I was feeling ambitious when I finally managed to find some Blood Orange in Singapore. I dreamt about making one of those glorious Blood Orange desserts featured in Justin North's Becasse. Something gourmet enough to be served in a (dare I dream) hatted restaurant. Then, I dithered, procrastinated, went on to Korea for a business trip and by the time I got back, relented completely.
Not wanting to waste the hard to come by Blood Orange, I decided to revisit the Chiffon -my favourite cake genre. Chiffon, because it is light so I can dabble and serve it with a side accompaniment like a blood orange flavoured fresh cream or ice cream. In the end, I experimented with a Blood Orange Jelly.
The Blood Orange did not do much for the chiffon, not for the colour nor for the flavour. Although the juice is a dark bloody ruby red, it doesn't stain well (unlike the blueberries or the raspberries). The flavour is less vibrant than the normal orange, the zesty sprite very much mellowed by the slight bitterness of the blood orange. Hence I was glad that I had chosen to make a jelly with it - that at least allowed the true character of the fruit to manifest.
A couple more words about the Chiffon - I had said it before here and I will remain stubborn and maintain that I like my chiffon recipes, pure and simple - relying solely on a well beaten meringue sans leavening agents or stabilisers like cream of tartar. I went through the crazy phase of baking 1-2 chiffons every day just to practice and make sure that I get familiar with the right 'end point' for the meringue. A meringue that is a tad too stiff makes it difficult to fold evenly into the cake batter (symptoms include clumps of egg white spotting the cake) . On the other hand, a meringue that is too runny, would result in a sunken cake. The right consistency meringue (with a droopy peak) will deliver a cake that is fine, light and most important of all MOIST!
I am glad this cake turn out right and I have just reminded myself that I will have to do this often before I lose touch with it.
17cm Pan 20cm Pan
Egg Yolk 40g 80g
Castor Sugar A 40g 80g
Salad Oil 40ml 80ml (I use Canola Oil but corn oil, grapeseed oil are fine)
Top flour / All purpose 80g 160g
Salt 1/8 tsp 1/4 tsp
Bld Orange Juice 80ml 160ml (you can replace with normal orange juice)
Grated orange peel 1/3 tsp 2/3 tsp
Contreau 1 tbsp 2 tbsp
Egg white 160g 280g
Sugar B 30g 60g
1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Using a hand whisk, beat egg yolk with 1/3 of Sugar A until sugar completely dissolves. Add the remaining sugar in 2 portions and whisk until dissolved and egg yolk mixture becomes smooth.
3. Add oil and beat well with hand whisk. Add orange juice, contreau and orange peel. Mix well to combine.
4. Add sifted flour and salt and mix well to get a smooth batter.
5. In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg white until slightly foamy. Add sugar B in 3 additions. Beat until meringue forms a soft peak. The peak should be droopy and not stiff and pointy.
6. Fold 1/4 of (5) into (4) and mix thoroughly to combine.
7. Fold the rest of the egg white gently into (6) until batter is well incorporated. Take care not to deflate meringue too much.
8. Pour (7) into a chiffon cake mold and bake at 170C for 35mins.
9. Remove cake from oven and invert the cake pan to cool. (i normally slot the chimney through the neck of a long slender wine bottle.)
10. Leave to cool over night before unmolding.
Blood Orange Jelly
1. Mix 8g of gelatine with 50ml of water.
2. Pulp blood orange fruit in a blender to get 250ml of liquid pulp.
3. Place (2) in a saucepan. Add 25g of sugar and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Heat until just before boiling. Add (1) and stir until fully dissolved.
4. Cool down and refrigerate to set.