On the search for an easy, go-to chocolate cake – and because we were late in accepting a dinner invitation so I needed to bake something I had the ingredients for – I thought I’d try this one from Vintage Cakes. So far I’ve been very impressed with her other recipes and this one looks very pretty (prettier in her picture than ours, but ours survived 50 minutes of transportation which included a bus, a transfer to the tram, and a 10 minute walk).
The cake itself is light and chocolate-y. The whipped cream “frosting” is light and, since it has a touch of cinnamon in it, slightly reminds me of Christmas. It was a big hit at dinner, equally good served with speculoos ice cream or by itself (but then again, what’s not good with speculoos ice cream?). We all might have had more than a serving each…
Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream
From Vintage Cakes
Yield: 8-12 servings
Chocolate Whipping Cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips
3 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) lightly packed premium unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups (9 1/3 ounces) firmly packed brown sugar
7 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
Begin by making the chocolate whipping cream: place the chocolate in a large heat-resistant bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer, then quickly remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the bowl sit for a few minutes so the cream can melt the chocolate, then whisk to blend the cream and chocolate together. Whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until well chilled, about 3 hours.
Adjust a rack to the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Blend in the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk in the egg yolks.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a whisk, blend in the brown sugar, working out any large lumps. Stir the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula and briskly stir until the mixture is just smooth. Do not overmix.
In the clean metal bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and gradually increase the speed to medium-high until the whites just hold a soft peak. With the mixer on medium speed, add the granulated sugar in a slow steady stream. Kick the mixer up to high speed and whip until the whites just hold firm, shiny peaks. Fold a third of the whites into the chocolate batter using as few strokes as possible. Add the remaining whites, folding only until evenly incorporated.
Transfer the batter into the ungreased 10-inch straight-sided metal tube pan (or angel food cake pan) and bake in the bottom third of the oven until the cake springs back when lightly touched, 50-55 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack to room temperature (don’t invert the cake before it cools, and don’t be surprised if it deflates slightly). To unmold the cooled cake, insert a thin knife or metal spatula around the edge of the pan to free the cake from the sides and then invert the cake onto a plate.
To finish the chocolate whipping cream, place the bowl of a stand mixer and its whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill. Place the chocolate cream in the cold bowl and whip until it is thick and spreadable – but don’t overwhip it! It’s best to err on the underwhipped side, since you can always give it a few strokes with a hand whisk if you need to thicken it up, but if it gets too stiff it can taste grainy.
To assemble the cake, slice the cake horizontally into thirds. Place the bottom third on a serving plate and spread with a third of the cream (about 1 1/2 cups). Place the middle layer of the cake on top of the cream and spread the next third of the cream over it. Top with the final layer of cake and the remainder of the cream. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
This cake keeps for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.