A little ray of sunshine….

 

It’s that time of year in Seattle. The time of year where basically 4 months of seeing little sun has made most people(not me, I love the weather here) a little stir crazy. This is the time of year when my friends are booking their trips to Mexico and start working on their fake tan. I will say one of the things that fascinates me about this area is amount of tanning booths. Pick up a rock and throw it and you will either hit a tanning booth or a coffee shack. I decided that I would make a cake that would add a little sunshine into the Seattle area even if the real stuff wasn’t shinning through.
A few weeks back, one of my favorite bloggers and all round spectacular person, Jen of Use Real Butter made a gorgeous and involved Zebra Torte that she had made(and now recreated) at a pastry skills course she took. Now, I am not one usually to run out and do something from another persons blog…at least not right away. But this was too fun not to make. Being that she just posted about it, I wanted to give it a little twist. Jen’s is much more striking in color contrast and you can see the layers much more because she chose to make the larger size, but mine was pretty all the same and very tasty.
I decided to base my cake on a cake I grew up eating at my mom’s best friend’s house. C, was not a very good cook at all. She knew how to make about 3 things: a cheese ball, an artichoke dip(not like spinach artichoke dip) and angel food cake that was covered in a Cool Whip and pineapple frosting. This cake is my tribute to that. I’m not totally sure but I think the original version is something like store bought angel food cake and then Cool Whip, vanilla instant pudding and pineapple. As odd a combo that it was I always loved it. It was so light. Almost too light as I usually wanted to eat about 4 pieces of it. :) My version is a vanilla bean chiffon cake with a orange chiffon cake sandwiched in the middle(like the Zebra Torte) with a pineapple custard whipped cream frosting. I use real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip and I use custard powder instead of vanilla pudding. If you are in the states you might have trouble finding custard powder at your local store, however you can buy it on Amazon.com, look for Bird’s Custard Powder. This cake did not disappoint my memory of the light cake and the scent of orange and vanilla bean instead of store bought angel food cake needs no explanation.
So if the weather is getting to you, and you can’t afford to go to Mexico or anywhere else sunny, make this cake and hopefully it will send some sunshine your way.

Orange-Pineapple-Vanilla Bean Zebra Torte

Orange Chiffon Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

3 egg yolks
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one orange

5 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325F, coat a 12-x-17” jelly roll pan with nonstick spray, line with parchment and lightly coat again with spray.
Stir together flour, ½ cup sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.
Whisk yolks, orange juice, oil, vanilla, and zest together in a second smaller bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients, then pout the wet ingredients into the well, whisk until smooth.
Beat whites and cream of tartar together in a bowl with a hand mixer(or stand) on medium speed. When soft peaks form, gradually begin adding ¼ cup sugar; beat until stiff and shiny.
Mix 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then add the remaining whites. Gently fold whites into the batter until no streaks remain, then spread batter evenly onto prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger.
Cool cake in the pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert cake onto parchment. Peel off the parchment the cake baked on. Set aside to continue to cool.
Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

3 egg yolks
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
pulp of one vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract

5 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325F, coat two 9-inch pans(or four 4 ½ -inch spring forms)with nonstick spray, line with parchment and lightly coat again with spray.
Stir together flour, ½ cup sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.
Whisk yolks, milk, vanilla bean pulp, oil and vanilla together in a second smaller bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients, then pout the wet ingredients into the well, whisk until smooth.
Beat whites and cream of tartar together in a bowl with a hand mixer(or stand) on medium speed. When soft peaks form, gradually begin adding ¼ cup sugar; beat until stiff and shiny.
Mix 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then add the remaining whites. Gently fold whites into the batter until no streaks remain, then spread batter evenly onto prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger.
Cool cake in the pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert cake onto parchment. Peel off the parchment the cake baked on. Set aside to continue to cool.

Custard Whipped Cream Filling

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP custard powder
1/3 cup powder sugar

Beat whipped cream on high speed. When soft peaks form add custard powder and sugar. Continue beating until stiff whipped cream is formed.

Pineapple Custard Whipped Cream Frosting

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 TBSP custard powder
2/3 cup powder sugar
10 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
zest of one orange

Beat whipped cream on high speed. When soft peaks form add custard powder and sugar. Continue beating until stiff whipped cream is formed. Fold in pineapple and zest.

