Saturday, 8 November 2008

Lemon Lavender Chiffon Cake

I am trying my best to use up the pack of dried lavender given to me by my cyberfriend vb, before it expires in a couple of months' time. I tried baking a lavender pound cake two weeks ago, but it didn't turn out well. The pound cake was a little dry...I suspect I have over baked it, so I won't be posting that recipe until I give it another attempt.

Here's another lavender cake I baked a few days ago, this time it's a lemon lavender chiffon cake.

I love taking pictures of a plain, whole chiffon me, it is the most photogenic 'model' I have 'worked with'. It looks good even without any frosting or decoration. Somehow, which ever angle I take, the images mostly turn out great. I like how gorgeous the golden crust looks from my view finder...and the hole in the centre, it creates a lot of 'depth' to it...a plain cake without the hole won't look as interesting.

Now, back to the making of this cake. I used a basic chiffon cake recipe and added in 1 teaspoon of dried lavender and some lemon zest. I didn't use too much lavender as I was concerned that the cake would smell like soap ;) Nevertheless, I would probably use up to two teaspoons the next time, as the scent from the lavender was too subtle, or it could be that I have already acquired the taste of lavender in my food :)

Once again, my oven was not performing well whenever I use it to bake a chiffon cake. Despite turning the knob to 190 degC to pre-heat the oven, it gradually dropped to 170 degC during the first 5~10mins, and then went down to 160 degC, refusing to budge even when i turned the knob up to 200 degC! The recommended temperature is 170 degC and so my cake was baked at 10 deg lower. Although it rose up quite high initially, it started to sink all the way down to the rim of the pan when the baking time was up :(

The cake was very very tender and soft. It was so delicate that I sub-consciously handled it with extra gentleness when slicing it. The texture is not as firm or 'springy' compared with the Earl Grey Chiffon cake I made previously. I much prefer that one, although this lavender version was pretty moist. I hope to try another tea with red beans soon.

I have been tagged by CY over at Eat First, Diet Later. It's the '7 random facts about myself' meme. I am not sure whether you will find them interesting, but here's my list:

1. I have a driving license but I don't drive, or rather I CAN'T drive!
2. I write better in English but speak better Mandarin. Sometimes I will think in English but verbalise my thoughts in Mandarin, at other times I will think in Mandarin and write in English...isn't that confusing?!
3. I baked my first batch of brownies 8 years ago with a box of Pillsbury premix.
4. I have over 80 fridge magnets and my fridge is not that big ;')
5. I love to visit the Ikea store, I never leave the place without buying something.
6. The first time I stepped into an aircraft, I was on a flight to KL, Malaysia. I was fresh out from school and it was my first business trip, just a month into my first job. It was a Singapore Airlines flight...I guess I was rather excited during the entire 1 hr flight and yet I pretended to look cool ;)
7. Besides baking, I like to grow plants, although most of the time I ended up killing them. Currently, I have one young chili plant which I have grown from seeds, one sprig of rosemary grown from cuttings I brought all the way from the states, two lime seedlings, three pots of money plants, one aloe vera and two new pots of african violets.

I'm tagging the following 7 bloggers, I hope they have fun with this meme :D

1. Elinluv at Elinluv's Tibits Corner
2. Grace at Kitchen Corner
3. Jane at Passionate About Baking
4. MH at My Home Kitchen
5. Missy at Food Haven for the Obasans
6. Ovenhaven at Epicurean Escapism
7. Yuri at Yuri's Bake Journal

Here are the rules for tagging:
Link to my blog (tagger) on your blog.
Give seven facts about yourself.
Tag another seven bloggers by leaving a comment on their blogs and letting them know they were tagged and listing them (and their blogs) on your blog.

Lemon Lavender Chiffon Cake

(makes one 18cm cake)

Ingredients A:
3 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
60ml water
50ml vegetable oil
70g cake flour
3g baking powder
zest of 1 lemon (not included in the original recipe)
1 teaspoon of dried lavender (not included in the original recipe)

Ingredients B:
3 egg whites
40g caster sugar

  1. Sieve flour, baking powder 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 very sticky and turn pale. (Test by lifting the whisk, once the batter is able to leave a ribbon-like trail behind, you are done. Another way to gauge: your arm should be very tired by now.)
  4. Drizzle in the water, whisking at the same time till the mixture is well combined. Repeat the same with the oil. Add in the lemon zest, mix well. Sieve over the flour mixture and whisk until flour mixture is fully incorporated into the batter.
  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. Fold in the dried lavender.
  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 35 ~ 40mins 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. Dust with icing sugar if desired.
Recipe adapted from: 超爱精巧小甜点


Anonymous said...


