Blackcurrant & Star Anise Chiffon Cake


    TIP:  the cake will keep covered in the fridge for 4 days

    Preparation time: 30 minutes
    Serves: 16

    Recipe and photograph by Sally Boyle (@simmerandboyle


    • 225g plain flour
    • 1 Tbsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground star anise
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 220g + 50g caster sugar
    • 100ml  Barker's Squeezed NZ Blackcurrants
    • 80ml water
    • 6 eggs, separated
    • 120ml canola oil, or similar
    • 1 extra egg white
    • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (not essential, but will stabilise the egg whites)



    1. Preheat oven to 170ºC.
    2. Combine the cake flour, baking powder, ground star anise and salt, sift into a the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one. With the paddle attachment mix through the 220g caster sugar.
    3. Make a well in the centre of flour mixture, add blackcurrant fruit syrup, water, egg yolks, and oil. Mix until smooth.
    4. In a large bowl whisk 7 egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar then mix until you have soft peaks. Gradually add the additional 50g caster sugar, whisking until firm peaks form and the sugar has dissolved
    5. Fold egg whites into the batter in three stages.
    6. Divide batter equally between 3 ungreased, unlined 20cm springform cake tins and bake for 30 minutes.
    7. Remove cakes from oven, and leaving them in the tins, immediately invert onto racks to cool; expect the cakes to sink slightly in the centre as they cool, they'll form prefect shallow bowls to load with the filling.
    8. When completely cool, to release the cakes, run a sharp knife around the inside of the cake tin, remove the outer ring leaving the cake sitting on the base of the tin. This next stage is a little tricky, slide a strong thread (such as dental floss), between the base of the cake and the tin,  all the way through, pressing the thread against the base as you go. Invert the cakes onto a flat surface and you're ready to assemble.
    9. Keep the neatest, most even cake for the top layer, place another layer, flat side down on your serving plate/cake stand. Gently spread with half the lemon curd, top with half the mascarpone cream, dot with dessert spoons of compote, swirl together, finally scatter with half the blackberries. Repeat with the next layer, finishing with the final cake layer, flat side facing up.
    10. Serve and enjoy!
    preparation time 5 minutes
    • 500g mascarpone
    • 300ml cream
    1. Tip the mascarpone into a mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment beat for 10 seconds or so, until smooth, add the cream, mix until smooth, thick and creamy.
    2. Store in the fridge until ready to use.