Here is the tricky part and for a MUCH better explanation including photos head on over to Use Real Butter.
We will start with the orange chiffon cake. Spread the custard whipped cream frosting so that it evenly covers the whole 12 by 17 cake. Since I made mini cakes I cut my cake into ½ inch strips. If you are making a larger cake use 1 ½ inch strips. Then you roll that up like a roulade. Then the real mess begins. Place the end of strip you just finished rolling flush with the next strip and continue to make the roulade bigger. If you are making the mini’s it really only takes about two strips. Yes, the filling will ooze out, that is okay…eat some with your fingers.
Take your vanilla bean chiffon cake and cut it horizontally in half. Place one half on the bottom of the pan you baked it in or even better a 9-inch spring form or the 4 ½ inch if you are using those. Once the bottom is in place, take the orange chiffon roulade circle and place it on top of the vanilla chiffon layer. Then place the remaining vanilla chiffon layer on top. I set them in the fridge for about an hour.
Take them out of the fridge and frost the cake with the Pineapple Custard Whipped Cream Frosting. This is somewhat difficult because of the chunky pineapple but can be done.

Source: Cake recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine, December 2007

Comments

  1. Jeez, Peabody. My tastebuds are going nuts on this one. What a gorgeous cake. Totally swanky. And much better than a ray of sunshine as far as I’m concerned. Bring on those clouds! w00t!

  2. Wow, Peabody! You totally rocked this one, woman. That looks so gorgeous and I am all over the combination of flavors. Reminds me of a wonderful white trash recipe for a pineapple-orange cake – except you got all fancy on it :) Love the fancy! You are masterful in the ways of delicious food. xxoo

  3. That looks delicious. And, as dumb as it sounds, I live in where it’s sunny most of the time (San Diego) and you can throw a rock and hit three tanning booths here too. I don’t get it. =)

  4. why, it’s almost too pretty to eat!

    almost. :)

  5. What a beautiful rendition of the zebra cake. I love that it is a little ray of sunshine for the bad weather you are all getting. What a tasty flavor combination. I so want to try my hand at this zebra cake. Now only to think of my own flavors…

  6. I guess my comments are boring since I like all your cakes!
    Anyway, I was wondering … since you are in Seattle … if you ever heard of an italian chef called MArcello Magaletti. He is an old classmate of mine and should have a resto (Da Marcello ?!) over there.

  7. I saw that zebra totre too and fell in love. I LOVE your take on it with the orange chiffon cake! I must try something like this in the spring!

  8. Beautiful as always, Peabody!

  9. How fun! I recognized those stripes from the zebra torte immediately. What a great variation!

  10. Thats one beautiful cake Peabody. I love the flavors you chose. Brightens my morning on this cold snowy day.

  11. What a very cool take on the zebra cake! I’ve been thinking about making it since I saw it :)

  12. that looks DIVINE!

  13. Very nice cake and great photos!

  14. Mmmm, looks AMAZING! :)

  15. Wow! Wow! Wow! This looks so good, and sounds realatively easy, I just might have to give it a go. As for the angel food cake your talking about I used to have that too…it was called Angel Lush and I could damn near eat the whole thing :)

  16. Send some sunshine this way Peabody! And also a skylight so that it can work its way into my dark apartment…

  17. I’ll trade you the cloudy, rainy days for some of my snow!!

  18. I am oh too familiar with the angelfood/pineapple cake. It’s one of my friend’s go-to desserts.

  19. Gorgeous! I’m sure that this treat would brighten anyone’s day!

  20. Lovely cake. Thanks for the sunshine! I think your cake brought out the bit that’s peeping through my window right now.

  21. Mmmm… looks heavenly!

    Fortunately, the Sun’s out in full force today in Seattle. I can’t wait to go outside and soak it all in! I’ll probably wait a few hours until the temperature’s above freezing, though :)

  22. Peabody, that is one gorgeous cake! I loved Jen’s and I love yours too. The colors and flavors are perfect for this Florida girl. Excellent!

  23. Bravo on a beautiful cake, Peabody! It really does brighten things up!!

  24. Oh, I could use some of that sunshine. I *love* orange and pineapple together and your lovely cake is so adorable.

  25. Very pretty, both inside and out. Not only is it florida and sunshiney, but it’s orange like all those fake tans out there…

  26. Beautiful and mouth-watering as usual!

  27. I’ve spent the last week thinking about sunshine you can eat, so thanks for another recipe to add to the mental book!

