Tradition a theme in RRC Canola Bake-Off
Pineapple and carrots are not the usual flavour combinations for a cake, but Red River College baking student Jordain Houdayer worked her magic with the two flavours. Jordain’s delicious Pineapple and Carrot Chiffon Cake came in first place in the Manitoba Canola Growers Canola Bake-Off at Red River College.
The competition is an optional for the Red River College baking program students. They don’t get class time to prepare for it so that means putting in extra hours on their own.
Jordain’s cake is a modified version of her mother’s carrot cake, a recipe she made often for Jordain when she was younger.
“I toyed around with flavours and decided I wanted to use pineapple. In looking for fun ways to use pineapple, piña colada came up so I just ran with it,” Jordain explained. She worked hard to perfect it going into the school kitchen on evenings and weekends to tweak it and get it just right.
Baking is in her genes
Jordain might have the gift of culinary arts and baking in her genes. Her father is a chef, “so I have always worked with food,” she said. She started off as a dishwasher, then a line cook and also worked in a grocery store bakery. She did give university a try, completing one year, but ended up going back to her roots. “It was always in the back of my mind and it was either going to be culinary arts or baking,” she recalled.
Why she chose baking
Having grown up with a dad in the business, Jordain knows firsthand the hours required for the job and the amount of time spent away from family.
With baking, she looks forward to trying out what she learned at school, at home. “What I love about baking is that there is fun and cool stuff you can do at work or school that you wouldn’t do at home.”
Jordain is not sure what the future will bring but she has one goal after graduating from the program, “My only real solid plan right now is to get my red seal.“I want to do cool stuff, travel and learn to do amazing things.” She will get to the traveling part soon enough.
A four-month co-op is a requirement for the program. For her four-month coop, Jordain will spend the first two months out of province. She’ll be working in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre. “I’ve worked in banquets and catering before and I love it,” she said not hiding her excitement.
For the last two months of her co-op come back to Manitoba to complete her last two months working with Chef MJ at Benjamin’s in Selkirk. That was her plan from the beginning so she’s thankful for the opportunity, “I wanted to work with her before the Edmonton opportunity came up so I am glad it worked out, I’m looking forward to working with Chef MJ.”
Another thing that she’s excited about is getting to Selkirk everyday. “I’m really excited about that because my only form on transportation is my motorcycle so I am looking to riding out there to Selkirk everyday,” Jordain explains.
Her motorcycle is another one of her passions. She said she was going to use the money she won in the bake-off to help pay off her motorcycle.
She also enjoys traveling and has done quite a bit of it. She’s travelled with two volunteer programs that have been enriching for her. Her most memorable one was the second volunteer experience she did with Canada World Youth in Ghana. “Nine of us were paired with a host family and stayed in their home. We volunteered in school as teaching assistants, at a local clinic, and community clean up once a week,” she sums up of her trip.
Her first place cake left a lasting impression on the judges. She’s a promising baker and although plating and presentation hadn’t been covered yet in class she did a fabulous job when she presented her cake to the judges.
We know she’ll be successful wherever she ends up working in the future. This summer, catch her while you can at Benjamin’s – trust us you won’t regret it!
Pineapple and Carrot Chiffon Cake
Pineapple Carrot Cake Ingredients:
6 eggs, separated (6 )
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (1 mL)
3/4 cup sugar (175 mL)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (550 mL)
3/4 cups sugar (175 mL)
1 Tbsp baking powder (25 mL)
2 tsp cinnamon (10 mL)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (2 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/2 cup canola oil (125 mL)
1 tsp vanilla (5 mL)
1 can (14oz/398 mL) crushed pineapple, drain and reserve 3/4 cup (175 mL) juice and 1/2 cup (125 mL) well drained crushed pineapple
1 cup finely grated carrot (250 mL)
Pineapple Carrot Cake Directions:
1. In large mixing bowl, beat 6 egg whites and until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Add ¾ cup (175 mL) of sugar, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, and continue to beat egg whites until glossy peaks form. Set aside.
2. In second large bowl, combine flour, ¾ cup (175 mL) sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk to combine ingredients.
3. In third large bowl, beat 6 egg yolks with canola oil until well blended. Add vanilla and ¾ cup (175 mL) of the reserved pineapple juice. Mix well.
4. Pour liquid ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and beat slowly until ingredients are well combined, about 1 minute.
5. Stir in grated carrots and ½ cup (125 mL) crushed, well drained pineapple.
6. Spoon about ¼ of the egg whites into the batter and stir into the batter. Add remaining egg whites and gently fold into the batter.
7. Pour mixture into an ungreased 10 inch angel food pan. Run spatula through batter to eliminate any large air bubbles. Smooth top.
8. Bake at 350F (180C) for about 50 -55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Turn pan upside down and rest tube on small glass. Allow cake to cool completely.
9. Run knife around edge of pan and tube. Invert cake onto cake plate. Cover top and sides of cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. (Recipe follows.) Garnish cake with toasted coconut and candied pineapple.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (250 g)
1/4 cup canola margarine (50 mL)
1 tsp vanilla (5 mL)
5-5 1/2 cups icing sugar (1.25 – 1.375 L)
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
1. In large bowl, beat together cream cheese and canola margarine until very smooth and no lumps are visible.
2. Beat in vanilla.
3. Add icing sugar and beat well.
4. Frost top and sides of cooled cake.
5. Garnish cake with candied pineapple or candied sugar carrots