Friday, 8 August 2008

Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

As usual, it is always a difficult task for me to pick up a recipe from my ever-growing to-do list of cakes & bakes. I was thinking of making some Japanese melon pans, but decided against it as it will take up quite a fair bit of time and effort...then I thought maybe I should make a blueberry crumble cake as I just bought another 2 packs of fresh blueberries.

In the end, I decided to give another try on making a chiffon cake since I failed miserably during my recent attempt on a mango version. I could only blame it on my unstable oven temperature. The temperature of the oven dropped by at least 20 degC when the cake was in the oven for less than 5 mins. Even if I were to turn up the temperature setting to 200degC, the temperature would not bulge. As a result, the cake was baked at 150 degC. Even though it did rise and expand, but upon unmolding, the top of the cake caved in :'((


I had better luck this time with this Early Grey Chiffon cake. The recipe is original meant for a Japanese green tea chiffon. I replaced it with Earl Grey as I have been looking for a similar recipe that will suit my small chiffon pan.

The steps involved in the making of this cake is similar to other chiffon cake recipes. To ensure a very stable oven temperature, I preheated the oven 20mins earlier. By the time the cake was ready to bake, the thermometer registered a temperature of 190degC, once I popped in the cake, the temperature started to drop...it went down to 170degC, just the right temperature! I left the cake to bake for 50mins, I don't understand why this recipe calls for baking the cake for such a long time as compared to others, which usually would take about 30-35mins. When the cake was in the oven for about 35mins, I couldn't help but to open the oven door to slip in an aluminium foil to tent the top, although it was only slightly browned. This caused the oven temperature to drop by another 5 degC.


Fortunately, the cake rose beautifully in the oven, it almost reached the tip of the tube...however, towards the end of the baking time, it started to shrink and upon cooling, it was slightly under the rim.


I was very pleased when the cake was unmolded...unlike my previous attempts...there were no obvious big holes on the surface of the cake. The sides were also baked to a nice golden hue :)


If you like Earl Grey tea, I bet you will like this cake too. The fragrance from the Earl Grey was so prominent that it was as if I had a cup of hot Earl Grey tea by my side. I must say this is by far the best chiffon cake I have made...not in terms of flavour, but rather, the texture of the cake was very good. The cake was light, soft and yet 'springy'(I'm not sure whether this is the correct term to describe it though!). To me, this recipe is certainly a keeper. On the other hand, both my kids didn't like the cake at all...the younger one tried his very best, and yet he could hardly finish one small slice of it, he told me that I shouldn't have used 'pepper' to make the cake, lolz!



Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

Ingredients
(makes one 18cm cake)

A:
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea powder (about 3 satchels)
100g cake flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
50ml vegetable oil
75ml water

B:
3 egg whites
40g caster sugar


Method:

  1. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
  2. Separate egg yolks/whites and bring to room temperature. (It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold.)
  3. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl, add in sugar, in 3 separate additions and with a manual whisk, whisk till the mixture becomes sticky and turn pale.
  4. Drizzle in the oil, whisking at the same time till the mixture is well combined. Repeat the same with the water. Sieve over the flour mixture and whisk until flour mixture is fully incorporated into the batter. Add in the earl grey powder and mix well.
  5. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat on high speed until 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).
  6. Add the beaten egg white into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  7. Pour batter into a 18cm (7 inch) tube pan (do not grease the pan). Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 45 ~ 50mins or until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Let cool completely before unmould. To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pan and the center core. Release the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan to remove the cake.
Recipe source: 好想为你亲手做出美味的甜点! 检见崎聡美著

Note: you may replace Earl Grey tea with other tea of your choice, like matcha or green tea. If the tea leaves are coarse, use a mortar and pestle or a grinder to grind it till fine and powdery.

79 comments:

(^oo^) bad girl (^oo^) said...

So good......

happyfoodhappythots said...

Another great bake from u! It's really a joy to read through your blog every time and I always look forward to seeing new post from u. :) Btw if I am using a 20cm cake pan instead, how much more ingredients do I need? I am always lost when my cake pan size differs from the recipe....

Yuri said...

Hey HHB, this chiffon cake looks perfect, good job. I shall try to use osmanthus flowers instead, simply love the fragrance.

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi HHB, you've got a perfect chiffon cake! I love Earl Grey tea flavor and believed that this cake must be very delicious!

Aimei said...

Hey HHB, this is a PERFECT chiffon cake! It's baked so evenly, and you've unmoulded it so nicely! It's good that you know how to adjust to your oven and perfecting it. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

The height of that cake is just splendid!

