Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake

Happy August to y'all!

This month has been a busy one that includes my oldest son turning 22 just a few days ago.  Crazy to think that he is that old... that I am that old ha!  You don't want to hear about my oldness - you came to see what cake the Cake Slice bakers whipped up this month so let's get going....

The August choice for the Cake Slice Bakers is the Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Icing from Vintage Cakes.   What is the Cake Slice Bakers you ask?  Well we are a group of blogging bakers that are baking a cake each month out of a specific cookbook.  This year of baking is being done from  Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson.  It is a great group of gals to bake with!  Be sure to check out all of their yummy blogs.  

This cake is supposed to be baked in a tube pan or angel food cake pan.  Since I can't seem to leave well enough alone I choose to bake it in a sheet pan.  I also decided that since it is just the boys and me home right now - Hubster is working extra shifts... well someone has to pay for my extra cooking essentials and Jeep parts!  Oh did that actually get typed?  Oh... where were we?  Since it is just the boys and me home I decided to make a half recipe.  Plus it gave me a good excuse to use my new shiny quarter sheet pans.  ;)

First I made the icing.  BB icing can be tricky sometimes.  One thing I have found that really helps with consistent results is allowing the browned butter to cool before whipping it up with the sugar.

The recipe called for unsalted butter.  I have found that I prefer to use salted butter and forgo the pinch of salt at the end.  I also like to use the browned bits that are sitting in the bottom of the pan.  They give the icing such a nice flavor and homey touch to the icing.  If you refrigerate your icing you will need to let it sit out for about 15 minutes before use.  You will also want to fluff it.

To make the chiffon cake you will want to butter and parchment the bottom only of your cake pan.  With chiffon or egg white cakes you should not grease the sides of your pan.  The cake actually uses the ungreased sides to grab onto and hold for rising while baking.

Don't forget the trick of buttering your pan, lay in your paper then flip your paper over so both sides are coated with butter.

This cake has four components ~ dry, wet, whipped whites and nuts.  If you read your recipe and mise-en-place your cake will come together nicely.

Start with your dry ingredients.  Sift together your flour, salt and baking powder, then whisk in the brown sugar. The recipe calls for light brown sugar but I choose to use dark brown sugar.

In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, oil, maple syrup, water and vanilla.  A tip for you - the recipe called for the same amount of oil and syrup so I measured the oil first then the syrup.  Since the measure had the oil into it first the syrup slid right out down to the last drop!

Get your egg whites whipping.  First on medium until foamy, add in the cream of tarter.  Then get them to a nice soft peak and slowly add in your sugar.  Crank up the mixer and within just a minute your egg whites will be shiny and luscious looking.   

With as few strokes as possible combine the dry and wet ingredients.  Now it is time to fold the mixture with the egg whites.  Place about half of the whites in with your mixture and fold them together.

Now add the lightened mixture back to the whites and finish folding until just combined and you don't see any large streaks of white.  Now add your toasted nuts and finish combining all together.

I ended up diving the batter between two sheet pans.  Smoothed out the tops and popped them into the oven.

This way of baking the cake took much less time... only about 20 minutes.  Gee can you tell where the nuts are in the cake?  ha!

I didn't want them to sink too far so I inverted them on top of a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

The cakes both fell out of the pans but held up very well.  Time to build my cake.  I decided to cut it into four pieces.  I am not good at the eyeballing thing so out comes the ruler.

Peel the first layer off of the paper and place onto the plate.  

Tip alert - yep I am full of them today.  Place the blade of your off set spatula into a glass of hot water.  When you are ready to frost your cake wipe it off and frost until your frosting starts to stick a bit.  Place it back in the water to reheat, dry and back to frosting.

Continue to stack and frost all of the layers.

Once you have all of it frosted put your cake into the refrigerator for at least half an hour before slicing and serving.

We found the cake to be light and tasty.  I do think that without using the dark brown sugar the flavor may have been a bit too understated.  The BB frosting really helped boost the cake flavor.  I don't think I would make this cake as a full sized cake but as thin layers it worked out.

The Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Icing recipe can be found in Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson.  (I have no association with her or her cookbook sales.)

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