Orange chiffon cake with sour cream icing

Orange chiffon cake with sour cream icing

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Words and photos: Anh Nguyen
Winter is the time of citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins and lemons and I love to bake with them! My daughter, Ayah, is also a winter baby so for her birthday, I tend to bake a citrus-based cake for us. Last year, it was a lemon chiffon cake. And this year, it was a beautiful orange chiffon cake with sour cream icing (recipe below).
The star of this chiffon cake is really orange. Both the zest and juice is used in the process, so make sure to use un-sprayed oranges (local, organic ones are the best). The zest gives the cake a beautiful fragrance. To top it off, the sour cream icing is a perfect match for the cloud-like soft texture of the cake. 
Orange chiffon cake with sour cream icing 
Based on a recipe in The Cake Bible 
All Purpose Flour - 190 grams
Cornflour - 34 grams 
Castor Sugar - 300 grams
Baking powder - 2 teaspoons 
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Canola oil - 108 grams 
Egg whites - 300g (around 10 egg whites)
Egg yolk - 130g (around 7 egg yolk)
Orange juice, freshly squeezed - 3/4 liquid cup 
Grated orange zest - 2 tablespoons / 12 grams
Pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Cream of tartar - 1 1/4 teaspoons
  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar and beat 1 minute to mix. Make a well in the center. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla and beat with electric mixer 1 minute or until smooth.
  • In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter with a large balloon wire whisk or slotted skimmer until just blended.
  • Pour into a 10-inch, 2-piece ungreased tube pan (the batter will come to 1 inch from the top) and bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Invert the pan, placing the tube opening over the neck of a soda or wine bottle to suspend it well above the counter, and cool the cake completely in the pan (about 1 1/2 hours).
  • Remove the pan from the bottle, loosen the sides with a long metal spatula and remove the center core of the pan. (Dislodge the bottom and center core with a metal spatula or thick sharp knife. A wire cake tester works well around the core. To keep the sides attractive, press the spatula against the sides of the pan and avoid any up-and-down motion.) Invert onto a greased wire rack and re-invert onto a serving plate.
Sour cream frosting
125g (1/2 cup) sour cream
45g (1/4 cup) icing sugar mixture
  • To make the icing, use an electric beater to beat together the sour cream and icing sugar in a medium bowl until combined.
  • Spread the icing over the cake and sprinkle with toasted pistachio if you like.