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LittleIsland

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

55 posts in this topic

^If I had cream lying around, I'd use about 3 oz bittersweet, 2-3 tbsp cream (depending on the consistency you want), and a tiny pat of butter to give it some shine. It doesn't need to sit in the fridge...it will thicken up at room temperature after a few minutes off the heat. :smile:

(Ah yes, I love my desserts but sadly I must cut down a bit...clothes.getting.too.tight. *groan* :raz: )

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Upped the yolks today to 80g ... still a tad dry. So that's not it. If I increase the water, I'm afraid I'd have to increase the cocoa and sugar as the additional water would dilute the flavour. Then I'd have even MORE tweaking to do. I don't really want to up the oil because I haven't seen any chiffon recipes with more than 1/2 cup and I'm already adding 5/8. Argh. I wonder if I'm overbaking. But then, I'm usually checking for done-ness very carefully.

The original Spago recipe calls for 30 mins but I usually need 50 mins using a 10-inch tube pan. Could that be the problem? But 30 mins is nowhere close to enough so I wonder if that's a typo. Ling - I note you needed 45 mins for your round 9" anyway.

A bit stumped now. Anyone have ideas?

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I think you should up the water. It shouldn't dilute the cocoa flavour...it's just water; it'll just make your cake more moist. You can take away a tablespoon or two of flour and replace it with a tablespoon or two of cocoa if you're worried.

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I would concur with Ling and suggest increasing the water.

However, I also half suspect that the texture you are hankering for can only be achieved with the use of some emulsifier. To get that rather moist yet very soft and fluffy crumb like the commercial cakes. You can try using a sponge mix (like optima) in lieu of the plain flour and see how you like it. Just a suggestion.

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Well today I thought I'd go the other way so I used Rose Levy Berenbaum's Chocolate Chiffon recipe which differs from the Spago recipe in that it has:

- 170g cake flour instead of 140g AP

- 50g cocoa instead of 80g

- 3/4 cup water instead of 1/2 cup

- 6 yolks and 10 whites instead of 4 yolks and 6 whites

I remembered when I first made it exactly as written I found it to be lovely and moist. So I reduced the flour to 140g and replaced it with cocoa (total 80g same as Spago's). I made sure to remove it from the oven once the tester was no longer wet but had a few moist crumbs clinging.

Well it fell out of the pan while cooling and developed a rubbery crust all round. Disaster.

So I guess it's back to tweaking the Spago recipe - yes, with more water!

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Substituting more of the flour for the cocoa might have made your cake collapse, but like Ling said, it shouldn't cause your cake to fall out.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Substituting more of the flour for the cocoa might have made your cake collapse, but like Ling said, it shouldn't cause your cake to fall out.

You're right of course ladies. Thinking back, I'm quite sure I did overbeat the batter. I was very careful not to do so the last couple of times and had no problems.

So I'm really pleased to report that increasing the water to 3/4 cup and decreasing baking time to 40 minutes has really helped improve the moistness of the cake, and also get rid of much of the dry sides - although not completely and I suppose it's going to be difficult to achieve that. That would not be a problem if I'm frosting the cake, but if having it plain from the angel food pan then I need to keep working on the sides.

Today I added 1 1/2 tsp of coffee to the water but it didn't make an appreciable difference to the flavour - at least not to my tastebuds.

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I've made the Spago cake from this recipe here

It was a while ago but the Chocolate Craqueline Mousse Cake turned out great. I skipped the sugar syrup though.

The chiffon cake turned out just right. Nice texture. Wasn't dense at all. And chocolatey rich.

Well I just made this version of the Spago Cake and while it tasted lovely I have to admit that I strayed from the recipe a bit. I didn't grease and flour the sides of the pan, only lined the bottom. While cooking the cake was nice and high but once done it sank (both pans), especially in the middle. I put them on cooling racks, upside down and almost immediately they fell onto the racks (though in 3" deep pans), tearing from around the sides. I turned them over and released them from the sides with a spatula and turned them out and inverted back up to cool. They tasted good and were somewhat delicate and very chocolatey, but I lost a few pieces. I was able to patch together a decent black forest cake with it, but next time I'll follow the instructions exactly as far as greasing/flouring and treat it as any other layer cake. Has anyone thought that maybe the recipe is wrong? The oil and water amounts are opposite that of a normal chiffon cake. Anyone think they may have been accidentally swapped?

