Guava Chiffon Cake
In all honesty, I really did try to post another recipe that wasn't as rich, heavy, or cake-like after that decadent Graham Cracker Carrot Cake I made last month. I had hopes for something rhubarby (still might happen), quicker, and more easily shareable (think muffins or bars). Well I failed! I was just wayyy too excited for this cake. Once you've made it and tasted it, you'll see why.
I made this cake for the first time last year for a tropical themed potluck. But, I first had guava cake a few years ago from Cakes of Paradise Bakery, a delightful bakery located in the Georgetown area of Seattle. The bakers there make the lightest and most flavor packed cakes you've ever tasted in all shades of the rainbow. Their cakes always put me in a bright mood.
This Guava Chiffon Cake cheats a little bit and uses guava nectar juice concentrate found in the frozen food aisle instead of fresh guava. After no luck finding either fresh guavas or frozen guava puree (which is pretty pricey), I had to come up with another guava source. Guava nectar juice concentrate is readily available in most supermarkets.
Though I do have a professional cake turntable, I don't enjoy frosting edges of cakes. Truthfully I am not very good at it, and have never gotten Instagram worthy results. This is why I am a recently converted naked cake lover. This guava cake is a cross between a naked cake and a fully frosted cake. I call this style of cake "scantily clad" because unlike a true naked cake where there is no frosting on the the outside this cake has a very minimal layer of frosting on the outside. A scantily clad cake helps hide some of the imperfections of baking (like if some of your cake edges stuck to the pan) and helps to keep the moisture in the cake.
To make a scantily clad cake, brush off any crumbs from the stacked cake. Spread some frosting on the side of the cake. Using a wide plastic scraper, spread the frosting on the cake edges around the cake, allowing the frosting to fill in between the cake layers and any imperfections in the cake itself. Continuously scrape off any extra frosting into a bowl.
Each slice of this cake is delightfully pink and would be perfect for a summer barbecue, a tropical potluck, or anytime you need a bright pick me up. It will stay soft well covered in the refrigerator for many days, though why there is any leftover is well beyond me. If you have a local flower market (or TJ's!) gather and decorate this cake with tropical flowers (I used pincushion proteas and monstera leaves) for the chicest tropical summer cake. Your friends will rave!
Guava Chiffon Cake
SOURCE: GUAVA ROSE, ALTERED SLIGHTLY
SERVES EIGHT GENEROUSLY
MAKES ONE FOUR LAYER, SIX INCH CAKE
This cake is made from frozen guava nectar juice concentrate typically found in the frozen juice section of most supermarkets. I'm using one 12 ounce can of Hawaii's Own Guava Nectar Frozen Concentrate. After completing the cake, you'll have a few ounces leftover. If you don't have four six-inch cake pans, cake can be baked in two batches.
GUAVA CHIFFON CAKE
1 1/2 cup (180 g) sifted cake flour
3/4 cup (150 g) + 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
3/4 cup (about 200 g) egg whites from six large eggs
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup (50 g) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (111 g) water
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (75 g) guava nectar concentrate, thawed
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (75 g) guava concentrate, thawed
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (111 g) guava concentrate, thawed
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup (75 g) guava concentrate, thawed
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350°. Line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment and set aside.
Make cake: in a large bowl, whisk flour, 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar, baking powder, and salt until incorporated. Whisk in wet ingredients: eggs, oil, water, 1/4 cup thawed guava concentrate and vanilla extract until well combined, set aside.
Place egg whites in bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk egg whites until foamy. Add a pinch of cream of tartar. Turn mixer to medium and whip egg whites until light and foamy and holds soft peaks, two-three minutes. Slowly pour in sugar and finish whipping mixture on high until it holds stiff peaks, another minute or two.
Spoon one third of whipped egg whites into batter. Gently push whisk into center of batter and let the mixture fall through the tines. Turn bowl and repeat until mixture is lightened and some streaks remain. Switch to a large spatula and carefully fold in remainder of egg whites in two batches, careful not to deflate the egg whites. Fold mixture until mixture is uniform in color and no streaks of eggs or batter remain.
Measure 2 cups of batter into each prepared pan and bake for 18-21 minutes until light golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for five minutes and run a knife around the edge of the cake and flip cake onto rack. Remove parchment paper and flip cake right side up onto another rack to to cool completely.
Wash and dry pans and wipe parchment paper with paper towel to remove any stuck on crumbs. Place parchment into pan and divide remaining batter between two pans and repeat baking instructions above. Cool all cakes completely before filling.
To assembly cake, make whipped cream: pour cold cream into bowl of mixer. Add a pinch of salt and slowly whip cream until nearly stiff peaks. Slow mixer and add in 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons guava concentrate and whip until incorporated, even in color, and cream holds stiff peaks.
Make glaze: in a small saucepan, whisk 1/4 cup guava concentrate and cornstarch. Heat over medium heat until mixture boils and becomes thick. Pour into a small bowl and chill in the refrigerator, stirring intermittently until cool to the touch but still pourable and spreadable, about 15-20 minutes.
Assemble cake: to allow syrup to infuse into the cake, using a serrated knife, slice off the browned top of each cake about 1/8". Pour guava syrup into a small bowl. Place cut cake on board or serving platter and brush with guava syrup. Spread 1/2 cup whipped cream and top with next layer. Stack next layer and repeat with remaining layers.
Frost outside of cake as you want. Frosting is enough to frost entire cake or make a naked cake with piped borders and decorations. Chill cake while making glaze.
Pour chilleded glaze on top of cake and spread with an offset spatula to cover until smooth and glossy. Pipe border around top of cake with whipped cream and decorate with flowers as desired. Chill cake for at least an hour (overnight better) before serving. Cake will keep in refrigerator well wrapped for at least a few days.