#90) Coco Chai Rooibos Chiffon Cake with Maple Meringue

Inspiration, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative."

For the first installment of Anna's Bake Off, Anna Olson has asked her fans to make her Earl Grey Chiffon Cake with Maple Meringue (or add your own creative flair).  She also asked that we keep tea time in mind for our photos and talk to her about what inspires us.  

Well, I went the creative route and made a couple little changes to the recipe.  First of all, I halved the cake recipe as husband and I have no will power whatsoever and would devour the entire thing between the two of us. I used David's Tea Coco Chai Rooibos (amazing!) as the flavor base for the cake, used some vanilla sugar I had kicking around, and I traded out the lemon zest for orange zest.  I also added some sugar shards as a garnish to finish it all off.

As for my inspiration, well, can you see the springtime tea pot in the background there?  Well that springtime tea pot represents my spring baby, who made his début just 10 weeks ago.  In such a short time this little bundle has changed my life incredibly and he has come to inspire me in so many ways.  His adorable giggles are proof that I can do the hardest job in the world and that alone inspires me to throw myself headfirst into any other challenges that come my way.  Boiling syrup - why not?  Making meringue - no problem!  This kid's momma can do anything :)  (Well, she can try to anyway)

Just an FYI - this was my very first attempt at a chiffon cake and seeing as I had never made one before, I didn't have the proper tube pan in the kitchen.  Although the end product was delicious, because I couldn't cool the cake upside down, there was a certain airiness missing.  So my advice to all you chiffon cake newbies - get the right pan!

Coco Chai Rooibos Chiffon Cake


1 1/2  tsp Coco Chai Rooibos loose tea
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp  boiling water
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup + 2 tbsp pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar, seperated
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
1 1/4 tsp  baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
1.5 oz  milk chocolate, chopped and melted


- Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Keep an 10-inch tube pan ungreased.  (I used 8-inch round pan - not the best idea I ever had)

- Steep the tea in the boiling water, until the water cools to room temperature.  Remove tea diffuser.

- Whip the whites with the cream of tartar until foamy, then add 2 tbsp of the sugar and continue whipping until the whites hold a medium peak.  Set aside.
- Sift flour, remaining sugar, vanilla sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.  Add cooled tea, vegetable oil, egg yolks, vanilla and orange zest.  Whip this mixture on high until it is thick, about 4 minutes.  Add the melted milk chocolate and whip in on low speed.  Fold in half of the whipped egg whites by hand until they are incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites (the batter will be quite fluid).

- Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed.  (With the right kind of pan...) Invert the cake pan onto a cooling rack and cool the cake upside down in its pan.  To extract the cake, run a spatula or knife around the outside edge of the cake, then tap the cake out onto a plate.

Maple Meringue


2  egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp  cream of tartar
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup  pure maple syrup


- Whip egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy, then add sugar and whip to a soft peak.  

- Bring maple syrup to a boil and cook uncovered and without stirring until it reaches a temperature of 242 F (softball stage) on a candy thermometer.  

- While beating on medium speed, carefully pour maple syrup into meringue by pouring it down the side of the bowl (this will help prevent splashing of hot syrup) and continue whipping until mixture has cooled but is not quite room temperature, about 3 minutes.

- Use a spatula to spread the meringue over the entire surface of the cake (use a small spatula or butter knife to frost the cake inside the center hole).  

Sugar Shards


1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water


- Combine sugar and water in sauce pan.  Heat and stir on medium-low until sugar is dissolved.

- Boil, uncovered, on medium-high for 5-10 minutes, without stirring, until deep golden brown color.

- Pour onto greased baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes.

- Use knife to break into shards. 

- Use tongs to garnish cake with shards (to avoid pesky finger prints on your pretty sugar shards).

1 comment:

  1. I think I will try this one out but im sure it wont look as good as yours