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I have a large size recipe from when I worked at Spago and it is the same proportions as the recipe in the link. The water and oil amounts are correct.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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gallery_40488_2237_35829.jpg

Althoug it's a diferent recipe, chocolate chiffon is one of my favourite cakes.

And it has a great potential por some variations as well, and some flavour combinations. These are mine "4 Seasons" versions...

gallery_40488_2237_27824.jpg


Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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Hi,

I haven't made any of the recipes but it is interesting to read thru.

I am not good at foaming cake technique and always wonder how i can indicate if the mixing is done thru and how can you tell that the batter is deflating too much.

Is there a lot of oven spring for foam cake and does the cake shrink a lot after coming out of the oven... by how much ..30%...50%?

last Q: what do you guys use for folding?

I am trying to work on this but always got scared ( too face the truth of flat cake!) :sad:

SOS.

Thanks :smile:

iii

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To make your cake more chocolate-y, why not substitute black cocoa for part of the regular kind? I usually put a rounded tablespoon in the bottom of a 1/4 C. measuring cup and fill it up with Hershey or Scharffenberger regular, for example. I don't like Dutch Process at all.

I've always heard it's better to overbeat than underbeat chiffon cakes. Perhaps they were referring to the whites?


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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To make your cake more chocolate-y, why not substitute black cocoa for part of the regular kind?  I usually put a rounded tablespoon in the bottom of a 1/4 C. measuring cup and fill it up with Hershey or Scharffenberger regular, for example.  I don't like Dutch Process at all.

But Ruth, black cocoa is Dutch Processed. It's ultra alkalized. :)


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

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Yes, I know that...I'm talking about the pale stuff.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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I use Van Houeten cocoa which is Dutch processed and with the Spago recipe which calls for 3/4 cup (about 80g), it makes a very dark and chocolate-y chiffon cake.

I was researching black cocoa and read somewhere that although it does provide a lovely rich dark colour, it doesn't necessarily taste better or more intense. Would be interesting to compare it in the same recipe except I'd have to buy it online and get it shipped here (v.expensive!)

Don't overbeat the batter of the chiffon cake (before adding the whites) I did this a couple of times and the cake fell out of the pan after inverting and was ruined. Don't overbeat the whites either as they will become lumpy and difficult to fold into the batter and you'll get lots of unmixed white bits in your cake. Of course underbeating them is not good either.

I beat the batter in my Kenwood Chef for about 2 minutes, that's it. Egg whites are beaten till firm but not until they start breaking down into lumps. I use a large slotted skimmer to fold my egg whites into the batter. If you fold with a firm hand and thoroughly around the sides and down to the bottom of the bowl with each fold, it shouldn't take more than, say, a minute to finish folding all the egg whites into the batter (I guess it might take less time for more experienced bakers). This is made easier by first folding about a 1/4 of the beaten whites into the batter and then the rest.

The cake rises about 25% more than the volume of the batter and shrinks by about 5% upon removal from the oven. My crude estimates only, however :smile:

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I use Van Houeten cocoa which is Dutch processed and with the Spago recipe which calls for 3/4 cup (about 80g), it makes a very dark and chocolate-y chiffon cake.

I was researching black cocoa and read somewhere that although it does provide a lovely rich dark colour, it doesn't necessarily taste better or more intense.  Would be interesting to compare it in the same recipe except I'd have to buy it online and get it shipped here (v.expensive!)

Don't overbeat the batter of the chiffon cake (before adding the whites) I did this a couple of times and the cake fell out of the pan after inverting and was ruined.  Don't overbeat the whites either as they will become lumpy and difficult to fold into the batter and you'll get lots of unmixed white bits in your cake.  Of course underbeating them is not good either. 

