I thought I would review this coffee chiffon lace cake I baked earlier in the year. But first, I just want to say how relieved I am that the storm has passed, and we came out relatively unscathed, thank goodness. We were very apprehensive, not so much about the rain but more about the winds because our backyard is so close to the woods, any one of those tall trees is within striking distance of the house if, heaven forbid, one of them were to topple over. But we fared well compared to the damage inflicted on the upper northeast. A number of people I know whose homes were affected are at least safe, and I’m thankful for that.
Here’s a view of the backyard. The trees are so tall it’s almost impossible to take a picture of the tops, unless you’re actually pointing the camera directly at the sky.
Now, I didn’t bake this cake during the storm, although I have baked a cake right in the middle of a hurricane last year, weird as that sounds. I made this around March when I was in chiffon cake mode, where I baked nothing but chiffon cakes like crazy, and this cake was one of them. It’s oil-based, as opposed to the typical butter-based cake, which makes it lighter and gives it that fluffy texture. I call it a lace cake because the pattern reminds me of crocheted lace.
What makes it fun to make is whipping the egg whites to full volume and cutting and folding it into the batter. The only thing is, I find it to be a prima donna sometimes, especially when the weather is warmer, when the cake will rise but not to that glorious height of perfection. So I tend to bake this type of cake only when it starts getting cold outside.
I typically use a two-piece tube pan for chiffon cakes, but just used round pans for this. The batter is poured into ungreased pans. As soon as the cake layers are out of the oven, they are immediately inverted to retain their lift, and kept this way until completely cool.
Since the pans are ungreased, the dilemma is how to remove the cake layers from the pan. You can line the bottom with parchment paper, but if you do that and invert the cake to cool, then it will fall off. Or choose not to invert the pan, but doing so will cause the cake to sink– which is why a two-piece tube pan is the best pan to use for chiffon cakes. And in this case, since I wanted to use a regular round pan, I baked the batter in two springform pans, so removing the cake was a cinch.
I torted each layer to make a total of four. I’ll probably make a tutorial on this, when I get a chance.
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons espresso coffee
- ¾ cup hot water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 8 egg yolks
- 8 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 ½ cups butter at room temperature
- 8 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 8 teaspoons instant espresso dissolved in ½ cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 10-inch ungreased tube pan or two 8” x 3” round springform pans.
- Add the coffee to the hot water and stir to dissolve.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and 1 cup of the sugar.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the oil and the dissolved coffee. Whisk well to combine.
- Add egg yolks and mix well. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with a wire whip at medium speed until frothy.
- Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar until the egg whites reach medium peaks.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold about a cup of the egg whites into the batter making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, until lightly blended.
- Add about ⅓ of the remaining egg whites into the batter, cutting and folding to combine and taking care not to deflate the egg whites.
- Repeat until all the egg whites have been incorporated into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan or springform pans.
- Bake for about 45 minutes if using a tube pan. If using springform pans, bake for about 25 minutes. Middle of the cake will spring back when touched.
- Invert tube pan onto the neck of a bottle to cool.
- If using springform pans, invert the pans and let the edges of each pan rest on three soup cans of the same height.
- Cream butter until light and fluffy.
- At low speed, add salt and vanilla, and then slowly add the dissolved coffee. Mix until well incorporated.
- Still at low speed, gradually add the sifted confectioner’s sugar. Beat until well blended.
- Increase speed to medium and beat buttercream until light and fluffy.
- Tint buttercream as desired.
- To make a lace pattern, use a small star tip and start piping on the top edge of the cake. Pipe a curved line that goes up and down all around the cake. Continue until the entire cake is covered. Pipe a small star where each curve meets.
Coffee Chiffon Lace Cake