Thursday, 20 September 2007

A Milestone

I guess I have reached the first milestone of my baking journey...

Ever since I started baking "intensively" about a year ago, I have experimented with the various types of baking methods. The only method that I've stayed clear so far is anything that got to do with beating the egg whites. Somehow, I have developed this lingering phobia...just the thot of beating egg whites seems so intimidating to me. Thanks to vb for sharing her baking experience on chiffon cakes! Her enthusiasms and the beautiful cakes she came up with really got me interested! She makes it sounds so easy to whip up a chiffon cake, and with her little nudging, I finally break away from my comfort zone, and made my first chiffon cake this morning!

To mark "this occasion", I actually took the trouble to take a few photos during the cake making process. I stopped beating when the egg whites reached this stage...the signature look of the egg whites forming a nice hook when the paddle is lifted up. This photo was taken with some arm left hand was actually holding up the mixer, while my right hand, holding the camera crossed over to snap a picture of it.

A nice whirlpool of foamy egg whites...

I was so excited when the batter started to expand and climbed up almost to the top of the pan...

but then, the cake sank significantly after it was this normal?! By the way, this is a very small cake pan, it's only 16cm! I find the size just right for my small family.

I was very glad that I didn't "disfigure" the cake too much while trying to unmould it.

Don't get fooled by this photo...the cake looks quite tall and mighty, but in actual fact, it's only about 6cm in height.

There are a number of holes both on the surface and inside the it suppose to be like this?! After a glance at the cake, my little one stated flatly that I have made a donut cake today :'0

I kind of like the crinkly surface...especially on the sides...I followed a simple coffee chiffon cake recipe, but replaced the instant coffee with milo powder instead.

The cake texture is rather light and cottony...but taste wise, I could only taste and smell the eggs...I could hardly taste the milo at all.

Overall, it was a very good least I've overcome my "fears", and from now on I could safely venture into making different types of chiffon cakes :)

(make one 16cm cake)

1 tablespoon milo powder
20ml hot water
2 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
20ml olive oil
40g self-raising flour

2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
50g caster sugar


  1. Stir milo powder with hot water until dissolved. Let cool. Sieve flour and set aside.
  2. Separate egg yolks/whites and bring to room temperature.
  3. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until sugar just dissolved. Add in milo mixture and oil. Whisk till combined. Sieve over the flour and fold gently with a spatula until flour is fully incorporated into the batter.
  4. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Add in the sugar in 3 separate additions while beating at high speed till just before stiff peaks form* (after note: after several attempts at baking chiffon cakes, I learned that the whites should be beaten until just before stiff peaks form).
  5. Add the egg white foam into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  6. Pour batter into a 16cm (6 inch) tube pan (do not grease the pan). Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 25 ~ 30mins or until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Let cool completely before unmould.
Recipe source: adapted from Chiffon Cake is Done by Kevin Chai


  1. congrats!!!! Speaking of chiffon cake, I have just overcome my fear and bake it last week too! And guess what? It was so good that I baked it again the next day.hehehe.

  2. OH YES! You done it! and so beautifully ... I tried once but the cake sank cos I wasn't an obedient child - remove the cake before it is cool! Looking at yr successful bake, just make me wanna try again! ... after all the moonies making thou.

  3. You remind me of how I felt when I first stated baking. Beating egg white was a nightmare then for me. But now it seems to be a lot more under control!

    Congrat on your milestones in baking! You have done an incredible job so far!

  4. Mandy, really?! I thot I was the only who's afraid of beating egg whites ;) You know what, I feel like baking another one again today!

    Elyn, do make another attempt, I'll love to see your chiffon cake :)

    Anh dear, thanks for your sweet comments and encouraging words.

    If not for all the kind words that you gals have been giving me, I wouldn't come so far, thanks so much!!!

