Chiffon and Meringue Layer Cake with Taro Mousse and Whipped Cream
Makes one tall 8-inch round cake || With help from Just One Cookbook
Time: About 1.5 hours, including baking time.
Equipment: Standmixer or electric beater, aluminum pan, parchment paper for bottom of pan
Ingredients for chiffon cake
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
5 tbsp room temperature milk
3 drops red+3 drops blue food coloring
3 large egg whites, room temperature
3 tbsp white sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Directions for chiffon cake
Keep eggs at room temperature ahead of time. If you're in a pinch, dunk them in hot water until the water becomes lukewarm (about 5-10 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350F (177C degrees) and make sure to use the rack at the lowest level or height in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, butter, milk, and food coloring. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer with a whisk attachment, or an electric beater if you don't have a stand mixer, mix the egg whites on medium speed, raising it to the highest speed so foam starts to form. When you see bubbles, slowly pour in the sugar and keep mixing on high speed until you see stiff peaks.
In a separate large mixing bowl, sift the cake flour and baking powder in the mesh at the same time. This will help even incorporation of baking powder. Sprinkle salt. Add these dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with purple coloring and gently mix together until big clumps disappear. Fold in the egg whites into the mixture and until well incorporated, but without over mixing because that will cause the leavening to "die out". Cut parchment paper into a circle to cover the bottom of your pan, pour the batter in and bake for approximately 34 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean, top is golden, and the cake springs back up when you press it gently.
Immediately place a strip of plastic wrap across the top of the pan and make it cling to the outside. Flip the pan onto a ventilated surface as shown in the video, and let it cool for at least 25 minutes. It should be completely cool and when inverted to the right position, it shouldn't show the smallest sign of collapsing or shrinking. Unstick the side of the pan with a dull knife and invert cake onto a flat, clean surface. Slice into two equal layers with a serrated knife, brushing off messy crumbs.
Ingredients for meringue layers
|| Tools: Parchment paper ||
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Prior to making these meringues, make sure you thoroughly wash and dry the stand mixer bowl, or else the oils will affect the result. Turn down your oven to 300F (149C degrees). Mix the egg whites on high speed and when it starts to produce foam, slowly add the sugar and keep mixing until stiff peaks start to form. Scrape sides as needed, add salt, vanilla, and mix on high for a few seconds.
Draw two circles on parchment paper using the bottom of the cake pan as a mold (the top part might be too big because of edges). Spoon the meringue mixture on both circles and smooth out, making sure all sides are roughly even. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and meringues are hard. Cool on parchment until ready to use.
Ingredients for taro mousse
4 small taro, washed and peeled***
water for boiling
1/4 cup white sugar
1-2 tbsp milk or cream
1 drop red+1 drop blue food coloring
Directions for taro mousse
Boil taro until soft and mashable. Transfer to a processor or blender and puree with the rest of the ingredients.
Ingredients for whipped cream
4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions for whipped cream
In a clean, large bowl and a beater with whisk attachment, mix the whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar in that order. Beat until it becomes creamy and thick, and a bit higher in volume. Keep refrigerated until ready to frost.
You should now have two layers of chiffon cake. Lay one layer on a flat surface with the top crust facing up. Spread with taro mousse until fully covered, leaving about 1/2 inch space near the edge. Spread some whipped cream on the mousse in the same manner, making the cream about 1/4 inch tall.