Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chocolate in Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I do not normally use buttercream to frost a cake. I find it a little too rich and sinful - no good for the heart other than giving you the extra kilos. But there is no refrigerator to store the cake at my cell meeting venue. Out goes fresh cream frosting. I wanted a fruit-flavoured theme cake. This cake is to celebrate the birthday of April babies in my cell group - Janet and Ching Sum.

To lighten the heaviness of buttercream, I added beaten eggwhites to the buttercream. Orange zest, concentrated orange puree and Grand Marnier liqueur are added to the buttercream to give the cake a citrus and zesty flavour. You can see lots of orange zest in the buttercream in the pictures here. I chose to bake a chocolate chiffon sponge cake to complement the zesty orange buttercream. Chiffon cakes use corn oil or any neutral flavoured oil instead of butter, thus it balances the sinful buttercream. Just trying to make us feel not so guilty eating such a rich cake .....

The cake was lovingly adorned with Taiwanese honey mandarin oranges and strawberries. I piped some chocolate sauce onto the cake to make it look more tempting and pretty. Not a bad job though the piping wasn't that skilfully done.

Now comes the verdict. The cake was well received and everyone loved the buttercream that no one scrapped it aside. Hmm ..... I loved it too. The chocolate and orange combination is a delight. So much so that I baked another one the next day for my family and golf kakis to try. They loved it too.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake
85g cake flour
1.5 tsp baking powder

25g dutch-process cocoa powder
80g hot water

3 egg yolks
25g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
52g corn oil
1/4 tsp salt

4 egg whites
55g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Line parchment paper on the bottom of a 7" round baking pan.
Pre-heat the oven at 170 degree celsius.

  1. Dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot water. Stir the mixture evenly and leave it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt together into a mixing bowl.
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 25g sugar until slightly pale and creamy. Whisk in the vanilla extract, chocolate mixture and corn oil until evenly blended.
  4. Add in the flour mixture from step 2 into the egg yolk mixture. Gently blend in the flour into the egg yolk mixture.
  5. In a stand mixer, making sure the whisk and mixing bowls are perfectly clean and grease-free, beat the 4 egg whites at low speed until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and increase the speed to maximum.
  6. When soft peaks form, add in the 55g sugar gradually. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  7. Take 1/3 of the egg white mixture and whisk into the flour-egg yolk mixture to lighten it.  Blend in the rest of the egg white mixture gently until mixture looks even. The whites and chocolate are blended. Be careful not to overmix as you do not want to deflate the egg whites.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and invert the cake. I suspended the cake pan over 2 cups placed on opposite sides.
  10. Once the cake has cooled, unmold it and place the cake facing up.

Orange swiss meringue buttercream
272g unsalted butter, at 18 degree celsius or 65 degree fahrenheit, cut into 2cm cubes
36g + 76g caster sugar
36g water

3 egg whites
1/4 + 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Orange zest from 1 orange
Orange juice from 1 orange
1 tbsp Grand marnier

  1. Boil the orange juice and bring it down to a simmer until the juice has reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Leave it aside to cool. You can prepare this in advance and refrigerate it.
  2. Add 76g caster sugar and 36g water into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium fire while stirring constantly until sugar has melted. After bubbling, stop stirring. Reduce fire to low.
  3. In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and increase the speed to maximum.
  4. When soft peaks form, add in the 36g sugar gradually. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. Increase the heat and bring the sugar syrup to a boil until temperature reaches 120-121 degree celsius or 248-250 degree fahrenheit. This is the firm ball stage. Transfer syrup into a glass measuring jar.
  6. With the mixer off, pour a third of the syrup gently into the egg white mixture. Beat on high speed for 5 seconds. Repeat this step 3 times.
  7. Once all sugar syrup has been added to the egg white mixture, beat the mixture at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until egg white mixture feels cool.
  8. Beat in 1 tbsp of butter at a time at medium speed. If mixture looks curdled, increase the speed. It will blend in smoothly again. Continue until all butter has been added and the mixture is smooth.
  9. Add in the concentrated orange puree, orange zest and grand marnier. Blend evenly.
  10. Transfer into a glass bowl. It can be used at this time. If it's a little too soft, refrigerate it for about 15-20 minutes.
  1. Slice the chocolate chiffon cake into 3 even cake slices.
  2. Place the first piece over an 8" round cakeboard. Spread a little buttercream in the centre of the cakeboard to prevent the cake from slipping.
  3. Use an angled spatula to spread a layer of buttercream over the cake evenly. Top it with the 2nd cake slice and spread another layer of the buttercream over it evenly. Place the 3rd cake slice on top. Frost the sides of the cake evenly with the buttercream first before frosting the top layer of the cake.
  4. Decorate as per your desire.

This is the second cake I baked

1 comment:

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