Wednesday 1 July 2009

The Perfect Chiffon Cake

My mother-in-law likes a cake that is light and airy. Each mouthful is like biting into fluffy bits of marshmallow. She likes it plain and simple, not too sweet and preferably with no icing. I have baked many a times for her. Usually a butter cake, sometimes sponge and many times a banana cake. She loves it too. I know she is always appreciative but rarely gives me a feedback. Like is it good? Is it fluffy enough? Is it totally fabulous? Or totally NOT?!

Last weekend I baked her a cake that saw her smiling from ear to ear. Just perfect she said! She wanted the recipe! It also won her friends over, and they have nothing but praises for her daughter-in-law who made this really really simple chiffon cake, fluffy, airy and light. It is really just like biting into clouds! Nothing makes me gloat more than a praise like that from my Mother-in-law. Score!

So yeah, here's the recipe for a very simple pandan (you can use any flavour you like) mother-in-law pleasing chiffon cake.

Chiffon Pandan Cake

225g cake flour*, sifted
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g + 50g castor sugar
80ml pandan juice
3 tbsp coconut cream
50ml water
125ml vegetable oil
7 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
9 egg whites
3/4 tsp cream of tartar

* I bought the cake flour from an Asian grocer. It's imported from Taiwan, I can't tell you what brand it is. I tried using just normal plain flour, the outcome is not as fluffy as the Taiwanese cake flour.

Sift all dry ingredients into a bowl, using just 200g of the castor sugar. Make a well in the middle and whisk in pandan juice, coconut cream, water, oil, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Mix well until smooth and thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Using a mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. Then add cream of tartar. Now beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Add in remaining 50g of castor sugar, one tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff peaks occur.

Gently fold egg whites into the cake batter in a few additions until just blended. Pour mixture into a clean UNGREASED 25cm (large) angel cake tin. Bake in a moderately hot oven (170 degrees celcius) for about 1 hour. Remove cake from the oven, and while still hot, turn the entire cake and tin upside down, balancing the central column on an empty jar. Leave to cool completely. This step is quite important as it ensures that the cake doesn't "sink". When it is cooled completely, release cake with a flat bladed knife and cut into slices.

Voila, a happy-mother-in-law cake.

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Mom-E said...

Oh I have to try this one day! Can you buy ready made pandan juice from asian groceries? Haven't noticed it. My perfect mother-in-law cake will be a durian cake. Can you showcase that in the next masterclass? :)

Grace said...

Hi E! I have only seen the pandan flavouring, which is a thick green mixture that smells quite sickly actually! Heheh.. and it also colours your food bright green (as shown by my cake!) It smells alright once diluted out. Came from Indonesia.

Oh this pandan thing is good for making playdough too! It colours it green and gives it a lovely pandan aroma! Try it next time when little E starts playing dough.

Rilsta said...

I have been looking around the Chinse shops for pandan chiffon cake but cannot seem to find any for a while now! I love the airy-ness of the soft cake. I will have to give this recipe a go! Thanks for sharing!

So do you make the pandan juice by diluting the pandan flavouring?

Grace said...

Rilsta: Yeah! Same here... haven't seen them around for a while! My MIL used to buy them.

Anyways, the pandan flavouring, yup I dilute it out with water. I only use 1/2 a tsp of the pandan paste and top up the rest with water.

Have fun!

Kiki said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe. It's perfect indeed. Yummmm