I've gotten pretty good at making chiffon/sponge cakes. I find them easier to make than the majority of cake recipes, even though I have to separate the eggs and whip the egg whites. I love whipping the egg whites and watching them come together. Every time I whip egg whites, I recall when I was much younger and trying to make a meringue and having an absolute disaster with trying to whip the egg whites.
So this weekend, I tried out a chocolate sponge cake recipe that looked tasty. I set about separating my eggs. Crack, open, separate. Everything was going great, and then the unthinkable happened. One of my yolks broke. I don't even know how it happened. I didn't see it happen. One minute, the egg yolk was in my hand and solid and the next minute it was beginning to leak. I saw it just as it was about to fall into my bowl of egg whites. I quickly dumped it into the egg yolk bowl. Only a drop got in. I thought I could save it. I stuck a spoon in to try to remove the drop. But I couldn't completely. Some of it just spread out even more.
It was just a drop. I could still whip up the egg whites right? I mean there were five egg whites in my bowl and one drop of yolk. But no. Apparently that one little drop was enough to completely ruin my egg whites. They simply would not whip together. I was so annoyed. I had to start all over again.
Anyway, I finally got it right. I enjoyed the cake. I like the spongy texture. The chocolate flavor is pretty light. I think my favorite is still the pandan chiffon cake. But this one is pretty good too.
Chocolate Sponge Cake (adapted from Life's a feast)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, separated, preferably at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. In a small bowl, blend the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
the eggs. Place the whites in a mixing bowl with 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, put the yolks in a very
large mixing bowl. Beat them with an electric beater on high speed for
a few minutes until very thick and pale yellow. Add the sugar gradually
and continue beating for another couple of minutes. It should be pale
and very thick.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the yolk/sugar
mixture, alternating with the cold water and vanilla
(dry-wet-dry-wet-dry), beating after each addition until blended,
scraping down the sides as necessary.
6. Beat the whites until
stiff peaks hold..
fold the whites into the cake batter: begin by folding in about a third
of the whites in order to lighten the heavy batter. Then fold in another third, then the
final third. Don’t overdo it or, again, you will knock out too much air.
into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 55- 60 minutes until set. If you think
it is done, if the cake is risen high and seems baked through simply
press the top very lightly. If you hear a foamy sound – don’t worry, if
your hear or feel that foamy sensation you will know it – simply let
the cake bake for another couple of minutes. If the cake is not
perfectly baked through it risks falling as it cools. Invert the cake and let cool, while the cake is still stuck to the pan.
9. Once cooled, loosen cake from pan (I use a plastic knife) until cake slides out of pan.