Friday, 19 October 2007

Banana Chiffon Cake


I wanted to make a banana chiffon cake as I had a few very ripened bananas hanging in my kitchen. However, after looking through the recipe I have on hand, it is meant for a bigger pan size. I was about to give up the idea, when I happened to visit Lousy Baker's blog. She has baked the same banana chiffon cake that I had in mind, and, she managed to reduce the quantity to fit a 16cm pan. How nice! After seeing her beautiful cake, I set off to make this cake right away!


I used 3 eggs instead of 2 eggs as I halved the portion exactly. I believe 2 eggs is just nice for a 16cm pan. As a result, the batter almost filled up the entire pan. Fearing that the batter may spill over while baking, I lined the base of the oven with a foil, just before baking! Luckily, the batter was quite 'obedient'...it stayed on in the pan, and the cake climbed over the brim! I was so happy to see the cake "blooming" away! However, this also meant that the top got burnt a little, as it almost hit the roof of the oven where the heating elements are located :(

I didn't manage to do a good job while unmoulding the cake. A few sides almost got torn and peeled off.

I made this cake with the help of my little assistant. He was responsible for the mashing of the bananas...the mashed bananas was quite lumpy and I was a little worried whether it would affect the texture of the cake. I got him to whisk the yolk batter while I gather the items ready to whisk the egg whites. I must say he did quite a pretty good job.

This banana version has got more flavour than the milo version I made earlier. The lumpy mashed bananas didn't effect the texture at all. When I offered the cake for my little one to try, he told me he didn't like it! "It's not a pandan cake! It's a banana cake! I don't like!". Well, I wasn't upset at all, as he's only used to pandan cake...and I guess, all along, he was thinking that he was helping me to make a pandan cake! lolz!!!

Well, it seems to me that making a chiffon cake is really not as difficult as what I used to think. In fact, next time, I will get the boy to handle the yolk batter on his own, while I whisk the egg whites...this will definitely cut down on the preparation time. Hmmm, I already have in mind to try the orange version soon.


Ingredients
(make one 16 ~ 18 cm cake)

3 egg yolks
25g caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
30ml cooking oil (I used olive oil)
85g banana puree (about 2 medium size bananas)
1/4 teaspoon banana essence (I used vanilla extract)
55g plain flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

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

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degC. Sieve together flour and baking soda, set aside. Mash banana, 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 salt, oil, essence and mashed banana. Whisk till combined. Sieve over the flour mixture 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 or 18cm (6 inch or 7 inch) tube pan (do not grease the pan). Spread and smooth the batter evenly with a spatula. Bang the pan gently on a work surface several times to release the air bubbles trapped in the batter.
  7. Bake for 25 ~ 30mins or until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. 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

52 comments:

sweet-tooth said...

i feel like baking a chiffon cake after seeing yours!
i hope mine will turn out as good as yours ;D

Anh said...

You know my first ever chiffon cake is a banana one? I love it until now!

sweet-tooth said...

i just baked a lemon chiffon cake today :D
it turned out quite good.
haha
it is ok if i link you? (:

ovenhaven said...

Hahaha, your son is so cute! It's great that you include him in your baking; he sounds like a really good mummy's helper :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sweet-Tooth, thanks for linking me up, it's my pleasure :D

Hi ovenhaven, yes, it's good to get my kids to help, so whenever there's any hiccups I can always blame them! lolz!

Jessie Chua said...

hi u r good in taking photo did u learn ? pls advise, and i like yr baking - always got receipe
your job title is my dream job :)

eliza said...

HBB...i love chiffon cake as well. it's been a while since i bake a good-sized dessert :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jessie, no I have not taken up any proper photography lesson. I only started taking food photo after I started baking and blogging. I learn from looking at photos at cookbooks, how they compose the pictures. It helps to look at others photos too! like those fantastic photos posted in flickr. All my photos are point & shoot kind, I simply set it to macro mode, off the flash light, and take the photos at places where there's plenty of natural light. Just like baking, unless you go for proper lessons, the only way to improve is to practise, practise and practise. There's no short cut :) I am sure you like my job title, I am the COO of the household, ok! just kidding ;)

Eliza, I've only found out lately that is such a joy to make chiffon cakes...will be trying out various chiffon cake recipes in the future :)

Lousy Baker said...

Me too! I will be baking chiffon cakes more often now.

You have just started the "chiffon craze"! :)

Baking Fiend said...

It's been a while since I last baked chiffon cakes... you're making me itch to try bake one!

BTW, you've been tagged! come check out my blog to find oout more. :)

Aimei said...

Beautiful chiffon you have. Hope one day, I will be able to produce a successful chiffon! By the way, you take great photos! Does it have to be in day light?