  5. Well done on your first chiffon cake! It rose beautifully. I also have the book and I may say his recipes are good, it yields beautiful chiffon cake but flavor wise I think his recipes are rather bland...oh well we can always tweak it :)

  6. Your chiffon cake is so beautiful! You are really good! You make me feel hungry. :)

  7. WOw.. your chiffon cake is good...... It's so light and fluffy.... I had always wanted to try this but the chiffon tin is still sitting in the cupboard waiting for me since i bought it last year... :)

  8. You have to leave it upside down while cooling, that way it doesn't sink but stays fluffy. Some chiffon pans have little "legs" on top for just that reason. Looks great though! :)

  9. Anne, thanks! Have you tried most of the recipes in his books? There seems to be a number of interesting recipes =)

    Lousy Baker, you should try it too!

    Ellena, I totally understand! I have several things lying around in my cupboard too, lolz!

    Makio, yes, I inverted the pan while cooling. I rested it over a small wine bottle :)

    Amrita, thanks for visiting =)

  10. Hi,
    Congratulations! Like you, I've never bake chiffon cake before but I started about a year ago. From my experience, u have to inverted the cake once out of the oven until it's cool. You can also use normal baking tray instead of tube pan for the chiffon cake. Happy Baking!

  11. Hi
    Yes ...congrats to you on your first chiffon ...and I'm sure there will be many more to come LOL
    I love baking them too :-)

  12. Congrats! The chiffon looks good :) I've also had a phobia of beating egg whites but managed to do a chiffon (not very tall but at least it didn't collapse :p) in the end! In fact, just bought 3 mini chiffon tins today :)

  13. By the way, saw in your recipe that olive oil was used. Does the oil have a strong taste or is it bland? My recipe called for salad oil and since I didn't have any corn oil I used peanut oil and in the end the oil taste was quite strong.

  14. Congrats on your success! Well done. I'm still trying to trouble shoot mine that has a tunnel:)

  15. Hi Delia, I inverted the cake once I remove it from the oven...most likey it's my oven, the temperature setting is always not very accurate!

    Cecily, thanks!

    Hazel, the original recipe uses cooking oil. I used olive oil instead. There is no taste from the olive oil at all. I have tried using canola/sunflower oil in sponge cake, there was no taste of the oil too. I guess peanut oil (the cooking type) is really too strong for cakes? I saw those mini chiffon tins from Phoon Huat...they look cute :)

    Xan, you have tried chiffon cakes too? Not sure whether I am correct, the tunnel could be due to the traces of egg white foams that was not fully incorporated into the yoke batter.

  16. Hi Happy Home Baking...

    The Chiffon cake looks really wonderful & makes me want to make it as soon as possible. I spent the whole day looking at your blog...awesome!!! I can never get bored of it :-). Keep up the good work HHB ^_^. Oh well, Im waiting for my Hokkaido Milky Bread now, it's still in the oven...I guess it turns well..thx for sharing the recipe source, that'S very sweet of you. Bw the way, do you mind if I link your blog to mine?

  17. okie, i'll remember that the next time i attempt it again. Tks!

  18. Hi Nana, thanks for linking me in your blog, it's my pleasure :)
    I can't wait to see your posting on your Hokkaido Milky bread!

  19. This is a lovely chiffon cake.Thanks for posting the recipe. I've been looking around for a recipe just nice for a small family. The one I have required 6 eggs which I think too much.

    Again, congrats on your attempt.

  20. It looks great! I still have difficulty with egg whites, I never quite know if I've whipped them too much or not enough.

  21. Sue Sue, that was why I bought the book, more than half of the recipes are for 16cm pan size :)

    Brilynn, me too! I got to stop several time to check, and I am still not sure when to stop beating the egg whites ;p

  22. Yes the knife brand cooking oil is definitely too strong for chiffon cakes or any type of baking in fact. I bought the mini chiffon tins from daiso, they're individual ones not those super small ones in one pan :p

  23. Hazel, I have not seen the mini chiffon tins from Daiso...but I've seen those small paper chiffon pans. Those chiffon tins at Phoon Huat are also individual ones. I am sure the little cakes will be great to give away as gift :)

  24. =)
    hello i'm a baking chef too!
    although i'm only 19 but currently i'm working at The Patissier at Mohamad Sultan.
    you do can find the mini chiffon tins at Daiso~!
    i grab one when i went there 2 mths ago though.
    it work purrrrrrfectly for a small home party.

    and congrats to ur first chiffon making.

