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Orange Chiffon Cake


serves 8-10

  • 5 egg whites (at room temperature is best)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 7 tbs coconut milk
  • 5 tbs vegetable oil
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 5 tbs orange juice
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 150g self raising flour, sifted
  • 400ml full cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 150g hazelnuts
  • 150ml full cream
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate chopped or broken into small pieces
This is an old Malaysian favourite but I have recently found out it was invented in the late 20’s by a Californian insurance salesman turned caterer! Interestingly it has become very popular in Asian countries where in the past, dairy has been scarce and the fat content is substituted by oil and eaten without any further dressing. You will note an interesting feature in the method that specifies to use a tin which is not non-stick and further, not to grease this. The reason behind this is that to achieve the impressive height and lightness of a classic chiffon cake, you are essentially attempting to defying gravity. By immediately inverting it as it comes out of the oven, the ‘stick’ factor keeps the cake suspended and the cake from collapsing. When you buy it from the store you always get a choice of pandan and orange. Here, I’ve opted for orange put an Aussie spin on it.


  1. Preheat oven at 160°C fan forced/180°C regular.
  2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer till soft peaks. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time a beat thoroughly after each addition till you achieve stiff peaks. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks with caster sugar till fluffy. Add coconut milk, vegetable oil, orange juice, zest and self raising flour and whisk until combined. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture 3 batches.
  4. Pour into a 22cm baba cake tin (do not use non-stick and do not grease). Bake 25 mins at 160°C fan forced or 30 mins at 180°C, or till skewer comes out clean. Leave oven on to roast hazelnuts.
  5. When cake is out of the oven, immediately invert the cake still in the tin, and place on a cooling rack and leave to cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours).
  6. Meanwhile, place hazelnuts on a shallow baking tray and roast until the skins are easily flaking off when rubbed, about 7 mins. Remove from the oven and pour onto the middle of a clean tea towel. Fold sides over the nuts and rub till all the skins have flaked off. Transfer the nuts onto a chopping board and chop to desired texture.
  7. To make filling, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla till stiff but do not overbeat as cream will split. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until required.
  8. When cake is cooled and ready to be assembled, run a knife around the edges of the tin and invert. Slice cake with a serrated knife into 3 equal layers. Spread a layer of the chantilly cream on each layer and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
  9. To make ganache, bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate pieces and whisk till chocolate has melted and emulsified with cream. Using a spatula spread evenly over cake and sprinkle with additional chopped hazelnuts. For a tidier outcome, it’s best to ice the cake over a cooling rack so the extra ganache drips away.

February 10, 2010 - Posted by | Dessert

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