Baking Fiend said...

it's a beautiful cake. may i know which brand of earl grey did u use? i'm not much of a tea drinker. :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi happyfoodhappythots, I'm so glad to hear that you like reading my blog posting! I'm always very worried that my writing will bored my readers to death! This recipe is meant for a 7" pan, I would not advise you to adjust the recipe to suit your pan size...it's better to look for one that is meant for a 20cm pan, as chiffon cake can be quite tricky to get it right...at least for me ;p

Hi Yuri, I've never tried osmanthus flowers...tea. I look forward to reading your post about it :)

Hi Grace, your beautiful chiffon cakes have inspired me to try this out!

Aimei, it's a guessing game...trying to adjust my oven temperature :( The unmolding part is quite simple, just make sure u use a 'ultra-thin' bladed knife.

Hi Ida, thanks! For this cake, I used Dilmah teabags. Next time I will try with Twinings.

ganache-ganache said...

Oh, I like Earl Grey so much ! should make a small one for myself, hubby doesn't like it, he says that bergamot reminds him of essential oil, the last time I did a Lavender chiffon, he don't quite fancy it too......

Our Mama Store said...

Hi! We have just opened a baking spree for baking lovers like u! Come on down and have a look at www.ourmamastore.com! Spree ends on 16th Aug 08. See u there! :)

SiHaN said...

That looks like an immense success! I'm so glad that it worked out for you. And did i mention I love Earl Grey as well. This is a must try!!! Gotta get myself a chiffon pan first of course.

redsister said...

A Happy National day to You and all the baking bloggers. What a lovely cake! Your breads are looks interesting.

Jacque said...

I just recently fell in love with Earl Gray tea, so I think I would like this.

Your cake is lovely and looks perfect! Congrats on your success.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Pepper? So cute!! Your cake looks perfect....I bet I would've eaten a few slices.

eliza said...

perfect chiffon cake!

sherlyn said...

So pretty chiffon. Wonderful to be able to control your oven ... you will not have problem with chiffon from now on ;-)

Sally said...

hi HHB

我已经试了你介绍的烘鸡,很不错。谢谢你

Anonymous said...

Hi!
Could i just check what size of eggs do you use for this chiffon cake recipe?
Thanks!

Sophia

ah Teo said...

hello! that chiffon cake looks perfect!! well done. if only i can get a slice of it too!! yum...

Yalia said...

Hi HHB,
I am also one of big fan!! and have been recommending my friends to look up into your blog site.
Could you please tell me how you manage to remove your chiffon cake so beautifully.

Thanks.
Ailay

Glass Slipper Cakery said...

Wow! That looks yummy!! I just found your blog and love it!! Your pictures are divine!! Great job!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Ganache-Ganache, I am also thinking of making a Lavender version ;)

SiHaN, do let me know after you have tried it! happy baking :)

Redsister, Jacque, Jessica, Eliza, thanks for your kind words.

Sherlyn, I am still not able to control the oven temperature...it's pure luck that I get it right this time!

Hi Sally, I saw your roast chicken, it looks delicious!

Hi Sophia, I used medium sized eggs.

Thanks Ah Teo!

Hi Yalia, I use a very thin-bladed knife to remove the chiffon cake. Run it around the side of the pan, try to press the blade against the pan instead on the cake...do the same for the centre core (you may use a long skewer to run around the centre core), the realse the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan.

Thanks Glass Slipper Cakery for your kind words :)

Norma said...

EXCELLENT,
PERFECT CHIFON

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Norma, thanks for visiting :)

KATHERINE said...

Hello there - I am trying to bake an Earl Grey Chiffon ths weekend, but noticed that cream of tartar has been replaced with baking soda. Hence wondering why so?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Katherine, there is no baking soda used in this recipe. Cream of tartar is not used either. I do noticed that most Japanese recipes do not make use of cream of tartar.

Jullie Teo said...

Hi Homebaker,

I'm using microwave oven to bake... but seems like not successful... Could you advise me?

Jullie

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jullie, I baked mine in an electric oven, as such I can't comment on the use of microwave oven. Besides, the oven, it could also be due to other factors. What exactly was the problem with it?

Jullie Teo said...

Hi Homebaker,

Thanks for your reply... Well, the cake was tough on the outside and very dry on the inside... I follow through the recipe accordingly. However the recipe is for baking in Oven not microwave oven. So, I'm not sure should I lower down the temperature or bake longer...

Blessed Homemaker said...

I baked this but overwhipped the whites. Nevertheless, the cake still turn out well. Will definitely try it again.