What a gorgeous looking chiffon cake. I have tried and failed for the umpteen times trying to bake mine.

Mine always crack on top and they never ever have a crust when I unmold. Thank god taste wise and texture quite alrite, and we usually finish the cake very quickly cos it's such an easy cake to eat.

I'm not giving up, hope to bake beautiful ones like yours someday.

amna said...

Lovely pics! Haven't tried anything with lavender in it :)

Kitchen Corner said...

You've got a wonderful chiffon cake! You baked it very well. I found that those moisture chiffon cake keep very well in the fridge and it's quite refreshing. Its moisture also suitable to make simple deco with fresh cream as a celebration cake. Anyway, this chiffon looks gorgeous without any deco. I really like your baking! Hey, thanks for tagging me at your blog. I feel happy to have someone sharing their baking with me. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

hey, we have a few things in common. I also have a license but can't/dont drive. i also speak better in Chinese but write better in english. and i love to visit Ikea as well!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

The look of this is gorgeous and the flavors sound amazing!

Small Small Baker said...

HHB, your chiffon cakes always look so beautiful! :)

Anonymous said...

Your Chiffon cake looks wonderful! Great picture. We bake our chiffon cakes in mini forms so that they can be enjoyed as individual treats eliminating the need to be sliced. This is great for kids. They can easily serve themselves this way. Check out our website to see a picture of our chiffon cakes.

CY said...


Great to read about your 7 fun facts! The chiffon cake tin will be one of my must buy purchases on our next trip to Singapore... hopefully can squeeze in a trip to Phoon Huat (if my mum will drive us there!)


Aimei said...

Your chiffon always looks so perfect! And it is because it is so perfect that 's why you can take nice picture of it. :) I love this purple background of yours.

By the way, I have a driving licencse but I can't drive either! Hehe...Though I got a manual driving license, I doubt I can ever drive a manual car now. :P

Yuri said...

Thanks HHB for the tag... looks like I've been procrastinating for too long :)

Your cake looks wonderful as usual, nice touch there with the "background" really lovely.

Family First said...

Your chiffon is sooo soft & fluffy ..I shall not try it now as I am still not confident doing it in my small table top oven. Waiting to shop for a built-in!

Passionate About Baking said...

First of all, thanks for tagging me to your blog. It's such an honour! ;)
Secondly, your bakes are always so pretty and lovely.
Thirdly, thanks for sharing your recipe. You're such a generous person.
Fourthly, may I know where do you get your lavenders? I've been wanting to get, but just don't know where to get them
Lastly, thank you for all things nice & beautiful! :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi ek, I'm sure you are just one small step away from the perfect chiffon cake. My chiffon will usually crack a little, but after sinking like the Titanic, the crack would always close up!

Hi Nags, it was only recently that I started baking with lavender :)

Hi Grace, I have not tried chilling chiffon cakes, I always leave it in room temperature. Will try it the next time!

Octopusmum, looks like we have a no. of things in common :p

thanks SSB, My Sweet & Saucy and Baker Babes :)

Hi CY, it will be a shame if you cannot find time to shop around in PH :(

Hi Aimei, like you I got my driving license based on a manual-gear car...but I doubt I can drive an auto car!

Thanks Yuri!

Hi Family First, I am also using a tabe top oven...the biggest tray it can fit in is not more than 14"!

Jane, my cyberfriend sent me the dried lavenders from Hong Kong. I have not bought any here although I have seen it a Phoon Huat...the outlet at Hougang. You may want to call and check whether they still carries it, you can also check with Sun Lik?

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi HHB, I have tagged you on my blog, cheers!

Anonymous said...

May I know, for steps 3 and 4, can I use the electric beater instead of using hands? I don't think I can last that long.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Julie, yes, you can use an electric mixer to do that :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tag, dearie :) Your chiffon cake looks perfect! As always :)

thecoffeesnob said...

