Blueberry Chiffon Cake
I didn’t imagine I would write another post about berries so soon (particularly blueberries), but I did. A few days ago, I discovered that my youngest niece, Aline, would be celebrating her 3rd birthday this week. True, I should remember my nieces and nephews’ birthdays, but after the sixth one I just stopped trying (Thank God for Google Calendar). So I made her a light chiffon cake with blueberry frosting.
I found the recipe for the cake in a book called “Super Gâteaux“. The original recipe is for a lemon and Earl Grey tea chiffon cake. I changed the ingredients a bit and added blueberries. I wanted the cake to have purple tones that would fit a cute little girl’s birthday celebration (well, cute when she’s not shouting and jumping all over me). Perhaps if I replaced the blueberries with raspberries, or even pomegranates, the cake would take on reddish tones. I should try it next time. I found the recipe for the purple frosting on Edible Perspective.
This is the first time I’ve made a chiffon cake. I discovered these cakes have different rules than other sponge cakes. I learned that you shouldn’t grease the baking pan with oil in order to allow the cake to stick to the walls of the pan so it rises better. In addition, I learned that immediately after removing the cake from the oven you should flip it over and let it cool upside down. This will ensure the cake won’t collapse on itself and that it stays light and airy.
I also realized that the eggs have to be separated and that the egg whites have to be whisked into a semi-stable meringue. Meaning, a meringue that can hold its shape but is not stiff, yet not too soft. I noticed some recipes online claiming you can omit the cream of tartar powder (which ensures a stable meringue that does not break easily), but I used it anyway. If you do omit it, whip the egg whites when they’re cold and not at room temperature as usually advised.
90 g frozen/ fresh blueberries
90 g water
130 g self-rising flour
140 g powdered sugar
80 g filtered blueberry mash
55 g olive oil
Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 tsp cream of tartar powder
2 tsp blueberry mash
125 g water
110 g powdered sugar
125 g heavy cream
55 g cream cheese 30%
35 g frozen/ fresh blueberries
3 tbsp honey
70 g fresh blueberries
A round baking pan, 20 cm diameter
Put the blueberries in a saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Mash some blueberries with the spatula while stirring. Let it cool for about 5 minutes and then grind with a hand blender to a smoother texture. Filter the puree and weigh the amount needed for the cake and the syrup.
Line the bottom of the baking pan with parchment paper. Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.
Separate the eggs. Place the egg whites in the mixer bowl and the egg yolk in a separate bowl. Add half of the powdered sugar (70 g) to the egg yolk and whip for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and fluffy. Add blueberry puree, olive oil and lemon zest gradually to the mixture while mixing all along. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
Start whipping the egg whites on medium speed. When foam starts to appear, add the cream of tartar powder and continue to whip. Add the remaining powdered sugar gradually to the bowl while mixing all along. Whip at medium speed until you get a smooth, shiny and firm meringue. (Careful not to over whisk)
Add flour to the egg yolk mixture and mix gently with a whisk until uniform. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture in three parts. Pour the batter into the baking pan and flatten the surface by shaking the pan gently.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the center of the cake to check if it’s ready. The toothpick should come out dry. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately flip the pan over and place it on a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool at room temperature for about half an hour. (Prepare the syrup in the meantime).
Flip the pan again. Separate the cake from the sides of the pan using a serrated knife and release the cake. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and set the cake on a serving plate.
Pour water and blueberry puree into a small pot. Add powdered sugar. Place on medium heat. Stir the sugar with a spatula to dissolve it. Once the water starts to boil, stop stirring and remove the spatula. Let the syrup boil for another 5 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool and strain it before use.
Put blueberries and honey in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the flame and let it simmer for 7 minutes while mixing now and then (Keep an eye over it in case it overflows). Transfer the mixture into a cup and keep it in the fridge.
Pour the heavy cream in a stainless steel bowl. Whip it with a whisk until you almost get soft peaks (beware not to over whip, the goal is to get a texture that resembles yogurt). Keep in the fridge. Put cream cheese in a separate bowl and mix with a spatula to soften it. Add the cream cheese to the whipped cream and whisk just until uniform. Keep in the fridge.
Using a hand blender, grind the blueberry and honey mixture to get a smoother texture. Pour the mixture into the whipped cream and whip until you get a firm frosting.
Putting it all together!
Using a spatula, spread the blueberry frosting on top of the cake. Add the fresh blueberries on top of the frosting. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about two to three days. Just before serving, pour a little bit of the blueberry syrup over each piece of cake.Yum
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Interesting addition to a chiffon cake; will have to try it after making blueberry ice cream.
Something I’ve taken to doing when using fresh berries for jams, ice cream, purees, etc, is to mash them with sugar and allow them to macerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. It draws out the juices and flavor. After that, depending on what I am going to use the puree for, it gets heated on a medium low heat, until simmering, turned down to very low and allowed to reduce. Strain then cool.
The very low heat stops the ‘cooked’ taste and retains more of a fresh flavor. Seems like a lot of faff, takes some time, but the results are so worth it.
wow, this sounds so interesting! I will have to try it out the next time I use fresh blueberries in my baking. Thanks 🙂
just LOVELY. xoxooxS