This was the recipe I was most excited about for this month's round of TWD. Ever since I was finally able to sucessfully bake a chiffon cake, all I can think about is trying a foam-like cake again.. in case the first time was a fluke! Dorie had some pretty intimidating instructions for making this cake and it seemed like a lot of TWDers had problems with the rise/sinking. Since the method I used last time for my chiffon cake worked so well, I decided to just stick with it. Plus, the difference between this recipe and the recipe I used before is the use of all purpose instead of cake flour. This would be an excellent opportunity to compare textural differences between those two types of flour, since I was using the exact same mixing method. I didn't want to make the full recipe, but if I made half the recipe, 2 egg whites wouldn't beat up properly in the stand mixer. In the end I decided to make 3/4th of the original recipe, which actually converted perfectly to 3 eggs without weird half/quarter egg divisions and baked in a 9 inch springform. The other change I made was subbing in oil for the butter because the chiffon cake I made the first time used oil and I wanted to keep the recipes as consistent as possible to minimize possible flops and for a better comparison.
Similar to my first chiffon cake, I separated the eggs because my other experiences with trying to incorporate flour into a whole egg foam was diasterous! It's more foolproof for me to fold in egg whites and even that can be tricky! First, I whipped the egg whites to stiff peaks then I mixed all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet in another and whisked them both quickly. Next I folded 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten the batter and then folded the rest of the whites. The texture was just as soft (so I guess the first time wasn't a fluke!), but there was more sinking with this cake compared to my other chiffon. I think I may have overfolded a little (but luckily not enough to affect the overall texture) or maybe I should have cooled the cake upside down, since this was a foam cake to keep the air pockets stretched. Anyway, I'm just glad that all purpose flour worked and actually tasted better because it felt like I was biting into cake vs air with the cake flour (although cake flour is a touch softer).
I didn't exactly have a suprise under the top layer of yummy filling with berries and I also changed the genoise to a chiffon, but this was a lot of fun to make. Next time I'm trying a whole egg foam, maybe that will give me those tiny holes..or if I could somehow get my hands on some sponge cake stabilizer. This is what I want to bake.
Thanks for choosing this recipe and allowing us to challenge our baking skills Mary Ann!! The recipe can be found at her wonderful blog Meet Me in the Kitchen and in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my Home to Yours. Don't forget to checkout the TWD Blogroll!