The Great Australian Bake Off

https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/27429/bay-leaf-and-fennel-chiffon-cake

lifestyle.com.au

A brand new take on the classic chiffon cake.

Ingredients

  • Fennel chiffon cake (1 batch, for the second batch halve the ingredients)

  • 210g egg whites

  • 100g caster sugar

  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

  • 100g egg yolks

  • 50g canola oil

  • 100ml milk

  • 15g fennel seeds

  • 1 lemon plus ½ finely grated rind

  • ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 120g cake flour

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ pink salt

  • Candied lemons

  • 2 lemon

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 150ml water

  • Bay leaf chiffon cake

  • 158g egg whites

  • 75g caster sugar

  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

  • 75g egg yolks

  • 30ml canola oil

  • 1 tsp light extra virgin olive oil

  • 75ml full cream milk

  • 15-20 fresh bay leaves

  • 1 fresh mandarin

  • ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 90g cake flour

  • ¼ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ pink salt

  • Candied kumquats

  • 10-12 cumquats

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 100ml water

  • Italian meringue buttercream

  • 300g egg whites

  • 600g caster sugar

  • 200ml water

  • 600g unsalted butter

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Decoration + assembly

  • Fresh lemon thyme

  • Candied kumquats and lemon

  • Buttercream flowers

  • Rose pink gel food colour

  • Sky blue gel food colour

  • Violet gel food colour

  • Leaf green food colour

  • Black food colour

  • Yellow food colour

  • Gold leaf

Method

  • 1.

    For the fennel chiffon, preheat oven to 160°C. Toast the fennel seeds in a pan until fragrant. In a coffee/spice grinder blitz the toasted fennel seeds to a fine powder.

  • 2.

    For the egg yolk mixture, whisk egg yolks and oil and zest of half a lemon in a large mixing bowl until mixture is combined and turns slightly pale. Then, whisk in milk, vanilla, baking powder, salt and fennel seed powder until combined.  Sift in flour and salt and whisk gently until the batter is smooth and combined.

  • 3.

    For the egg white mixture, in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in the lowest speed until big bubbles form. Add the cream of tartar and increase beating speed to the next higher speed. Whisk until soft peaks form. While whisking, add sugar gradually. Increase speed higher and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be very smooth with tiny bubbles. Do not over-beat the mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture in 3-4 batches.

  • 4.

    It’s fine to mix the 1st batch of egg white more vigorously into the egg yolk mixture to loosen it. Make sure that most of the white is not visible after folding. Pour batter into two 8” wide un-greased round tins 4” in height lined with baking paper at the bottom only. Give the pan a gentle tap and use a skewer to draw a zigzag on the batter surface to remove any large air bubbles. Bake at 160°C for 35 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. Once out of oven tap it immediately (drop it from a 20cm height) to avoid sinking and then cool completely with the tin upside down. Repeat the bake with half the volume of ingredients for the third layer of this tier.

  • 5.

    For the candied lemons, slice lemons ½ cm thick and cut each circle in quarters. In a saucepan start a sugar syrup. Add the lemon slices and simmer until the lemon rind is slightly translucent. Remove from the syrup and reserve.

  • 6.

    For the Bay leaf Chiffon tiers, preheat oven to 160°C. In coffee/spice grinder blitz the bay leaves. When semi crushed add a tablespoon of the milk and blitz again. Heat the milk in the microwave for minute or until hot. Add the bay leaf oil mixture to the warm milk and steep for min 40 mins.

  • 7.

    For the egg yolk mixture, whisk egg yolks and oil (canola and olive) and zest of half an orange in a large mixing bowl until mixture is combined and turns slightly pale. Then, whisk in milk , vanilla, baking powder and salt until combined. Strain. Sift in flour and salt and whisk gently until the batter is smooth and combined.

  • 8.

    For the egg white mixture, in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in the lowest speed until big bubbles form. Add the cream of tartar and increase beating speed to the next higher speed. Whisk until soft peaks form. While whisking, add sugar gradually. Increase speed higher and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be very smooth with tiny bubbles. Do not over-beat the mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture in 3-4 batches. It’s fine to mix the 1st batch of egg white more vigorously into the egg yolk mixture to loosen it. Make sure that most of the white is not visible after folding. Pour batter into Three 6” wide un-greased round tins 4” in height lined with baking paper at the bottom only. Give the pan a gentle tap and use a skewer to draw a zigzag on the batter surface to remove any large air bubbles.  Bake at 160°C for 25 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. Once out of oven tap it immediately (i.e drop it from a 20cm height) to avoid sinking and then cool completely with the tin upside down.

  • 9.

    For the candied kumquats, cut the kumquats in quarters. In a saucepan start a sugar syrup. Add the kumquat quarters and simmer until the rind is slightly translucent. Remove from the syrup and reserve.

  • 10.

    For the Italian meringue buttercream, bring the caster sugar and water to 112°C. At this point start whisking (In a stand mixer) the egg whites. When the sugar syrup reaches 118°C remove from heat and slowly pour in to the whisking whites. Increase the speed and beat until the meringue is cool. Add the butter and beat until buttercream forms. Flavour with vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

  • 11.

    For the decoration and assembly, fill the fennel cakes with a  thin layer of buttercream and candied lemon quarters. Crumb coat and chill. Fill the bay leaf cakes with a thin layer of buttercream and candied kumquats. Crumb coat and chill. Make Buttercream roses in periwinkle blue, pale pink and pale peach. Make buttercream leaves in a deep green. Add details with some black/brown buttercream and a small paint brush.

  • 12.

    Ice cake with watercolour pink buttercream style and stack. Decorate with buttercream flowers leaves, painted buttercream look, fresh thyme and the candied citrus jewels. Add small white buttercream dots using a small round tip. Glitz it up with some gold leaf. Present on a cake stand.

Notes

This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department

Like this recipe? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more recipes like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice

Metric Converter

Tell us what you think in the comments below

 
 

Sign Out

Click to Rate

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

0 0 0 0 0
Average Rating
0 comments • 0 ratings