Patricia Scarpin said...

This cake looks so tender, I want a slice! :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Aimei, I am sure you can bake a wonderful chiffon cake :) You just need to do some "research" to get a better understanding before you set off to bake it, it'll help =)
My better photos are those taken under bright day light...those that I took at night under my lamp looks dull and have got a greyish shade...you can experiement around and you will see the difference.

emily said...

Hi Happy Homebaker,
I'm a new blogger and I have just linked u to my blog. I'm very impressed with your photos also. May I know what camera are u using? I'm thinking of upgrading my primitive Olyumpus camera.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Emily, I use a 3 year old Canon Powershot G3 4 Mega Pixels. and thanks for linking me up!

Shella said...

You have a really wonderful blog, n I am sorry I never discovered it before - nonetheless - better late than never !! Keep up the good work - Your cake is really good. I wish I could taste a pc of it??

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Shella, thanks so much for your kind words :)

Sukkimi said...

Hi,
I got the same book too.
And i'm also using the smaller pan size.My first Banana Chiffon turn out a bit wet. I'll try again next time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hi,

I tried baking this chiffon cake yesterday! Hehehe.. My mum just couldn't stop praising me! She love this cake very very much!

But personaly i find that the cake is abit too sweet for my liking.. will try it again, but this time round will cut down on the amt of sugar use..

By the way, my chiffon cake turns abit soggy after cooling down, what could be the cause? pls advice!

Thanks in advance!!

Rgd,
carrie

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Carrie, I think you can cut down on the sugar, but do it on the yolk portion rather than the egg white portion...as sugar is beaten with egg whites to make the whites glossy and silky when it reach stiff peak stage. I am not sure what's the cause of the soggy cake...maybe you could have under bake it? I'm sorry, I am also not good at baking chiffon cakes, as such I can't really give any comment on your question. I'm of not much help here :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Happy home baking!

Thanks for your advice, much appreciated!!

yah, i suppose i underbake it as i only bake for like abt 19minutes.. next time round shall try 25minute! hehe!

Rdgs,
carrie

zy said...

hi happy homebaker

that is a nice chiffon cake you have there. i love banana flavoured cakes. haven tried a banana chiffon cake though. i've tried chocolate, orange and pandan flavoured ones so far. for my chiffon cakes, i used top flour instead of plain flour and the texture was really fine and fluffy.

i think another reason why carrie's cake turned soggy may be that the batter is overmixed. i have encountered this. once the batter is overmixed, the cake will not bake perfectly. a portion of the middle will remain wet and dense without rising. the batter is overmixed when it is very runny. a good batter should be of flowing foamy texture instead of being flat and watery.

i did a bit of research on chiffon cakes and here are some of my findings which i think would be useful:
1) the most impt part of the chiffon batter is the egg whites. it must be beaten well to stiff peak. this will help the cake to rise fully and hold its shape.
2) use egg whites at room temperature to get the max volume of beaten egg whites.
3) the egg whites are 'stiff' when they are beaten till glossy and stiff. when the bowl is overturned the egg whites should not fall or even budge.
4) to check if the egg whites are stiff, use a whisk to scoop some of the egg whites. it should have peaks that are upright and the peaks should not droop downwards.
5)for best results, use a clean dry oil-free steel bowl rather than plastic or glass bowl to beat the egg white. a metal bowl helps to stabilize the whites.
6)the tube tin should not be greased and should remain oil free. an oil-free tin will provide the best support surface for the batter to rise.
7)chiffon cakes fail mostly due to improperly beaten egg whites or overmixing.
8)always fold the beaten egg whites into the flour mixture, not the other way round. the egg whites mixture is lighter and the flour mixture is denser. folding the egg whites into the flour mixture will prevent the egg whites from deflating.

zy

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi ZY, I have not encountered the cake being wet in the middle, now then I know what's the cause of it. Thank you for sharing all your useful tips!

zy said...

hi happy homebaker,

i learnt all these through mistakes and failure. i guess that helped me understand the things to look out for. after each failure, i will do some reading on the internet. the above is kind of a summary of what i have gathered on the net.

i only managed to get decent chiffon cakes on my 4th attempt. after that my consecutive few attempts were successful.

btw i read that using superfine caster sugar will produce cakes of finer texture. i believe its quite true and since then i have been using SIS superfine caster sugar for cakes (pink- purple packaging).

zy

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi ZY, unlike you, I read up first before attempting anything new ;p
I have not baked with Top flour, next time I will try. As for sugar, I have tried SIS superfine caster sugar but I didn't really notice any difference...as I always grab whatever brand that's available on the supermarket shelves and so, I don't seems to be able to make any comparison. Maybe next time I will reserve the superfine sugar only for making chiffon cakes. Thanks again for your tips, you are very generous and kind :) Do you have a blog?