What a gorgeous and tall chiffon cake!

Anonymous said...

hi HHB

oh, and i forgot to mention that i love to collect fridge magnets as well. that is the first thing i look for when i visit souvenir shops overseas. but i didn't count how many i have, don't think i have so many like u...u must have a v big fridge, my fridge is pathetically small so guess have to shift some of my magnets to the cpu soon....

Katherine said...

wow beautiful chiffon indeed! i always under baked mine though.. haha. oh btw, i finally succeeded with the everyday bread!!! even made a pandan loaf out of that recipe! when i post up in my blog i show you k =D

Aimei said...


I just baked a peanut chiffon cake from Kevin Chai's recipe but think I've lost touch with chiffon cakes and failed. :(

By the way, I find that everytime I used his recipe, the egg yolk batter was very thick. I need to add a bit more liquid to make it smoother. Is it bcos of the eggs I used. The eggs I used were usually small to medium. Does it have to be large eggs?

I so so hope to overcome the making of chiffon cakes... your always so successful...any tips mah?? :P

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Aimei,
Sorry to hear about your failed cake. I always keep my fingers cross when baking a chiffon cake! The main problem I faced is the oven temperature :(
I usually follow chiffon cake recipes exactly, and I also use medium-sized eggs. I suspect it could be the beating/folding in of the egg whites. Do you know which step you didn't do right this time?

Aimei said...


Hmmm, This time round, I think I slightly reduced the time in beating of the egg whites. I tried to beat until stiff and glossy, with a curved tip when the beater was raised, but not stiff straight. Do you think this is correct? I really dunno how stiff it should be.

I guess could be the folding, cos I think i tend to have the habit of "fold/beat a little more' just to be save. Hehe... How did you fold the egg white and how fast?

Haa making chiffon cake is my greatest hurdle so far...i'm sure you know... ;)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Aimei, like you, I never know how stiff I should beat the egg whites! I usually stop when the egg whties look silky and when lifted up the peak is curved. I think you should have just fold in the egg whites and avoid beating it further when folding in. I suspect this could be the cause for the undesired result. I have problem with making a chiffon too...I always kept my fingers crossed when baking one ;)

Aimei said...

Haha...Okie...I will take note in the folding of the egg whites properly. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I read your blog. You are funny !!!
Keep on baking, so we can share your baking ideas.
We do have a lot in commons.

It's quite cold now in Canada, and I am glad to find your web site. which is very helpful!!

Blessed Homemaker said...

I made this with a BIG hiccup, forgot to add flour! Was kena distracted when DD1 offered to help mix the yolk mixture and I proceeded to whisk the egg whites. After pouring 1/3 white batter in the yolk, I was still thinking why is the mixture so watery?? It was only when the pan is baking in the oven did I realise that my flour is still sitting on the countertop!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Blessed Homemaker, oh dear what a hiccup! But you are not alone, I once made a batch of muffins and I forgot to add in the eggs ;p Will you try it again?

Florence said...

I tried this out today, wanted to practice my whisking of egg white and egg yolk mixture and folding in, you see!
Anyway, I've taste tested it, and it's yummy! Only problem is that I didn't have a tube pan of the right size. (Mine's the huge one for making the traditional pandan cake ;( ) Anyway I went ahead to use it so it certainly "falls short"... but tastes lovely!
But it isn't quite as delicate as you mention, it's got the softness of the usual pandan cake from outside... I hope it's alright!
Anyway, thanks for sharing! Will put an 18 cm tube pan on my shopping list, and try this out again.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Florence, maybe it is the size of the tube pan, so the cake is not as delicate or tender?

Anonymous said...

Hi! I live in Swiss and I miss Pandan cake so much but the mould is not availbale here so I replaced with silicon Gugelhupf mould. It worked PERFECTLY!
I made a pandan chiffon cake. I would like to post you the image that I took! :)

Baking Scientist said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe! Your chiffon cake looks tall n spongy :) i followed your recipe and made 2 5" cakes today, one in the oven and the other in my rice cooker. Interestingly the texture of both are similar, but the oven baked one took only half the time to finish baking :p

Happy Homebaker said...

I have not tried baking with my rice cooker, will hope over to your blog to take a look ;)

Baking Scientist said...

I just posted the one from your recipe :)