Light as air Blood Orange Chiffon Cake decorated with blood orange icing, Persian fairy floss and pretty edible flowers. A showstopper at your next afternoon tea.
My popular Vanilla Rose Chiffon Cake is my go to when making a chiffon cake. A faultless recipe that produces a tall and light as air cake every time. Being a vanilla cake it’s the perfect base for other flavours and different toppings.
I tweaked this recipe to come up with a Blood Orange Chiffon Cake. The recipe hasn’t detoured too far from the original. By simply adding zest from the blood oranges to the batter, the cake takes on a subtle orange flavour.
What appeals to me most about blood oranges is their colour. Sure I love their taste, but it’s so much fun playing artist by colouring creations with blood orange juice. Icing ends up a gorgeous natural pink colour. Of course, the intensity and hue depend on how red the blood oranges are.
How to pick blood oranges
Have you ever purchased blood oranges and been disappointed with the flesh colour when you got home? I know I have. It’s such an anticlimax.
How I pick blood oranges, which I’m not sure is a proven method or just pure luck, is via the colour of their peel. If the blood orange peel has a ruby blush then (for me) it’s a good indication the flesh be gorgeously red. More blush on the peel the bloodier it is inside.
Blood oranges with a ruby blush to the peel have a more intense red flesh.
Importance of adding zest to oil
When reading the recipe you may question why I place the blood orange zest in the oil at the start of the recipe. I’ve mentioned this before and I will say it again.
Oil and butter are fantastic flavour carriers. When creaming butter add your citrus zest at this time as the butter will hold the oils the zest releases and evenly distribute the flavour through your cake.
As we are using oil in this case, it is a similar concept. The zest will infuse into the oil, and in theory, spreading the flavour love that little bit further.
Chiffon Cake Tin
A chiffon cake tin can also be known as an angel food cake tin. The most important thing about your tin is that it has to have a removable bottom. Next important is that it has legs to stand on.
Don’t panic if your tind is legless. Place the tin upside down over a bottle. You stick the neck of the bottle in the hole in the centre of the cake tin. The tin I use and have been for years is a Zojoca Living tin. It has done me well.
There was a moment of regret when I was decorating. I’m still debating if I went overboard with the pink Persian fairy floss. I had the perfectly baked blood orange chiffon cake drizzled with blood orange icing. The problem was the floss was making it look like a shaggy pink Jim Henson Muppet.
A set of googly eyes instead of some edible flowers would have transformed the cake into something completely different! Mental note to self, make chiffon cake with googly eyes for Halloween.
I carefully removed some of the floss. Not as easy as it sounds as this stuff just falls apart in your fingers. Once flowers were added the cake’s dynamic changed completely. The result was something quite pretty, not pink Muppet like at all.
More Chiffon Cake Love
Blood Orange Chiffon Cake
- 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- zest of 2 blood oranges
- 7 eggs separated
- 1.7 grams (½ teaspoon) cream of tartar
- 220 grams (1 cup) caster sugar
- 300 grams (2 cups) plain flour
- 12 grams (2 ½ teaspoons) wbaking powder
- 3 grams (½ teaspoon) salt
- 190 ml (¾ cup) milk
- 40 ml (2 tablespoons) blood orange juice
- 60 ml (¼ cup) blood orange juice strained
- 440 grams (2 cups) icing sugar sifted
- pink Persian fairy floss
- edible flowers
- Preheat oven 160°C (325°F).
Mix oil and zest together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer whisk egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Gradually add ½ cup of the caster sugar, continue to whisk until mixture is stiff and glossy. Set bowl aside.
- In a separate bowl beat egg yolks and oil & zest mixture until pale yellow. Then mix in milk and juice.
- Sift in flour and baking powder, and then add sugar and salt. Continue beating until well combined at a medium speed.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold through 1/3 egg white mixture. Once incorporated gently fold through remaining egg white mixture until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Pour batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.
- After 50 minutes turn up the heat of the oven to 180°C (350°F) for an additional 15 minutes. The cake is cooked when you gently press it in the middle with a finger and it springs back. Cooking Tip: Don’t open the oven door for the first 45 minutes of cooking to ensure the cake rises.
- Once out of the oven turn cake tin over and allow to cool completely upside down.
- Once cool turn cake pan back over and run a sharp thin knife around the outside edges of the tin and then around the central tube. From underneath gently push the cake out from the bottom, it will still be attached to the removable base. Once removed from the tin, gently remove cake from the base again using the sharp knife.
- The top of the cake when cooking becomes the base of your cake for decorating and serving. This is how you get that perfectly flat top. If your cake hasn’t risen evenly, you may wish to trim it slightly so it sits level.
- To make icing: Sift icing sugar into a medium bowl and add blood orange juice a bit at a time, mixing as you go until the icing reaches the consistency of runny honey.
- Drizzle icing over the top of the cake and decorate with fairy floss and flowers.