zy said...

hi happy homebaker,

thanks for the compliment. i think it is a good thing to share. everyone can learn from one another. i do have a personal blog but i haven been updating. recently, i have created a new blog solely for bakin and will be updating on it soon.

the chiffon cake was the first cake i attempted to bake when i first started baking. ever since then i will do some research before i try anything.

btw i forgot to mention that another reason why chiffon cakes are soggy may be because the whites are not beaten properly to stiff peaks. when the eggs are beaten to soft peak (which i think most ppl who failed may have stopped at this stage), the resulting cake will be slightly soggy in some parts. on the whole the cake will not rise fully and beautifully but it is not a total disaster either. it is somewhat like 80% of what a decent chiffon cake would look like.

zy

Carrie said...

Hi Zy and happy home baker,

Wow, seems like I've enrol in a chiffon knowledge course! You guys are fabulous! Share with us so much of info, really appreciate it very much!

I do agree that Top flour are good for chiffon cakes, makes a real soft and fluffy cake.

By the way, I just remembered something, I use icing sugar to beat with the whites, instead of caster sugar, will this substitution affect the outcome of the chiffon cake??


Cheerios,
Carrie

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Carrie, I'm not sure whether the use of icing sugar will affect the outcome. Did your cake turn out well? If yes, then maybe it is fine to use icing sugar?

Carrie said...

Hi Happy home baking,

Hmm.. I use icing sugar but not too much of prob.. Just that the bottom of the cake and the surrounding are slightly stickly.. But then again, i think its due to underbaking it..

And really have to admit, my folding of egg whites really cannot make it.. very lousy.. hehe

Cheerios,
Carrie

Rose said...

Hi Happy Homebaker,

I have always wanted to bake a chiffon cake, it seems quite easy. Will there be any difference if I used a normal round baking pan instead of a tube pan?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Rose, it's better to use a tube pan for chiffon cake as it helps the cake to rise. However, if you just want to give it a try, you can use a round pan, although I think the cake may not rise very high.

youfei said...

Hi HHB,

I just tried out your banana chiffon recipe yesterday and i must say, it is the most successful attempt on chiffons i had so far. The other times, the cake never ever rise high enough. This time, it rose to the height of the pan! =DDDD

However, it shrank quite a little as compared to the highest the cake ever reached.

Tanya said...

Hi there :)

This is a beautiful baking blog you have and I enjoy viewing your photos and recipes!

Today I tried to make this cake with a round cake tin as I don't have a tube pan. It came out a little short but it still had that great soft texture. So glad that my boyfriend loved it too!

Thanks so much for this recipe! I love your blog and I look forward to trying your other recipes. =)

Anonymous said...

Hi HHH,
Just love your site! Can you please let me know if you're using conventional or convection oven. I'm using a convection oven and if you're using the conventional one; that means I need to adjust my oven temperature.

Ailay Lim
Malaysia

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Ailay, thanks for visiting :) I am not using a convection oven, mine is just an electric oven with no fan.

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB,

I'm using Cannon camera too, but cant get that sharpness like yours.

Can you advise what function did you use ? Or did you adjust thru any software ? My husband and I were really impressed by your photo skills.

Cheers.
Ling

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Ling,

I am using my 5-yr old Canon Powershot G3 4 mega pixel. Which model are you using?

I only know how to set it to the auto mode...and turn on the macro function(the 'flower button'). All my photos are point and shoot. I use Picasa (free software) to adjust the brightness and contrast as I don't get really good lightings in my house. It is very difficult to adjust the sharpness using software as it will cause the photo to look very 'grainy'.
I think the sharpness of my photos is due to the use of the macro function, and I turn off the flashlight. I take photos during the day when there is enough natural light coming from the window. Maybe I also have a very steady pair of hands since I don't have a tripod. I am no expert in photography (actually I dont even know how to use the rest of the functions in my camera!), so don't take my words too seriously ;p

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB,

I'm using Cannon S50 5mega pixel.
I've just tried and you are right, the Picasa is the one that contribute to the sharpness of the photo.
Thanks for your tips as I'm really curious and impressed by the photos you took.
Cheers
Ling

Anonymous said...

hello, you have a very nice chiffon. i tried banana chiffon yesterday too. it rose very high and the taste was quite nice. but the bottom (actually the top) was a bit dense. will you be able to advise on this? thanks

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I am no good at baking chiffon cake. I had the same problem with a slightly dense layer lately. I think it was due to my oven which is not hot enough. The cake started to deflate even before the baking time is up.

