vanilla chiffon: a tuesdays with dorie post

for this week’s challenge, the tuesdays with dorie bakers made the vanilla chiffon roll.  chiffon cakes can be a little fussy.  as with any sponge type cake, proper whipping of the egg whites is crucial.

when i am making a cake, i like to get all of the ingredients measured out so that they are ready to go as i need them.

the egg yolks are whisked with the water, oil and vanilla.  the recipe calls for 2 tablespoon of vanilla.  while i wholeheartedly suggest that you not skimp on the vanilla extract most recipes call for, go ahead this time, cut it in half!  one tablespoon is more than enough!!!

whipping the whites with the sugar until they are still a little soft and shiny is key.  under whip them and they will not have the ability to lift the cake.  over whip them and the cake will collapse.  it is always best to err on the side of under whipping-the air bubbles will still expand and will not burst during the baking which is what happens when the whites are over whipped.

the batter is light and airy but appears to be on the thick side when properly folded together.  

spread it evenly in the pan so that the height is consistent through out the cake.

my cake was attempting to escape the pan-the batter is just a little more than needed.  next time, i might try using a 12″ x 18″ cake pan rather than a half sheet pan.  and like all of the other bakers mentioned, the baking time is definitely wrong.  it needed at least 20 minutes in the oven rather than the 10-12 minutes the recipe calls for.

the mousse filling is a little unusual.  it calls for heating the egg yolks and then whipping them with a cooked sugar syrup.  it is whipped to a fairly stiff ribbon.  the walnuts for the filling are ground in a food processor and the oil is added to form a smooth paste.  then the melted chocolate is added to make a base for the mousse.  typical of a mousse, the eggs and chocolate get folded together, carefully, and the filling is allowed to sit in the fridge to set.

the filling is spread over the cake and it is rolled up.  a few observations and opinions;  there is too much cake and too much filling to make rolling it up easy.  if i were to do this again, i would definitely cut the two recipes back by a third-or as close to a third as i could get it.  the mousse recipe calls for walnut oil which is something i did not have and did not want to buy.  i added a little sesame oil to give it a nutty flavor.  if you chose to do this, add 2 teaspoons to a tablespoon-a little goes a long way and i added too much!

when cutting the cake, i saved the two end pieces since i was bringing the finished cake to a pot luck dinner.  candied walnuts were not an option since i only had chopped walnuts to work with but i did have some homemade caramel sauce for the plate.

the filling actually held well once cut; despite the lack of gelatin, it never collapsed or oozed out.

pink champagne was the perfect choice to accompany our slices of cake.  not…the truth, i shot these photos in the middle of the afternoon and i didn’t have any pink champagne.  a bit of homemade komobucha with a little of berry juice mixed in was my stand in; it is naturally fizzy!

for those of you wanting to bake one, here is the link to the recipe.  to see how the other bakers did, check out the tuesdays with dorie page

round up #2, chocolate mousse pie with banana caramel sauce

when benni rienzo first tweeted that she would be making this pie, i was excited.  not many of you reading this blog have been adventurous enough to make the pies and send me photos.  needless to say, i have been waiting to see how the pie turned out.  and it looks to me that despite the challenges that having twin boys and a husband out of town can impose on a baker, benni done good!

thanks so much for baking with me benni!!!  hope you can do it again some time, soon.  and to all of you reading this blog, bake along with me, i promise to post the photos if you send them to me!!!