I beat the batter in my Kenwood Chef for about 2 minutes, that's it.  Egg whites are beaten till firm but not until they start breaking down into lumps.  I use a large slotted skimmer to fold my egg whites into the batter.  If you fold with a firm hand and thoroughly around the sides and down to the bottom of the bowl with each fold, it shouldn't take more than, say, a minute to finish folding all the egg whites into the batter (I guess it might take less time for more experienced bakers).  This is made easier by first folding about a 1/4 of the beaten whites into the batter and then the rest.

The cake rises about 25% more than the volume of the batter and shrinks by about 5% upon removal from the oven.  My crude estimates only, however  :smile:

Lovely, i will now go and concentrate on my technique. I always think my chiffon never rises.

About the cocoa...what do you think about Vahrona?

Thanks for the clarification.

iii :smile:

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Don't know about Vahlrona (sp?) as we don't have it here, but I guess any Dutch-processed should do. Good luck... it's a fantastic cake, I love it!

The other day I made

this

using the same recipe and it was fantastic! The only problem I had was cooling it successfully in a 10-inch pan as I've always used an angel food tube pan. So I have to work on that... maybe use a flower nail or something, and a higher pan so that the sides can support the inversion.

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Don't know about Vahlrona (sp?) as we don't have it here, but I guess any Dutch-processed should do.  Good luck... it's a fantastic cake, I love it!

The other day I made

this

using the same recipe and it was fantastic!  The only problem I had was cooling it successfully in a 10-inch pan as I've always used an angel food tube pan.  So I have to work on that... maybe use a flower nail or something, and a higher pan so that the sides can support the inversion.

It is the french Cocoa and chocolate, i saw many of Pierre Herme's recipes calling for it.

I have this. It is quite dark. Just wonder how it compares to the dark cocoa.

Will try. ( At the moment, CNN and BBC are casting news on "unprecendented" alleged terror plot at the UK airport...hope all is well!)

Thanks

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Don't know about Vahlrona (sp?) as we don't have it here, but I guess any Dutch-processed should do.  Good luck... it's a fantastic cake, I love it!

The other day I made

this

using the same recipe and it was fantastic!  The only problem I had was cooling it successfully in a 10-inch pan as I've always used an angel food tube pan.  So I have to work on that... maybe use a flower nail or something, and a higher pan so that the sides can support the inversion.

Looks really good the recipe from Spago's, I just wish the photo was better, so I could get a better look at the decoration on the top.

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I use Van Houeten cocoa which is Dutch processed and with the Spago recipe which calls for 3/4 cup (about 80g), it makes a very dark and chocolate-y chiffon cake.

I was researching black cocoa and read somewhere that although it does provide a lovely rich dark colour, it doesn't necessarily taste better or more intense.  Would be interesting to compare it in the same recipe except I'd have to buy it online and get it shipped here (v.expensive!)

I don't know where you live, but the darkest cocoa I've ever seen is Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, and that is very widely available at supermarkets in the US. It is a dutched, or alkalized cocoa, and to me it tastes an awful lot like Oreo cookies. Personally I prefer dutched cocoa, but this variety is actually over-dutched, and makes for cakes that look almost black. Hershey's first version of dutch cocoa -- Hershey's European Style cocoa, was actually much better.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I use Van Houeten cocoa which is Dutch processed and with the Spago recipe which calls for 3/4 cup (about 80g), it makes a very dark and chocolate-y chiffon cake.

I was researching black cocoa and read somewhere that although it does provide a lovely rich dark colour, it doesn't necessarily taste better or more intense.  Would be interesting to compare it in the same recipe except I'd have to buy it online and get it shipped here (v.expensive!)

I don't know where you live, but the darkest cocoa I've ever seen is Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, and that is very widely available at supermarkets in the US. It is a dutched, or alkalized cocoa, and to me it tastes an awful lot like Oreo cookies. Personally I prefer dutched cocoa, but this variety is actually over-dutched, and makes for cakes that look almost black. Hershey's first version of dutch cocoa -- Hershey's European Style cocoa, was actually much better.

Again, about Vahlrona..ave u ever tried? It seems so dark for me..is it the same dark? :unsure:

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I use Van Houeten cocoa which is Dutch processed and with the Spago recipe which calls for 3/4 cup (about 80g), it makes a very dark and chocolate-y chiffon cake.

