espresso coffee
1/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup dark rum, such as Meyers* (I used 2 tsp of coffee emalco flavouring instead of rum)

(*if you want to leave out the rum you can use molasses thinned with pineapple juice and flavored with almond extract to equal 1/3 cup. Or use 1 to 2 teaspoons of rum extract flavoring but you'll have less syrup.)

Vanilla Whipped Cream

3 cups of heavy cream (or thickened cream)
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tsp of vanilla


1) Preheat the oven to 180C degrees. Line the bottom s of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper but do not grease.

2) In a medium bowl, combine the oil, egg yolks, espresso, and vanilla; whisk lightly to blend. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 1 cup of sugar, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

3) In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until frothy. Raise the mixer to medium high and gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Do not whip to stiff peaks or the cake will shrink upon cooling.

4) Add the espresso-egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together just until combined. Add one fourth of the egg whites and fold them gently into the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites just until no streaks remain. Divide the batter among the pans.

5) Bake the cakes for 18 - 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans. Once cooled run a knife around the edge of the pans to release the cakes. Invert onto a wire rack and remove the parchment papers.

6) To assemble the cake, place one cake layer flat side up on a cake stand or platter. Soak the cake with 1/3 cup of the espresso syrup. Spread 1 and 1/3 cups of whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake. Repeat with the next layer the same steps. Finally top with the third layer. Soak with syrup and frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream.

7) To decorate the cake smooth out the whipped cream as much as possible on top. Lay a paper doily on top and sift cocoa powder or cinnamon over the doily to reveal a lacy detail.

Espresso Syrup
(makes 1 cup)

In a bowl, stir together the espresso and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the rum and let cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
(makes 6 cups)

Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in large chilled mixing bowl with chilled beaters. With the whip attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.


steph- whisk/spoon said...

looks great, and such even layers! nice work by your husband, too! :)

Sihan said...

I'm bookmarking this site! so glad to see the recipe worked for you! I enjoy it loads as well..

we sure had a hot saturday afternoon. haha.

Anonymous said...

Presentation of your cake is beautiful.

Rosie said...

Wonderful presentation Jo and this cake is really good isn't it :) - well done!

Rosie x

Mary Ann said...

Your cake looks great,especially the slice. How did you get it to stand up perfectly? Beautiful!

Jodie said...

Looks great! I love how perfect your layers are. Great job!

Maria♥ said...

Your cake turned out beautiful and love the presentation!


Jacque said...

Wow, it looks perfect! I like the stencil on top too... very cool :)

marae said...

looks wonderful, love your layers and you did great with the whipped cream even with temperature challenges. FAB!

Lulu the Baker said...

Your cake is stunning! So geometrical!

Gigi said...

Great job. The cake slice beautifully.I just love that picture!

Caroline said...

Your cake looks perfect, such even layers! I like your doily design, too!

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful. I too had to bake the cakes in two batches as I onyl had 2 tins. I'm so impressed you made your own stencil design for the top, its fantastic!

Sweet Treats by Dani said...

looks great :) i could use a slice now i tell ya.... in the middle of mid-terms :(

Anonymous said...

pretty cake, even layers.and perfect stencil design..what more would one want...

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

I am marking it in my favs... Multi tiered wow cake looks awesome... Pictures are great too...

Deborah said...

I can't imagine having to work with whipped cream in the heat! Great job - I love the design on top!

Jo said...

Hi everyone, many thanks for your inspiring comments and I really loved our first challenge! All I can say is everyone did a great job and came up with equally beautiful creations. Am so looking forward to Nov's surprise.

Salt N Turmeric said...

Jo, that is 1 good looking cake! I bet its delicious too. Iv practically stopped eating cakes since i moved here. i found them to be too sweet to my taste. I miss secret recipe!

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