Apr 26, 2010

Coffee Chiffonlets with Dulce de Leche Whipped Cream

Whipped cream never lets you down. Unlike persnickety buttercream, which is always ready to turn on you, whipping cream just sits like a docile child in its carton until you need it, and it blooms into glorious creaminess in just a few minutes with a simple hand mixer. And then, if you add some thick, caramely dulce de leche, you've attained nirvana.
I'm going to talk about the chiffonlets, if for no other reason than that they're so cute, and have such a cute little name, but they're really not the star of this show. Just to let you know where I'm coming from here.
I didn't get around to ordering mini angel-food cake pans, so I used my Maryann pans, which I love. Just like I love wearing Mary Jane shoes. Maryann and Mary Jane both seem so proper, but also like they have a touch of evil about them. (Not nasty evil, but more like gleam-in-your-eye evil. Maybe like Evil Cake Lady). I feel like I've gotten along just fine my entire life without these pans, but now that I have them, they're indispensable.
Unlike an angel food cake, these baby chiffon cakes have egg yolks, not just egg whites. They also have leavening (baking soda, in this case) and oil. They're not as feathery-light as angel food cake, but they're still quite light, and this lightness causes people to think they're healthier and less caloric than they really are, but if that's what people want to think, who am I to correct them?
The yolks, flour, instant espresso powder, water, sugar, and baking soda are all mixed together to make a nice mocha-colored batter. (Oh, by the way, I doubled this recipe because I was making dessert for eight people--that's why I have way more than the three egg yolks in the recipe. It doubles quite easily, and makes an impressive dinner-party dessert).
The meringue is whisked into the rest of the batter, and then poured into pans.
I filled two Maryann pans, and still had some batter left, so I filled a few custard cups too.
See how cute they are when they're turned over? Like the awful spongy "shortcakes" you buy at the grocery store, only not like them at all.
I didn't put the Kahlua in the syrup because I knew I'd be serving some of these to people who don't use alcohol, and I didn't want to bother with making one syrup with Kahlua and one without. I do think the Kahlua would have been a nice touch. I also have Kahlua on hand, and would have loved the chance to open the bottle again. Kahlua and I have not been on good terms since one night many years ago when I drank an inordinate number of Black Russians. Big mistake.
I just realized that this cake has four separate components, and that fact did not phase me in the slightest. In fact, I was kind of wondering why this cake wasn't on the Quick and Easy list. All four are really simple components--like dump a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pan, put it in a bigger pan, and try to remember to take it out of the oven before it burns.
I don't like to whipped cream in this big bowl because I usually get little drops of cream all over the kitchen wall--the bowl is too wide. But I was whipping a generous amount of cream, in addition to the dulce de leche, so I did. It was crazy. Oceans of cream spattered all over the kitchen, not to mention my clothes and Jim's clothes. If it had been blood instead of cream, my kitchen would have looked like a murder scene. (Sorry--an occupational metaphor). But it must not have been as much as I thought, because there was still plenty of whipped cream to put on all the cakelets. I previously thought that the raspberry whipped cream was the best possible version, but I'm a dulce de leche convert now. This cream was so deliciously deep and rich. If I weren't civilized, I'd have licked it off the cake and asked for more. It was wonderful.
Oh, I almost forgot. Although I didn't have mini angel food cake pans, I did make a couple of fake angel food cakelets, simply by taking the plastic tube of a bulb baster and carefully removing the center core of the cakes I'd baked in the custard cups. I can see why these cakes would have been sweetness itself as baby angel food cakes.

Fred: "It's so light--my cardiologist would approve of this dessert." [I didn't have it in me to disabuse him of that happy thought.]
Laurel: "The whipped cream is indispensable."
Doug: "Will you please put this on your bake-again list?"
Jan: "What can I say? It's delicious."
Jim: "I really liked the cream. The cake had a nice chewy texture that I liked."
Mary: "Nice and light. The coffee flavor is just right."


Melinda said...

I like the name chiffonlets, too. But I think it sounds more like a teen pop group who sing 'lost love' songs.

I am a big fan of chiffon cakes. They always turn out good for me. This recipe does look like a very good one for a dinner party. I think you have proved that theory, counsellor! And the cream sounds divine.
I quite like your Maryann pan,too. You are getting crafty in your substitutions and make do changes!

faithy said...

i really wanted to bake this cake but i fell sick again yesterday and had no energy even to lift a finger to do anything. i have to try find time to bake these when i feel better..hopefully soon...:) I love your maryann pan! Like you, i like maryann shoes too! LOL!

Saira said...

It's interesting that you didn't make the syrup and yet had a coffee flavor. I couldn't taste the coffee in it and thought it was probably because I didn't make the syrup.

Love the cardiologist comment...too funny but my husband (a physician) sadly disagrees!:( so no freebies on this cake health wise...wouldn't that have been great!

Monica said...

I took a pass this weekend with baking, cooking and anythign to do with my kitchen (I KNOW SHOCKER!) but, I had way to much going on and needed a total vegetation weekend.

But after reading how fab the whipped cream is with the Dulce de Leche (Condensed milk makes EVERYTHING in life GOOD, besides Nutella of course)I think I may crumble and make it this week.

doughadear said...

Your Chiffonlets look great. They do make a nice dessert for a dinner party, each getting their own little cake and the cream sounds devine.
Your mention of Black Russians brought back memories as they were my choice of drink way back then.

Katya said...

I liked these too, although they didn't look like much b/c they were too puffy to invert and thus collapsed rather severely. Can't find the camera, though, so the post will be a little late.

Marie said...

