Here we are onto the fourth installment of our Monthly Mystery Munchies with Gen from Eat, Play Clove! The honour to choose a theme for this month was mine and because I could not make up my mind, I shared my thoughts with Gen as we pondered over 3 themes/ingredients to use. We agreed to veer away from main meal ingredients and agreed on something a little different: Colours and Sweets!
Should be easy enough right? Colours and Sweets! How difficult could that be? That’s dessert for you. Or colourful, sweet cookies. Or a dish that’s sweet and full of colours with red chillies, green coriander and yellow capsicum. Could be anything!
Oh! I could not have been more wrong! This turned out to be a real challenge as I know not what to make, I also cannot make up my mind of what to work on for days and weeks on end.
Then work took over my life.
But I was determined; macaroons came to mind. They are sweet and I can make them colourful. Besides, I love those shit, so why the hell not! I was also being stupidly ambitious as I have never made them before. It was an exciting thought. Besides, eggs whites are fun to work with, but God! that entire process was tedious, especially when there were several different colours and flavours involved. It was a 2-man job with Silver Bullet as my co-pilot (bless him!).
We ended up with 2 types of half-decent but edible macaroons instead of the 4 originally intended. The other 2 became merengue biscuits because Silver Bullet did not bang the trays before he shoved them in the oven. Like I said, a bloody ambitious attempt!
Overall, I’m not too happy with the results of the macaroons. So forget about featuring the recipe! I must say though, I’m spurred to give it another go next time with a lesson learnt: ONE FLAVOUR, ONE COLOUR AT.A.TIME! While they they didn’t end up in the bin, I still consider it a fail.
So I’ve been a little muddle-headed and indecisive all over again, and the postponement of our Monthly Mystery Munchies was a blessing, indeed. Over the weekend, I attempted something a little less ambitious and decided to muck around with my Orange Chiffon Cake recipe.
This has been a joy to make and I’m absolutely thrilled with the results. It’s light, it’s spongy, it’s moist and all that’s expected of a chiffon. It’s also colourful and sweet enough, but from the top view, reminded me of Jabba The Hutt without the hands when it came out of the oven.
Once sliced, though, it was a different story…
The kids loved it; intrigued by the colours of rainbow and they tried to eat the colours separately. I brought some to the office and my colleagues devoured it wondering how the colours layered up. With colours like that and taste so heavenly, this is a sure-fire way to get people happy. No drugs required!
Rainbow Chiffon Cake
No butter used. A light, fluffy and moist chiffon cake. Just what a chiffon should be!
7 large eggs, separated plus 1 additional egg white
2 1/4 cups (225 grams) sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) superfine white (castor) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil or safflower oil
3/4 cup (180 ml) low-fat milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (use to stabilise whipping of egg whites and allow them to reach maximum volume)
3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
Colouring: I used blue, red, orange, green
Separate the eggs and place the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Cover with plastic wrap and bring them to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C and have ready a 10 inch (25 cm) two piece tube pan (ungreased).
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, sugar (minus 3 tablespoons or 42 grams), baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks, oil, milk and vanilla extract. Beat about one minute or until smooth.
In a separate bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 tablespoons (42 grams) of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Depending on the number of colours you intend to use, get ready empty bowls to separate the batter in #4.
Apportion the whisked egg whites into the batter in #6 equally. Add drops of colouring to each of the bowl. This is where I added in cocoa powder to one of the bowls to give the entire cake a subtle chocolatey taste
With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).
To layer, pour the mixed batter (with egg whites folded in) one colour on top of the other until all the batter is used up into the ungreased tube pan.
Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (When lightly pressed the cake will spring back).
Important: Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert the pan and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter.
Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).
To remove the cake from the pan, run a long metal spatula around the inside of the tube pan and center core. Invert onto a greased wire rack. (I used an already detacheable mould for easy removal of the cake)
This can be stored in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or for about a week in the refrigerator. This cake can also be frozen for a couple of months.
Make sure that the eggs are at room temperature before whisking. For the egg whites, be very careful to keep only whites to make sure that they stiffen up.
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/
Layering the batter:
After 45 minutes in the oven, here comes Jabba the Hutt meet Cyclops:
Immediately invert in suspension to cool:
The most satisfying part is slicing it up and discovering a fluffy cake with a rainbow of colours. The colours formed-up differently for every single slice, and it’s like every slice is a rainbow surprise!
This month’s challenge wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and I’ve been wondering how Gen approached it. Definitely can’t wait to feature what she’s got. I’m looking forward to next month’s theme already!
Here’s to a colourful and sweetest weekend! Make it light, make it a Chiffon.