  28. ah yes – many people are experiencing the “winter blues,” and are dying to head to a warmer climate. with this glorious cake of yours (I LOVE the orange, pineapple, vanilla combination), I’m sure that you could brighten ANYONE’S day!!

  29. Wow — that is an amazing feat of cake engineering! No wonder you are a Daring Baker!

  30. WOW! that cake looks amazing! i’m not much of a cake maker/decorator so this cake is so impressive to me :) the flavors in your adaptation sound delicious too!

  31. This is driving me crazy. But what is making me even more crazy is the fact that this cake may be in Seattle right now, and so am I, and I am not eating it.

  32. That torte looks really good. It sounds like it tastes great as well. I like the orange chiffon, vanilla chiffon and pineapple combo.

  33. There are more tanning booths here than churches…and I am in the Bible Belt..crazy too!
    I love zebra cakes, there are always an instant sellers a catered parties, and with your flavors that would be over the top! Great choice!

  34. Hmmm.. how about some grand marnier in the cake for those really cold days!!?? This cake looks great! My sis is great baker so I’ll forward to her. Glad to find you.

    B

  35. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine with a cake like this! Peabody this is just such a perfect cake for turning winter away!
    I do remember my mom making some variation of this one. I think she used Angle Food Cake my dad had made and cool whip. So at least she had good angle food cake not store bought!
    I love the photos!!

  36. Peabody it’s snowing around here and this brought a little sunshine into my day.
    I so remember that angelfood cake with pudding, pineapple and Cool Whip (or was it Dream Whip?) as one of my relatives always made it.

  37. This is a great looking cake! I’ve made a zebra torte before, and I love it when people ask how you make it stripey in the middle.

  38. OMG, I’m drooling all over my keyboard ;-P!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  39. In times like this, I wonder why I made the decision to skip sweets for long periods… Man, I so could have a slice of this beautie right now! It’s just luscious served this way. WOW!

  40. Oooh, speaking as someone who despises winter, this looks like the sort of cake that could cheer me right up!

  41. Lovely cake Peabody. I especially love the ‘hard to find’ ingredient…Bird’s Custard Powder. LOL. It is good, absolutely, but it is a real grandma’s larder staple here! (I can’t get Karo syrup, or cake flour!)

  42. That looks amazing… seriously, I’m in awe!

  43. I’m a gonner after looking at that! I will need at least 2 big hunks (forget about slices) of that!!!

  44. Seriously wow! Looks great and I love your twist on it. Pineapple custard whipped cream frosting sounds so insanely good.

  45. Yum! I don’t usually like cake (crazy, I know) but the orange and vanilla bean in this one must be amazing!

  46. ooooh….very sunshiney vacationy!

  47. Bravo bravo! How could you manage eating 4 piece? For me, the whole thing!

  48. I wouldn’t mind all of the coffee shops, but I would HATE the tanning booths. I could go off on a little rant about tanning booths, but I will stop myself.

    This cake is striking. I was thinking today about doing something with an orange and pineapple flavor. I keep seeing that custard powder in the store, but I never buy it. I’m getting it next time.

  49. Love those combinations of flavors. And how you made it your own. Really just a big ray of sunshine that cake is.

  50. Oh wow! Your cake is beautiful! I won’t be able to make something like that until my kids are in school, and my kitchen is bigger. If you want some more sunshine, I put a delightfully sunny fruit salsa on my blog that is easily made in the winter.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Or at least that was the thinking that prompted me to make bean pie last night. I know, it sounds quite ridiculous. But it’s that ha, ha, bean pie is a ridiculous thing to make, but now that I think of it, I’m drooling and won’t live one more day without bean pie kind of ridiculous. And it’s also very pretty, with golden nuggets of corn and rubies of red peppers strewn throughout earthy beans and bright-white queso cheese. Perfect for that warm, sunny feeling dancing about the food-blog world recently. I’m sure you’ve noticed the citrus cakes, key lime cheesecakes, lemon bars, and of course the barrage of decadent, mouth-watering, heroic Daring Baker’s Lemon Meringue Pies! [...]

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