You may view the pic here.
http://blessedhomemaker.blogspot.com/2009/05/earl-grey-chiffon-cake.html

Kristie said...

Hi HHB,

I love this earl grey flavour for chiffon cake, it must have tasted fantastic!

Btw, I would love to bake an orange chiffon too, but can't seem to find a suitable recipe for my 18cm tube pan (yes, I like it small too, just nice for hubby and i)

Could you advise if I could just replace with 1 tablespoon of orange flavoured paste?

Thanks :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Kristie, you can give it a try with the orange paste. I made a lemon version two days ago...I used 25ml of lemon juice and 50ml of water, added in the zest of 1 lemon, and kept the rest of the ingredients the same. The lemon chiffon tasted great :D

Kristie said...

Thanks HHB for your quick reply!

Lemon chiffon tastes absolutely fabulous!

So basically the rest of the recipe stays the same? Only tweak the ingredient which carries the flavour?

For this earl grey chiffon, did you just tear open the tea sachet and use the leaves inside?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Kristie, I was just playing around with the recipe, and it works fine. For this earl grey version, yes I tear open the sachet and use the leaves inside. The black speckles on the cake are the tea leaves. It taste really good.

Kristie said...

Ok HHB, I am getting all excited already! Can't wait to try this cake :)

Thanks so much for your kind advice!

Blessed Homemaker said...

I made this again and it turned out great! Awesome!

Kristie said...

Hi HHB, how I can address u instead of calling u HHB :)

btw, I made the orange chiffon cake version, it was really nice, I used abt 3/4 orange paste flavouring, and instead of water, I used orange juice. I think it was a bit sweet and the colour was deep orange.

Maybe next time I will reduce to 1/4 orange paste and used the same amount of orange juice.

Cheers :)

Kristie said...

Hi HHB,

I am looking for a green tea chiffon cake recipe for my 18cm pan and noticed that this recipe is originally it?

Do I just substitute the earl grey powder with 1 tblsp of green tea powder and the rest of the recipe remains?

Thanks :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Kristie, the original recipe uses green tea Leaves not powder. As such I am not sure how much green tea powder you can replace. If you are using matcha powder, 1 tablespoon may be too much. You can try with 2 tsp, howeever, since I have not tried it, I am not able to comment on the outcome.

Kristie said...

Hi HHB,

I will give the green tea powder a try.

Thanks a lot :)

XiXi said...

Hi HHB,
May i know if I can replace:
1) cake flour with top flour?
2) vegetable oil with sunflower oil?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi XiXi, yes to both your questions :)

Jellyfish Marine said...

I went to a remote island in Japan for an internship and was asked to come up with some new recipes which make use of the island's local herbal tea. It was very fortunate for me to come across your recipe. The cake turned out surprisingly good despite the fact that I cooked it with rice cooker.

Michi said...

Hello..i've actually tried baking a couple times of the chiffon. sometimes it turn out good but sometimes it tend to collapse like as if the top is too heavy. may i ask what is the reason? is it because the temperature was not controlled well enough? how did you managed to get such perfect looking chiffon cakes? it's so defined and beautiful! and may i also ask why you don't need to grease the pan? Thanks! Love your blog! It's fantastic!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Michi, I am no good at baking chiffon cake. I am not sure what happened...but it could be due to the beating of the egg whites...you have to beat it till stiff peak. The oven temperature also affects the outcome...if the cake is underbaked, it may collapse upon cooling. It is not necessary to grease the chiffon pan, as the batter needs to cling on to the sides of the pan so that it can rise nicely during baking. Hope this helps :)

Michi said...

Hi Happy Homebaker,

Thank you so much for your reply! I will try it another time and hope it turns out good! :-)

May I just ask where can I get the smaller version of the chiffon pan? I could only get the huge ones.

Thanks!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Michi, I got my chiffon cake pan from Phoon Huat.

Michi said...

Thanks happy home baker! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB,
your cake looks amazing! I would like to make this cake with a Lavender topping! do you know a good recipie for one please :)I want it to be a really smooth topping.. thanks in advance.

Annie,


PS I cant wait to try more of your recipes :D

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Annie, I'm sorry, I have never made any chiffon cakes with toppings as I grow up eating plain chiffon cakes ;p Sorry I am of not much help here.

olduvai said...

hi there
I came across your blog when looking for an earl grey cake and this recipe looks great! And what I thought more interesting was that you're from Singapore. I too am Singaporean but live in the Bay Area. I look forward to trying it out and reading more of your blog posts! Happy baking!

Michi said...

Hi Happy Home Baker!

