Fresh Kiwiana Cake - A Daring Bake's Challenge

Kiwiana Cake 

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.
"I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!" said the White Rabbit.
I couldn't post at the same time as the rest of the Daring Baker's because my post wasn't ready. I had chosen to do this challenge for a specific day, which just so happened to be yesterday (the 27th) and which was the posting date for the challenge. Some may know why I wanted it for the 27th, but I'm not allowed to divulge such information. I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you.

Considering I needed something along the lines of this month's challenge, I was pretty happy when I saw that we were going to make a cake. The original recipe is called "Fresh Fraisers" but I didn't use strawberries. Instead I choose to use kiwi, banana and coconut. Thus inspiring the name Fresh Kiwiana instead, but the re-naming was the easy part of this challenge...

I thought I would just whip this out a couple days ahead of schedule, I mean the longer you leave something in a mold the better right? Plus it did say in the instructions that the longer it was in the mold the more likely it'd stay standing.
Kiwiana Cake

Monday: I made the cake (the coconut variation. With lime instead of lemon. You know, lime in the coconut and all), which was no issue. I then made the custard. Twice.

The first time, I over cooked it as it was all foamy when I put it back into the pan after whipping it together and I couldn't tell if it was done or not.

The second time I was checking very carefully that I didn't over cook it and that it stuck to the back of the spoon. It didn't. I got very lucky on the second attempt that it didn't over cook again, and wound up whipping it instead of putting it through a sieve like it said to do.

At this point I see it needs to be chilled, so I decided to leave it until the next day, to give it plenty of time to chill and I would have an empty kitchen to work in (sharing one with another family can have it's downsides, as you might imagine).

Tuesday: I find out that I really don't have an empty kitchen until after dinner. I pour the gelatin into the water and let it sit. Heat the custard over the simmering water pan and get it all mixed together all perfect like.

Pour the natas (cream) into a bowl and start whipping away with the electric mixer. 10 minutes in, I start to wonder what's going on with my cream not getting stiff. I eventually figure out after about 20 minutes worth of whipping the cream ( I whipped it good, really I promise!) I figure out that it's the wrong kind of cream. I have mentioned I am fairly new to Portugal and don't really speak the language, right?

Wind up cleaning up a huge mess (cream likes to spit out of the bowl like a freaking alpaca all over the place) and pouring my unsuccessful whipped cream down the drain.

Wednesday (aka day to have posts up and ready for DB as well as the day I need my cake): I convince my father-in-law that I need new cream as the kind we got prior wasn't the correct kind. The correct cream is acquired and I find out it says on the package that it's nata para bater. Well don't I feel silly.

I make the whipping cream, fold it into the now reheated gelatin-ed custard (hoping that it works still). I also make the simple syrup and follow the directions to assemble the cake using slices of banana and kiwifruit and then sprinkling a lovely bunch of coconut in between each layer in the cake.

Put it in the fridge and wipe the sweat from my brow and cross my fingers that this will all come out in the end.
Kiwiana Cake

Basic Chiffon Cake:

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) (5½ oz/155 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder
  • 3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) salt, preferably kosher
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (3 gm) lemon zest, grated
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar
  1. Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
  2. Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.
  5. Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.
  6. Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.
  7. Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  10. To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Coconut Chiffon Cake

Ingredient Alterations:
Add ¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) freshly ground nutmeg
Reduce oil to 1/8 cup (1 fl oz/30ml)
Reduce water to 1/8 cup (1 fl oz/30ml)
Add 1/3 cup (2 ⅔fl oz/80 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
Remove the vanilla from the recipe

Direction Alterations:
Follow the directions, same as above, adding the nutmeg to the flour mixture in step 3, and the coconut milk to the oil, water and egg yolks in step 4.
Pastry Cream Filling:

  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon (1/2 ml) (¼ gm) salt, preferably kosher
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm)cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (4 gm) gelatin
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7½ ml) water
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy cream
  1. Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine
  3. Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
  4. When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.
  6. Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
  8. Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  9. In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
  10. Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
  11. Measure 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.
  12. Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.
  13. In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks. Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.
Simple Syrup:
gluten free and vegan!
You may choose to flavor the syrup. One way is to use flavored sugar (for example: apple cider sugar, orange sugar, or vanilla sugar) or to stir in 1-2 teaspoons of flavored extract. You may also infuse with herbs or spices, if desired or add four tablespoons (60 ml) of fruit juice or liqueur while the syrup is cooling.

  • 1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) (2⅔ oz/75 gm) of sugar, flavored or white
  • 1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) of water
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup.
  3. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.
  4. Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.
Fraisier Assembly:

  • 1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake
  • 1 recipe pastry cream filling
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) simple syrup or flavored syrup
  • 2 lbs (900 g) strawberries
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (5 oz/140 gm) almond paste
  1. Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
  2. Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers.
  3. Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.
  4. Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.
  5. Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
  6. Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream.
  7. Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.
  8. Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10-inch (25 cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  10. To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.
  11. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The recipes above are straight from The Daring Kitchen post for this month’s challenge. If you would like to check out what the others have done and the recipes please go to The Daring Kitchen website!

Kiwiana Cake

It did come out in the end! Everyone loved it, especially the one that it was specifically for. As we ate it though, there was much talk about what other fruits to do it with, such as strawberries, pineapple, cherries etc.

I'll be doing the next Daring Baker's challenge in August hopefully with a little less stress. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

And maybe without all the silly quotes and American pop culture references. May-bee.