  25. Thanks for dropping by, Pauline =)
    and thanks for telling me that the mini chiffon tins are great! Will check it out when I visit Daiso again. Oh wow, you are so young and you are already a patisserie chef! Your work must be very interesting, 'jia you' :)

  26. =) still have alot to learn!!
    its always so interesting to view other people's blog and know that they enjoy baking as much!

    try the jurong east daiso!
    because i get my chiffon tins/mini sieves/mini cake tins and alot of mini things there!

  27. Congratulations!! I love chiffon cake. Abt the holes in the cake, I usually give the pan a light tap on the counter to release some air bubbles before baking. But dun tap too hard otherwise might deflate it. :)

  28. hi Blurmommy, thanks for your tips! I did 'bang' the pan on the tabletop before baking...I guess I was over zealous and could have deflated the batter as a result, will sure take note to be more gentle the next time ;)

  29. Thanks for the picture of beeating the egg whites - it helps tremendously.

    I made a Lemon Olive Oil Cake and the flavour was very good after I bumped up the amount of lemon zest from the original recipe.

  30. Hi happybomebaker

    Your chiffon cake rises very high considering you only use 2 eggs. I use 8 inch pan and uses 4 eggs to archieve a reasonable height. Can i know what is the weight of the egg that you use?



  31. Hi Shirley, I just weigh the eggs that I usually get from the wet's is about 60g with shell. The chiffon cake after cooled down was about 6cm in height. hope this helps :)

  32. Hi Happy homebaker,

    Your chiffon is so nice! COngrats on your success despite it's your first try. I seldom get such brown nice outer crust like yours. Seeing your chiffon tempted me to try again. :) Will look forward to baking it soon!

  33. Nice attempt there! The 'holes' that you mentioned are most probably caused by the 'bursting' of big air bubbles (from the egg white). Thus the folding in of the egg white into the batter has to be done carefully to avoid this. Or you can try to 'bang' the cake tin twice to disperse the big air bubbles.

  34. Your cake looks just lovely! I've been told to run a knife through the batter before putting the cake in the oven to get rid of bubbles in the batter. My mother-in-law says that banging the cake on the counter before baking is good, too.

  35. hi EK and Lynn, thanks so much for your advice! I did try banging the tin a few times to release the air bubbles, and Lynn, I also run my spatula thru the batter...but I guess I didn't do a good job folding in the egg whites into the yolk batter. Hopefully I'll improve when I next try it again! Thanks for all the tips, really appreciate it =)

  36. May I know the brand of your oven? Your cakes and cookies are so nicely browned. I have been using a table top oven for the past few years and i think its time for me to change because of the uneven temperature. There are so brands and models in the market now. Its so hard to make a choice. Do you have any good advice for me?;-)

  37. Hi anonymous, my oven is a tefal, 21 ltr table top oven. It has got hot spots and the oven setting is not very correct, it seems to be on the "cool" side. Hence, most of the time I have to turn the pan about 5 to 10mins before the cake is done. I'm afraid I can't really suggest any brands of really depends on (1) your budget; (2) your kitchen space; (3) the functions that you require, (4) and whether you intend to use t to make bigger batches of bakes. My oven can only fit in one baking tray at a time. Guess, the first thing u need to decide is whether to get a built-in oven or just a table top. You can narrow down to the a few models. Hope this help :)

  38. Just wanna drop a note to say thank you. The other time u gave me advice on y my cake did not rise. The beating, oven temperature, baking agent is so impt. Finally my cake rise :-)
    I notice the flour is 40g only for ur chiffon cake receipe?

