Chocolate Marble Chiffon Cake

Recipe modified from: Baking Illustrated

A mile high and light as a feather.

Photos will prove the former, and samples will for the latter. Thank you for the support (family and colleagues)in gamely trying out my first attempt at chiffon cakes!

So whats the difference between chiffon cakes and angel + sponge cakes?  Well, chiffon cakes are made with vegetable oil while sponge + angel cakes are generally fat-free (angel cake has the most sugar content). The oil + water liquid combination gives it a really tender and moist texture that is simply out of this world.

It was invented in 1927 by an American – Harry Baker (not kidding about his last name) who kept it a secret for 20 years before selling his 秘方 to General Mills (Betty Crocker’s owner) and the rest is history.

I have modified the recipe because the amount of sugar quoted in the original one scares the living daylights out of me. And I don’t want to have anything to do with increasing your chances of getting type II diabetes. Also, the chocolate portion of the batter seems a little too dense, so I have decreased the amount of sifted flour used at the end.

I had a fun time alone messing around with mum’s 1970s tube pans. She has so many of them!
What a tube pan looks like:

This cake apparently keeps for up to 2 days at room temperature and will retain its tenderness and moistness. (tried and tested!) So, it will be great for a weekend tea-time snack or morning breakkie. Enjoy!

Serves: 12

Bakeware: 9-in tube pan

7 oz caster sugar
1 1/3 cup plain cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 large eggs (2 whole, 5 separated) at room temperature
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Chocolate portion:
2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp boiling water


1. Adjust rack to lower-middle position and heat the oven to 160 dC.
2. Dissolve the brown sugar and cocoa powder with 3 tbsp of boiling water, mix well.
3. Whisk sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
4. Whisk in the 2 whole eggs and 5 yolks, water, oil and extracts until batter is smooth.
5. Pour reserved egg whites into bowl of standing mixer; beat at low speed until foamy, about 1 min. Add cream of tartar, gradually increase speed to medium-high.  Beat until whites get very thick and stiff (about 7 min).

6. Fold whites into batter with large spatula till you get an even mixture.

7. Divide batter into two large bowls.
8. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter from one bowl and mix it with the chocolate mixture from step 2. Then pour the mixture back into the same bowl of original batter.
9. Partially fold in the chocolate mixture
10. Add 2 tbsp of sifted cake flour into the chocolate batter and fold it till well-mixed.
11. Pour half of the white batter into the tube pan, followed by half of the chocolate one. Repeat until all batter has been poured into the baking pan.
12. Bake the cake for about 55 minutes (till skewer inserted into centre comes out clean).

13. Take the cake out and turn it upside down to cool (2 hours)

14. To unmold, turn pan upright. Run a thin knife around the pan’s circumfrence between cake and pan wall, always pressing against the pan. Flip it over again and place it on a wire rack. And I am pretty sure you can figure out how to wrestle the cake out yourself (its pretty intuitive! harder if you are using a one piece pan – that will involve some serious bangs on the table to whack it out). 


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