Chuany said...

hai again, never fail with ur chiffon cake recipe, even my family said i can sell it (the texture is same with the one my family bought at bakery) warm regards from indonesia ^^ thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I tried to bake pandan chiffon cake yesterday, but not sure why my cake end up with following problems. U've succeed in so many chiffon cakes, wonder if you could advice?

1) when i turn it upside down, after 5mins, the cake auto came off from the mould. when i checked, the cake around tube is not fully cook (still very sticky) although i've bake it for almost 40mins under 170 Celsius.

2) when i taste the cake, it doesn't feel fluffy, it's kinda tense. Any idea which step i did wrongly?

hope to hear from you soon. Many Thanks!

regards,
Karen

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Karen, it could be due to several reasons.
1) You may not have beaten the egg whites to the right stage...there are many video clips on how to make a chiffon cake, you may want to look at them to get an idea.
2) You may have under cooked the cake...or the oven was not preheated to the right temperature?
3) Did you grease your chiffon pan? Do not grease it.
Hope this helps, and wish you success in your next attempt :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thanks for your advices!
I've tried to beat my egg whites to stiff peak/ soft peak (as i tried 2chiffon cakes) but not sure why it is not fluffy, perhaps it might due to folding egg whites?

I'd preheated the oven but guess i still need spend some time on the oven's behavior, it comes with build in fan, during middle of the baking, the fan will be auto turn on, perhaps it changed the temperature?

I did not grease it and I'm not using the non stick type. I've tried another Green Tea Chiffon cake, but still faced the same problem :( Will keep trying! :)

Thanks again for your advices/ guidance :)
-Karen

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Karen, not sure which pandan cake recipe did you use? by right, if you beaten the whites to the right stage, it should be able to hold the cake upon baking.

After folding the whites to the yellow batter, what was the consistency of the finished batter? It should be thick and not thin or too runny. If you used the right size pan, the batter should fill up to at least 80% of the pan. The other thing is the temperature, do use a oven thermometer to check, and bake your cake so that the pan is position in the middle of the oven, this will ensure even heating.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I followed the Pandan & Coconut recipe. the finished batter (adding whites to yellow) is a bit watery - not thick. May i know did i over mix the batter? or is it my egg whites (which i over beat it to stiff peak)?

I used a 23cm pan, after fill in the batter, it's about 80% filled. When baking in oven, it raised nicely but after cool, it shrink at least 20% from pan, and it auto dropped off from the pan :(

Thanks again for your reply :)
- Karen

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Karen, that pandan cake recipe is meant for a 18cm pan, a 23cm pan is too big, I am not sure whether it affects the baking time?

Now I think the main reason of your cake falling off the pan is due to the folding of the whites to the yolk batter. If the finished batter is thin, you could have deflated the beaten egg whites. As a result, there is not enough leavening (the air incorporated in the beaten egg whites) to hold the cake upon baking. When you pour the finished batter into the pan, it should flow like 'lava' ie the batter will fill up the pan layer by layer...hmmm...maybe you can take a look at this photo posted by this blog post from 'Wendy of Table for 2 or more' here (http://wendyinkk.blogspot.com/2009/05/orange-chiffon-cake.html) Notice the thick batter under point 9, pic on the left? It is only after you tap/shake the pan, the batter will then be leveled (pic on the right).

Just to let you know, for my recent attempts, I have been using chiffon cake recipes that do not require cream of tartar or baking powder. I am better able to tell whether the cake is prepared correctly. If baking powder is used, then sometimes the cake could have raised nicely due to the leavening agent, and you may not be able to tell whether the beating of the whites or folding the batter is done correctly.

Sorry for my long comment, hope I don't confuse you too much?

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB,

Appreciate your helpful comments! (no worries im not confuse hehe) :)
I think you are right, perhaps i've deflated the egg whites when folding into the yolk batter, maybe i can try again on this. Thanks for the blog link too, now i've a better understanding/ clearer picture how the batter should be :)

I shall try again on this chiffon cake and hopefully i'll succeed :D many thanks again for your advice/ guidance
-Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB

Looking at ur above banana chiffon, I think the bottom is rather dense and wet. I always encountered such problem with my chiffon even though I followed recipe closely. Wonder what's went wrong?

Blessings
Priscilla Poh

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Priscilla, could it be due to the folding of the whites to the yolks batter? or it could be due to the oven?

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB,

I find the portion for this cake is too small as I have a big family. If I double the recipe, can I use a 26cm cake tin?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, for double portion it is only for pan size about 22cm. Also do use a chiffon tube pan, the cake will not rise as much in a normal round pan, the texture will not be as fluffy.