Because we were running around on my birthday, the Pie and I broke with our tradition of making each other birthday cakes from scratch and bought one from a local bakery. It was lemon chiffon, and we liked it so much we immediately vowed that it would be on our list of things to learn. It was Krystopf’s birthday on Saturday (my biggest brother is 37, how scary is that?), and he requested something chocolatey for his cake. So instead of lemon chiffon, we’re making the Joy of Baking’s chocolate chiffon cake. While the cake has multiple steps, they’re all pretty easy. It’s also a good cake to make the day before and store in the fridge overnight.
Start by separating 6 eggs (add an extra white to the whites pile so you have 6 egg yolks and 7 egg whites) and let those come to room temperature.
Now go ahead and preheat your oven to 325°F and grab your favourite tube pan. Resist the urge to put any grease of any form into it.
Next, seize your sifter and, in a large bowl, sift together 2 cups cake flour with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together 6 egg yolks, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup room temperature coffee, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
Make a well in your flour mixture and add the egg stuff to it.
Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until you get this lovely glossiness.
Now we can start beating up those 7 egg whites. Add in 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and use an electric mixer to whip them to soft peaks.
While still beating, slowly add in 3/4 cup granulated sugar and keep whipping those up until you get nice stiff peaks that stand on their own.
Gently fold the meringue into the rest of the cake batter in three separate additions.
I found it a bit tricky to get it all properly mixed, so mine is a little marbled.
Pour the batter into your tube pan and smooth it down. If you think there are large air bubbles in there, cut through it a few times with a knife to break them.
Bake the cake for 55-60 minutes, and then immediately invert your tube pan to allow the cake to cool completely without collapsing under its own weight (this is why you don’t grease the pan).
Use a bottle to prop it up if your pan doesn’t have feet.
Now that the cake is cool we can work on the glaze and filling. Chuck a bowl and the wire whisk from your electric mixer into the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Chop up 6oz semisweet chocolate and heave that into a heatproof bowl (or double boiler) with 1/4 cup butter and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup.
Heat that over a pot of barely simmering water until it’s all melted and lovely, and then set it aside to cool slightly.
While it’s cooling down, you can decant your cake. Use a sharp knife around the edges and tip it upside down onto a plate.
Use the knife again to remove the bottom part.
Then cut the whole thing in half horizontally.
Haul your frozen whisk and bowl out of the freezer and throw 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cocoa, and 1 teaspoon instant coffee into the bowl.
Pour out 1 cup cold whipping cream and add a few drops of that to the mix in the bowl. Give it a good stirring, then beat in the rest of the whipping cream until it’s a frothy mocha masterpiece.
Take about 3/4 cup of the mocha cream and spread it on the cut side of the bottom half of the cake.
Put the top half back on and then drizzle the glaze over the top so it runs down the sides. Spread it smooth with a spatula.
Pipe the remaining mocha filling on top.
I let the cake chill for a bit to set the glaze.
Oh man it was good!