Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chiffon Cake II

I don't really know how to start other than ...

Here's another chiffon cake you should add to your repertoire. Like the other basic chiffon cake(Chinese Style Chiffon Cake)  posted on this blog, this recipe can be adapted to make many different variations by simply adding different extracts and juices/liquids. Although the taste of the basic recipe is essentially the same, the addition of cream of tartar as opposed to all baking powder gives the cake a moister, spongier texture. Try it and you'll know what I mean. There is also a higher proportion of eggs to flour and water. I don't think one is better than the other, it's just a matter of preference.

This cake is a bit more complicated than the other one if you want to follow the specific ratio of eggs to flour, but not much more. My aunt weighs her eggs with the shell, then using a ratio of 18 oz eggs to 5.4 oz flour, she determines how much flour to use. It's not much more work to do this, especially since you'll be weighing other ingredients as well. However, if you don't want to go to the trouble of doing this extra step, the cake should still turn out fine using a specific number of eggs and a given amount of flour. Based on the couple of times I've made this, the average weight of 8 large eggs is about 17 oz, so that means on average, you should use 5.1 oz cake flour.

I will continue to make both this as well as my other chiffon cake depending on my mood and what I have in the pantry. I really like that both of these recipes have specific weight measurements because I do find that it ensures more consistent results. The recipe below is a version with lemon extract and orange juice, but you can easily switch these out for something else.

Chiffon Cake II
Recipe Adapted from my Auntie Thelma

8 large eggs, separated(9 medium or 7 extra large eggs)
5.1 oz(145 grams) of cake flour(or determined based on 18 oz eggs/5.4 oz flour ratio)
160 grams granulated sugar(5.6 ounces)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
large pinch of salt
3/8 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Weigh out your ingredients. Sift the flour and baking powder three times.

To the egg yolks, add more than half of the sugar and whisk for 1-2 minutes with a large whisk until it is pale and ribbons fall from the whisk. Add in the extracts and salt. Add the oil, then the juice, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Mix in the sifted flour and baking powder until just combined.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and mix in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed until frothy. Then slowly add in the remaining sugar and whip until stiff, but not dry peaks.

To the egg yolk mixture, mix in a third of the egg whites to lighten the mixture. Then, fold in the remaining egg whites, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.

Pour into a 10 inch tube pan and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Invert and let cool completely before removing from pan.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Berry Chiffon Cake

I set out to make a pink cake and this is what happened. My little cousin's favorite color is pink, so I thought it only appropriate to make her a cake that matched her love of the color. She's six, so there aren't very many things she's passionate about yet, though the color pink is one of them. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to make a pink cake without the use of food coloring, especially with the addition of raspberry puree, so what resulted was a greyish pink cake. It was intended to be a strawberry cake, but I just couldn't find good strawberries at this time of year. So, I made it into a raspberry cake with a strawberry raspberry chiffon cake as the base. I filled the cake with a raspberry mascarpone cream filling and frosted it with whipped cream.
The cake overall tasted pretty good, but with fresh puree, the cake would have been much better in flavor and texture. I pureed frozen berries, so the resulting cake was not as moist as it could have been. However, in late fall, it's good to know that you can still make a nice berry flavored cake with frozen berries.

I'm still on the hunt for simple not-nonstick aluminium baking pans that are good quality but at a reasonable price so that I can start baking chiffon layer cakes without using a tube pan. They are actually surprisingly hard to find since nonstick has become the norm in bakeware. I think the cakes baked in such pans might not be as light as cakes baked in a tube pan, but a cake with a hole in the middle doesn't look all that great and is harder to decorate. A cake the size of a 10 inch tube pan is also too big for my family, so another alternative might be to get a smaller tube pan.

I'll just share the berry chiffon cake recipe here because the whipped cream frosting is already on this blog and the filling is just something I mixed up to my taste. I combined raspberry puree with powdered sugar and mascarpone cheese lightened with whipped cream.

Berry Chiffon Cake
Adapted from

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
large pinch of salt
3/4 cup fresh berry puree(I used frozen strawberries and raspberries)
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7 large eggs, separated, room temp
food coloring(optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Add 8-10 drops of red food coloring to the berry puree or a small amount of gel food coloring if using.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the berry puree, vegetable oil, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix the berry mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.

In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium high speed until foamy, then gradually add in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue whisking until stiff peaks. Take a third of the whipped egg whites and whisk vigorously into the berry-egg yolk base to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites with a spatula until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into a 10 inch tube pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Invert and let cool completely before unmolding.

A Sweet Sourdough - Part 2

Since the last post on a honey wheat bread made with sourdough starter, I've been looking for other honey wheat bread recipes made with sourdough starter. While the last one is a great honey wheat option for both sweet and savory applications, personally I prefer a honey wheat bread that is much more sweet with a stronger wheat flavor. Since I couldn't really find any recipes that fit what I was looking for, I decided to come up with my own.

I was pretty happy with the outcome. It's sweet, but not overly so and has the stronger wheat flavor I want in a wheat bread. It's good if you have a starter that you need to use. If not, just make honey wheat bread without sourdough starter. Although this will probably be my go to honey wheat bread recipe for now, I don't think I'll ever stop trying out new recipes. Molasses, cocoa powder, and coffee are some of the many add ins and swap outs that would be great in this recipe.

Sweet Honey Wheat Sourdough Bread
Daydreamel Original
Makes one small loaf

1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm milk/water
1/3 cup honey
2/3 cup liquid sourdough starter
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups bread flour

Mix the yeast and the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Let sit for 2 minutes. Add the starter and the honey. On low speed, mix in the whole wheat flour, then the salt, and finally the bread flour until well combined. Knead for 8-10 minutes adding more flour as necessary.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise for another 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for 35 minutes until it sounds hollow. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.