I've tried baking the chiffon again. This time it turned out so yellow. The last time I made was more white like the picture you have. May I ask was it due to the colour of the egg yolks? Should I use less egg yolks and more egg whites?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Michi,I don't think it is the yolks, it could be the tea you are using. Did you use a different type of tea leaves?

sushi said...

hihi HHB, can you recommend the brand of the earl grey tea powder that you use and where to obtain? thanx lots!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi sushi, I use Dilmah teabags which is available at most supermarkets.

sushi said...

Thanx HHB for your fast reply. Very much appreciated. =)

sushi said...

hihi HHB,

If I am not mistaken, the Dilmah teabags contains tea leaves. In the recipe above, you mention tea powder. Did you grind / blend the tea leaves?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi sushi, the Dilmah tea leaves in the teabag is very fine, powder form, so I do not have have to grind it (since I don't even have a blender!). If you like earl grey tea, you will like this recipe as the cake smells of earl grey :)

sushi said...

I always order earl grey when I am at coffee cafe. So yupz, I am quite a fan of earl grey and your photos look very appetizing to try. Keep you posted. Smiles.

Jennifer said...

Hi HHB, i've been following your blog's recipes on this Chiffon cake. Eventually i used green tea powder and substitute 30ml with milk n 45ml water. not sure wat happened, the cake collapsed during the baking time in the oven. Could u pls advice me where did it goes wrong?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jennifer, I am really not sure what went wrong as it could be due to many factors. It could be the oven temperature or the beating/folding of the egg whites. Was there any problem when you follow the original recipe?

sushi said...

Hi HHB,

Thanks for guiding me back to this recipe via the recipe link.

Can I check with you, whether I can use other type of flour such as plain flour or self raising flour instead of cake flour?

If can, please kindly advise the amount. :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sushi, you can use plain flour (same amount), but cake flour will give a better texture as it contains less gluten. As for self raising flour, since it contains baking powder, which is not called for in this recipe, it may not be appropriate to use it. You can visit this site www.joyofbaking.com to look at how to substitute plain flour with cake flour.

sushi said...

Thanks!! I took a glance at the substitution and since I am an amateur, shall follow the ingredients and recipe to the T. :P

bakies said...

I made this cake and it was absolutely delicious!!

My pictures aren't as pretty as yours though.

http://bakies.blogspot.com/2010/04/earl-grey-chiffon-cake.html

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Bakies, I am glad to hear that you like this recipe :) Your chiffon cake looks perfect! btw, I used this same recipe to make a mango passion fruit chiffon a few days ago, it was good :)

Alison said...

I tried this recipe yesterday and it worked! It's my first successful chiffon cake. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hi,

Just wonder how come you don't use cream of tartar to beat with the egg whites and sugar? i'm confused!!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, it is not necessary to use cream of tartar to beat egg whites. Some of the latest chiffon cake recipes I tried even omit the baking powder.

joblessmama said...

Hi,

Oh i see.... Thanks for sharing :) I will try your chiffon making.
I was sad the day before i came across your blog, i took a recipe of making banana chiffon from the website and it turned out to be awful!
My kids were sad too... ( waited yet nothing for them! haha)

One Q, i just wonder can i try using earl grey tea instead of water to increase the aroma? of course not omitting the tea leaves.....

Thks!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, yes you can replace it with earl grey tea, just remember to leave it to cool off before using.

hanushi said...

Hi HHB,

I have baked a tea chiffon cake using your recipe and have linked to you. Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Tried baking this yesterday (1st time baking Chiffon Cake) and it was a success.

Souma said...

I love your blog! I found it because of this recipe, and I just baked it and it's amazing! thank you so much!

P.S. here's a photo of the cake http://soumz.tumblr.com/post/3843493855/guess-who-bakes-when-shes-anxious-guess-who

Happy Homebaker said...

Souma, thanks for trying out this recipe :) Your photo of the cake looks lovely!

Joyce said...

Hi HHB,

I've tried out your recipe and it tastes fabulous!! Only thing was I used a bundt tube pan and had a little difficulty unmoulding. Will buy a proper 'chiffon' pan and try again.

Thanks for sharing!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Joyce, I am sure u will have fun baking chiffon cake with a chiffon pan :):)

Meiqi said...

this is a really great recipe! the cake was springy, soft and light like how you describe it. but i used the wrong tea.. instead of earlgrey i used english tea >.< oh btw, i use the happycallpan to bake it yet it is still successful! will be trying out other flavours like citron :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Meiqi, thanks for trying the recipe and I'm gladto hear that it turn out great :)