    Sheryl aka "anonymous"

  39. Hi Sheryl, nice to hear that your cake has rised :)
    and yes, the chiffon cake is rather small, and the flour used is only 40g, no typo error ;)

  40. Hi Happy Homebaker

    Mine is a 21cm chiffon cake tin, how should i go abt doing it?


  41. Hi Janice, mine is a 16cm such I would advise that you look for recipes that is meant for 21cm pans. I won't advise you to adjust the portion especially for 'delicate' cakes like chiffon. It's best to follow the recipe's recommended pan size.

  42. hi, i've tried ur recipe. so great. it turn's out wonderful. thx for sharing. keep on yah..

  43. Hi,

    I have a 21cm pan. It shouldnt be a problem if yours is 16cm pan right ? The height may probably be shorter.

    Do you think so ?


  44. Hi Ling, I will advise that you follow a recipe that is meant for a 21cm pan. If you use this recipe which is for a 17cm, I'm afraid your chiffon cake will not turn out well, not just shorter.

  45. Hi HHB, can I replace the milo with pandan essence ? Thank you.

  46. Hi momkidspace, I am not sure about replacing it with pandan essence, maybe you can try other pandan chiffon recipes?

  47. HHB, thank you for your reply. mmm...I will look for other recipe that use pandan. I thinking of replace the Milo with pandan essence because your recipe is simple and easy to follow. :)

  48. 我也很想学做chiffon cake。

  49. Hi Rachel Yee,
    我的小烤箱是Tefal牌子,20L. 不是很好, 所以我不会推荐你用这个model.

  50. thank you so much!!! i wish I could kiss you on both cheeks!!! with you recipe I finally baked a decent chiffon cake after oh so many failures!!I baked in a loaf tin and adapted the quantities for 3 eggs!!!I am so happy!!! Now i gained a bit of confidence in the paradise of chiffon cakes :D
    thank you again!!

  51. Hi, I am glad to hear that you had great success with chiffon cake :D

  52. hai, iam from indonesia, already try many recipe, but i must admit, yours is the best, for this, and for banana chiffon cake ^^, love ur blog so much, u describe ur blog with happy family situation, iam so happy, i read ur blog many times ^^ best blog together with kitchen corner, warm greeting from indonesia

  53. Hi Chuany, thanks for visiting! I am glad to hear that you have fun trying out some of the recipes I posted here :)

  54. hihi.. want to know where did u buy ur chiffron cake pan ? thanks

  55. Hi Jessica, I got the chiffon pan from Phoon Huat.

  56. Hi happy homebaker~ you have really nice recipes~ I have tried a few times on my chiffon cake. however, it was a failure. May I know why did my chiffon cake rise and deflate? What went wrong in the process of baking?

  57. Hi cherishall_ying, your cake was able to rise over the rim during baking but deflated when you remove it from the oven? It could likely be due to the beating of the egg whites. Did you beat the egg whites to the correct stage? If yes, what about the folding of the yolk to the white batter? Was the finished batter thick, and fill up to at least 80% of the pan? if the batter was thin and runny you could have deflated the batter. If you have dont the above correct, then it could be due to the oven temperature. As you didn't provide info on how you went about preparing the batter I am not able to comment much. hope this helps.

  58. The batter had risen in the oven and deflated before I could get it out from the oven. I have beaten the egg white until a stiff peak is formed. Then I folded the egg white batter Into the yolk batter by using cut and fold method. The pan was filled with around 80 percent of the batter. But the pan is slightly bigger. Does the size of the pan affect the baking ? Thanks a lot for your feedback, Happy Homebaker. It is much appreciated. perhaps i should try it again till I get it. ^^

  59. Hi Cherishall, this recipe is for 16cm tube pan, uses only 2 eggs. What pan size did u used? I used a 18cm pan for this, the cake was not as tall as those recipes that calls for 3 eggs. I think the pan size does matters if u have used a much bigger pan, the cake would be much shorter. You may try with other recipes that suits your pan. all the best in your next attempt :)