Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Nutella® Buttercream Frosting and Mint Chocolate Ganache

The end product of an inspirational cake idea from a friend turned out well to my surprise! And I was surprised partly because I was actually working with mint chocolates, definitely one ingredient I wouldn't think of using in my own bake creation. Honestly, I'm no fan of mint chocolates, saved for After Eight® dark chocolate thin mints which is by far the only mint chocolate I would eat. In fact not just mint chocolates, I don't actually fancy mint flavour of cookies or ice cream either, except for peppermint candies of course. What strange taste buds, I know. Haha! Well since this cake is my homemade, I had no choice (not that I'm forced) but to taste the cake and I was actually glad that I didn't "reject" it. I suppose this cake may well be a "turning point" for those who don't have a liking for mint chocolates too. ^_^

Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Nutella® Buttercream Frosting and Mint Chocolate Ganache

I am sharing this post with CookBlogShare event hosted by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes because sharing is caring.

And for the first time, I am sharing my bake with Bake of the Week event organised by Helen & gang of Casa Costello.

Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Nutella® Buttercream Frosting and Mint Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients Required

Vanilla chiffon cake
Recipe referenced and modified from: The Dream Baker's Vanilla Chiffon Mango Charlotte
Yield a 9" x 2" round cake

Group A
5 egg yolks
30 grams castor sugar
60 grams vegetable oil
90 ml milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
120 grams cake flour

Group B
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
60 grams castor sugar

Nutella® buttercream frosting
Recipe referenced and modified from: Remodelaholic
Yield approximately 2 cups

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup Nutella®
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk (if required)

Mint chocolate ganache
The Dream Baker's Creation

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cup mint semi-sweet chocolate chips (alternatively, substitute with 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (for glossy finish, optional)

Bakeware Used

9-inch round spring-foam pan

Preparation Steps

Vanilla chiffon cake
  1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.
  2. Add vanilla extract to the milk and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar from Group A using a balloon whisk until the sugar dissolves and mixture becomes slightly pale and thick.
  4. Add oil and vanilla infused milk into the yolk mixture. Stir well.
  5. Fold in sifted flour and mix till batter becomes smooth (with no lumps of flour). Set aside.
  6. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue whisking until egg whites become foamy.
  7. Add sugar gradually and beat until meringue reaches firm peaks form.
  8. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. This helps to loosen the consistency of the yolk batter.
  9. Gently fold the remaining meringue into the yolk batter in two separate additions until well combined.
  10. Pour the batter into the un-greased pan and gently drop the pan on the table top to release any large air bubbles.
  11. Place the pan on the lower rack of the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not open the oven door until after 30 minutes into baking.
  12. Once baked, remove from the oven and invert cake over a wire rack to cool over an elevated level. Once slightly cooled, run a sharp knife around the sides of the cake before removing side of the pan. Invert the cake and run the knife around the bottom of the cake to release the cake from the base. Leave the cake to cool completely over the wire rack.
Fill the batter to a height of not more than 3/4 of the pan
to prevent overflowing halfway through baking.
Nice dome after the cake has been baked.
Do not worry about the crack on the surface of the cake.
Invert the cake once removed from the oven and let cool at
an elevated level to prevent the cake from sinking.
The surface of the cake will level and the cake will pull
away slightly from the sides of the pan after cooling. 
The cake measures about 2-inch tall.
Invert the cake over a parchment paper and run a knife
between the pan base and the cake to release the cake.

Nutella® buttercream frosting
  1. In a clean bowl, beat softened butter and Nutella® together until smooth. 
  2. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until just combined. 
  3. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until mixture becomes smooth. 
  4. If necessary, add a teaspoon of milk and whisk until mixture is of spreadable consistency.
Mint chocolate ganache
  1. Put heavy cream and chocolate chips in a bowl and heat bowl over a double-boiler. 
  2. Gently stir till chocolate chips melt completely and remove bowl from heat.
  3. Add pure peppermint extract (if not using mint chocolate chips) and light corn syrup (if using, optional) to slightly cooled ganache and stir till well combined.
  4. Allow ganache to cool at room temperature before pouring over cake. Prevent from creating too much air bubbles in the chocolate ganache while stirring to achieve a nice and smooth layer of ganache coating.
Assembling the cake
  1. Using a cake leveler or serrated knife, slice the cake crosswise into three approximately equal layers and place the bottom later of the cake on a cake board.
  2. Coat the top of the cake with approximately 1/4 of the frosting to form an even layer.
  3. Place the second layer of cake over the top of the frosting and repeat step 2.
  4. Place the final top layer of cake over the second layer of cake frosting and coat the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  5. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes to set the buttercream frosting.
  6. Once frosting has set, carefully transfer cake onto a wire rack and place over a large baking sheet. This is to catch any excess ganache that will drip from the cake.
  7. Using a ladle, scoop and pour the chocolate ganache over the top from the centre of the cake and allow the overflowing ganache to drip down the sides of the cake.
  8. Repeat until all sides of the cake are completely covered with the chocolate ganache.
  9. Let excess ganache drip before transferring the cake onto the cake board or serving plate. 
  10. Chill the cake in the fridge to allow the ganache to set before serving. Decorate the cake as desired.
Slice the cake into three approximately equal layers.
Don't worry if the "skin" of the surface peels off.
Spread an even layer of frosting in between each layer
of cake to ensure the cake is levelled.
Chill the cake to allow the buttercream frosting to set
before coating the ganache layer.
Carefully lift the cake with two large spatulas and place
on the wire rack over a large baking sheet.
Scoop and pour the chocolate ganache over starting from
the centre of the cake and allow the chocolate ganache
to drip down the sides of the cake.
Repeat until all the sides of the cake has been covered with
the ganache and allow the excess ganache to drip from
the cake before transferring the cake to the cake board.

Note: I laid the baking sheet with a plastic sheet to collect the excess ganache for ease of cleaning. The leftover ganache can be covered and refrigerated (overnight) until firm and be used to make into chocolate truffles by rolling the ganache into small balls to form the truffles using your hands or a melon baller. Then toss to coat the truffles in cocoa powder, icing sugar or chopped nuts as desired. If making truffles, omit the light corn syrup from the mint chocolate ganache.

The Dream Baker's Experiment
  1. All ingredients used are at room temperature.
  2. I used large eggs weighing approximately 59 grams each (with shell on) and 2% reduced fat milk in my above recipe.
  3. I baked the vanilla chiffon cake for approximately 37 minutes (baking time varies across different oven).
  4. For the Nutella® buttercream frosting, I used half of the recommended amount of powdered sugar to reduce the sweetness and prevent the sweetness from overpowering the taste of the hazelnut chocolate spread. 
  5. I added 1 teaspoon of milk (2% reduced fat) to the Nutella® buttercream frosting to achieve a more spreadable consistency.
  6. For the mint chocolate ganache, I suggested an additional 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in my above recipe for a thicker consistency as compared to the 1:1 ratio of heavy cream and chocolate chips used in this experiment which has a thinner and slightly runny consistency.

I call this a simple yet elegant cake decoration. ^_^

Would you like a slice? *_*

Start creating yours today.... enjoy!

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker


  1. What a fantastic cake! I love the flavours and your instructions are really clear. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Thanks Lucy, glad you like it! As always, it's my pleasure to link up with CookBlogShare event. Hope I'll have time for more bakes for sharing soon.. Thanks again! ;)