I believe you're dating yourself if Chiffonlets sound like a rock group to you--I think they sound like a Motown group from the 60's!

I'm so sorry you're sick! Recover soon, and make the trifle next weekend.

I did make the syrup--I just made it withouot the kahlua, so it still had a powerful coffee flavor.

It's a really nice cake, but do try the whipped cream--on anything!

I don't know if the under-30 crowd even knows what a Black Russian is, but I'll never forget.

Marie said...

I hope you used the whipped cream, because it hides any flaw.

Hanaâ said...

Great looking Chiffonlets, Marie. I like the concave in each one. Gives you plenty of room to fill with whipped cream. Good to know that the recipe works fine if you double it. I might do that and bake it in a regular sized Bundt pan next time (I don’t have a small 6-cup Bundt pan). That’s the main reason why I made it into a layer cake instead. When I wrote up my post last night, I found the coffee flavor a bit too strong. I had a small slice this morning for breakfast, and found that the coffee flavor had subsided a bit (which I liked better). Come to think of it, this cake has all the components of a perfect breakfast (even though I don’t drink coffee): coffee, eggs, milk (from the pastry cream), and cake.

On a side note, this will be my last HCB cake for a while. I’m getting ready for my vacation in May (lots of shopping, packing, etc) so my upcoming weekends are taken. I look forward to being back with all of you in June. If I have internet connectivity, I’ll check up on you guys. Good luck with the May recipes. There are some “fun” ones coming up :o)

Jenn said...

Marie - very funny post again. I like the occupational hazard analogy. As a big fan of law & order/crime tv show, my brain instantly try to imagine what you said (sorry if this comment is disturbing).
Anyway, very creative of you to make the little cakes look like angel food cake. Great job!
I've been making danish pastries the last couple of weekends, so no chiffonlets for me. Will join you guys next week on the trifle adventure.

Vicki said...

Oh lord I thought the same thing as Melinda! Definitely a doo wop group with BIG hair and sparkly gowns. I added up the points for Weight Watchers and it was double the banana refrigerator cake. Still, only twelve (plus or minus a point or two) so that isn't too terribly bad, just half a day's worth but that seems like a good lunch to me!

Anonymous said...

Marie, where did you get your pan?

NancyB said...

How shiny your Mary Ann pan is! Mine, inherited from my mother, probably dates from the '60s. It's not so shiny. <g>

I love the idea of creating a center tube in the solid cakelets--I may try that with the leftover Texas muffin ones I have.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Marie, these turned out so Lovely! I laughed as I read about you not being phased by the 4 separate components - see 30 or 40 baking projects will do for your baking confidence!

Oh, a little trick I learned from my mother-in-law years ago is to place the mixing bowl down into the sink before whipping (a clean sink, of course). That allows the splatters to hit the sink walls, instead of spraying all over you and your kitchen walls!


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Btw, I've never heard of a Maryann pan. Same goes for the word chiffonlet (honestly, not fond of that one).

Marie said...

Have a great vacation! I hope you come back in June rested, revived, and ready to bake. I think these work especially well in miniature pans because they're so light that they might (and apparently do) collapse. But I'm scared to try anything else in my angel food cake pan, so I was glad not to make a full-sized cake.

Danish pastry is on my life list of things to accomplish--maybe next year!

I went to the Motown Museum in Detroit last weekend, and I'm having new trouble at all picturing the Chiffonlets! (But I still think that dates me).

I ordered one from amazon.com, and got a second one at The Kitchen Window in Mpls. when I was looking for the mini angel food cake pans.

They should be shiny--this is their first outing!

I've grown fond of the word "chiffonlets" myself. Thanks for the whipping cream tip!

evil cake lady said...

I almost skipped this cake until I remembered it has coffee and dulce de leche whipped cream-yum! My post will be late as the cake is cooling right now. I anticipate this one will go into my breakfast category.

I know Black Russians, but I was always a bigger fan of the White Russian, and more recently the Nutty Russian (a White Russian with a Frangelico float). I skipped the Kahlua in the syrup too but only because I ran out of Kahlua!

Do I have an evil gleam in my eye? Probably, but don't tell anybody said that.

Mendy said...


They look great!

Make sure not to try and sell that murderous dairy whipping bowl on ebay... ;)


rachelino said...

beautifully done with the maryann pan....I want one now (and that's my mother's name)...but the mini angel food pans are also adorable.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, guess what I meant to ask is what brand are the pans. Can't find them on Amazon.

Marie said...

I hope you love the dulce de leche whipped cream as much as I did! I think there must be a market for an entire cookbook of breakfast cakes. At least a market of two.

Ha! I'll make sure not to try to prosper from my murderous mixing bowl.

You must get these pans if it's your mother's name!

I checked mine, and they don't have a name on the pans, but I think they're Chicago Metallic, and it looks like they're discontinued. http://www.irawoods.com/Chicago-Metallic-26338-Specialty-Bakeware-6-Cup-Shortcake-Pan
Here's a link to a place that's offering a close-out on that brand.

Anonymous said...

Vincent got trigger happy.

Rozanne said...

Love the maryann pan. It's so cute.

Marie said...

Yes--YUM YUM looks even sillier when it's repeated three times.

Thanks--I do too. We use those pans in a couple of baby cakes.

Nicola said...

Great post Marie! And tell Jim his photos are particularly excellent this week. Love the action spray shot of the cream, and the billowing egg whites.

I am back on track now, so I think this weekend it will be these little cuties and the Breton Gateau.

I have missed being around.

Alpha Baker Joan said...

I am so enthralled with these adorable and delectable chiffonlets that I am avidly investigating resources for the pan. Can't wait to find it to undertake the 4 components.