I was researching black cocoa and read somewhere that although it does provide a lovely rich dark colour, it doesn't necessarily taste better or more intense.  Would be interesting to compare it in the same recipe except I'd have to buy it online and get it shipped here (v.expensive!)

I don't know where you live, but the darkest cocoa I've ever seen is Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, and that is very widely available at supermarkets in the US. It is a dutched, or alkalized cocoa, and to me it tastes an awful lot like Oreo cookies. Personally I prefer dutched cocoa, but this variety is actually over-dutched, and makes for cakes that look almost black. Hershey's first version of dutch cocoa -- Hershey's European Style cocoa, was actually much better.

Again, about Vahlrona..ave u ever tried? It seems so dark for me..is it the same dark? :unsure:

Yes, I've used Valrhona cocoa, and personally I find it way over-priced (as opposed to their chocolates, which I do think are worth the price). In terms of color, Valrhona is typical for dutched cocoas. The Hershey's Special Dark is actually much darker than the Valrhona cocoa, because it is "over-dutched," which is I understand it enhances the browning of the cocoa when it is roasted.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I use Van Houeten cocoa which is Dutch processed and with the Spago recipe which calls for 3/4 cup (about 80g), it makes a very dark and chocolate-y chiffon cake.

I was researching black cocoa and read somewhere that although it does provide a lovely rich dark colour, it doesn't necessarily taste better or more intense.  Would be interesting to compare it in the same recipe except I'd have to buy it online and get it shipped here (v.expensive!)

I don't know where you live, but the darkest cocoa I've ever seen is Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, and that is very widely available at supermarkets in the US. It is a dutched, or alkalized cocoa, and to me it tastes an awful lot like Oreo cookies. Personally I prefer dutched cocoa, but this variety is actually over-dutched, and makes for cakes that look almost black. Hershey's first version of dutch cocoa -- Hershey's European Style cocoa, was actually much better.

Again, about Vahlrona..ave u ever tried? It seems so dark for me..is it the same dark? :unsure:

Yes, I've used Valrhona cocoa, and personally I find it way over-priced (as opposed to their chocolates, which I do think are worth the price). In terms of color, Valrhona is typical for dutched cocoas. The Hershey's Special Dark is actually much darker than the Valrhona cocoa, because it is "over-dutched," which is I understand it enhances the browning of the cocoa when it is roasted.

Got it, thanks.

We do not have the over dutched version here i guess.

I will try internet order then.

Thnx

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I don't know where you live, but the darkest cocoa I've ever seen is Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, and that is very widely available at supermarkets in the US. It is a dutched, or alkalized cocoa, and to me it tastes an awful lot like Oreo cookies. Personally I prefer dutched cocoa, but this variety is actually over-dutched, and makes for cakes that look almost black. Hershey's first version of dutch cocoa -- Hershey's European Style cocoa, was actually much better.

Yes I read your findings in the other thread about cocoa because I was trying to find out if it would be worth my while trying black cocoa but in the end I decided not to bother getting it shipped out - at least for now - since there doesn't seem to be a definitively huge plus for it. Happy with VH for now.

I live in Singapore and in the supermarkets we have Hershey's Cocoa but not Special Dark. We also have Ghirardelli but I haven't seen any feedback that puts it above VH either. I guess if I tried harder I might be able to get Valrhona from some of the commercial suppliers but from what you say it doesn't sound like it's worth it...

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      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food and reviews restaurants. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team.
    • By pastrygirl
      Do you ever end up with ganache that reminds you of extra-heavy mayo?  I was winging it today, testing batches that set up ok but grainy, then weirldy flexible. The 60% i usually use is 39% cocoa butter, but in this batch I used 72%, which is 45% fat.  I also made some other changes but was trying to keep a similar ratio of liquid to chocolate.  The 72% ganache is far thicker than the 60% ever is - it probably needs more cream or a splash of booze, right?  Arg, I should know this!
       
      I got annoyed and left the slab out to do whatever it will overnight - cross your fingers that it is either use-able or save-able tomorrow!
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
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