Monday, 25 April 2011

cake for a cake friend

I made this matcha chiffon cake for a reader who has now become my real life friend.


She is the first reader whom I have picked up the courage to meet, face to face.

In the past, I only knew her as someone who dropped me a comment once in a while, from her profile name, I could only picture her as a mother with 8 limbs ;) From some of her comments, I also gathered that she has three boys and is holding a full time job. That was all I know about her...until the beginning of this year, she dropped me a note to inform me that her second child happens to be my younger boy's partner. Their desks are side by side, and they queue up together. What a surprise!

It turns out that my elder son was actually the same age as her eldest boy. Through reading my blog, she discovered that they were in the same school, and although they were not in the same class, both boys were friends. She kept mum about it as she feels paiseh or shy to approach me. I would probably do the same if I were her (^^')

Until end of last year, it was by chance she found out that her second child was my younger boy's classmate (I have to thank my boy for it!). In fact, all this while, the four boys know each other. It's a small world, isn't it?


Even though there were some prior exchange of emails, I almost 'shrank' when I thought it was her when I wanted to pass her boy a banana sponge cake I made for her. I wasn't 'ready' to meet anyone...at least not someone who reads my blog. There is this 'thing' about me...that is, I prefer to hide behind an anonymous name. I will be very concerned if my true identity were disclosed. First of all, I do not want to give people the impression that as a stay-at-home-mum, I am so free and have so much time that I could bake and even keep a blog. I don't even tell most of my friends about the existence of this blog....since there is really nothing to be proud of. Furthermore, I think I am doing my readers good...I don't want anyone to faint if they ever meet me in person, haha! I know, I am strange!

It was only last week that I felt I am actually 'ready' to meet her in person. Actually, the feeling just came naturally...or rather, I didn't feel intimidated at the thought of having to meet someone who has been reading my blog. I attribute it to the fact that we seems to share many similarities and most important of all, both of us like baking!



I sorted of hinted by asking whether she has tried baking anything with matcha powder, and she wrote to say she was planning to make me something with matcha! So with the assurance that she likes anything with matcha, I set off to test out a matcha pound cake the night before. I wasn't sure what went wrong...but the cake took an extra 15mins to be cooked, or at least for the top to turn golden brown. Trust me, the loaf of pound cake looked really lovely, but the moment I sank in a knife to cut a slice, it hit me that I have over baked the cake! I felt as though I was cutting into a block of dried sponge foam...you know, those dark green foam that is used for fresh floral arrangement? The cake felt 'sandy' and dry :'(

I didn't want to take the risk to bake the same thing the following morning. I turn to plan B instead...a matcha chiffon cake, recipe from a cookbook which I have just bought. I was taking another risk since it has been a long time since I last baked a chiffon cake. Even though the cake looked good upon unmolding, I wasn't sure about the texture. In the end, my lack of confidence drove me out of the house to get more eggs. I could only feel easy about it after I baked an exact replica.


Although the colour was not pleasant...the texture of the cake was good, or at least, it was a 'pass'. It was soft, springy and moist, something I will not feel too shy to give away, even to a fellow cake friend. This time, I even remembered to do a 'spring test'.



video
(Notice the force I exerted on the poor cake? This must be at least the 3rd take and it could still spring back. 
A chiffon cake is not as fragile as I thought!)

It was a pleasant meeting with my cake friend. We didn't choose to meet at some nice cafe or restaurant...but out of convenience we had desserts at a neighourbood hawker centre. If not for the time, and the fear that the boys would eventually turn the hawker centre into a playground, we would have talked and talked and talked! She baked me a batch of delicious matcha mochi cakes but I didn't have chance to take photos as they were all gone during breakfast :)




Matcha Chiffon Cake

Ingredients:
(for 7" tube pan)

3 egg yolks
25g caster sugar
60ml water
50ml vegetable oil
80g cake flour
10g matcha powder

4 egg whites
55g caster sugar


Method:
  1. Sieve cake flour and matcha powder, set aside.
  2. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl. With a manual hand whisk, whisk the yolks a little. Add in sugar and whisk to combine. Add in vegetable oil gradually, stir to combine. Add water gradually, stir to combine. Sieve over the flour mixture and whisk till the flour is fully incorporated. Do not over mix. Set aside.
  3. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld electric mixer on low speed until mixture becomes frothy and foamy.  Add half of the sugar amount and turn to high speed and beat the mixture. Continue to add in the remaining sugar and beat until the egg whites reaches the soft peak stage.The soft peak stage is reached when the peaks of the whites curl over and droop slightly. The egg whites should appear smooth and glossy. (Do not over beat the whites still stiff, it is better to beat the whites still soft peaks for easy folding with the yolk batter.)
  4. Add the beaten egg white into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  5. Pour batter into a 17cm 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.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degC for 30 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, when lightly pressed the cake will spring back. Invert the pan immediately and 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: adapted from 好吃戚风蛋糕轻松上手, 福田淳子

56 comments:

  1. This chiffon cake is very nicely baked, soft and yummy. ;p

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  2. Hi HHB,

    Your chiffon cakes' presentations always look so perfect. I always encounter repeated problems in releasing chiffon cake from the tube pan. Usually the tops are so ugly and not perfect round. Any tips for this? Do you think putting a round shaped parchment paper for the bottom of the tube pan will help creating a nice round look for chiffon cake?

    Thank you.

    Christine

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  3. It's so nice to have a friend that shares common interests with you. I am sure you two can be great pals just like both your kids do.

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  4. wow...it looks super duper moist then...!! slurrppp

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  5. 缘分就是如此奇妙,长大了,朋友越来越少,网络上的友情真的很可贵:)

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  6. HHB, for me, I always enjoy meeting like minded people. Since the day I started to become a stay home mom, my circle of friends had shrink considerably. Thanks to the world of cyber, I managed to fill up the void once again and had never looked back since.

    You will find fun having a cake friend. Cheers

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  7. HHB, check this out http://preciousmoments66.blogspot.com/2011/04/easter-party.html

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  8. I totally understand what you mean by "hiding the blog from friends" , I was so pai seh when my hubby tells people my wife has a food blog, but in the end I felt I needed to spend less time on my cooking blog and gave it up, but am glad yours is still around as it's truly a source of inspiration. :)

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  9. Thanks Happy Flour :):)

    Hi Christine, I have wrote a post about unmolding chiffon cake, see here: (http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2010/10/purple-sweet-potatoes-chiffon.html)
    I use a thin-bladed knife, and I will leave the cake to cool off completely before unmolding. Sorry, I am really not sure whether lining the base with parchment paper will help.

    Ellena, yes yes, it is a wonderful thing to be able to share the same hobby with a friend :)

    Thanks Hani!

    鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝, 我原本朋友也沒有几個(^^'), 有時我真的認為自己有點自閉!

    Edith, it is good that you have made many friends through blogging. It will take me a while to get to know people, I am a little anti-social, and an introvert.

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  10. CY, glad to know that there is someone who share the same exact sentiments. I hope you will be able to get back to blogging eventually :)

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  11. Same sentiments exactly. My social circle shrank after I became a SAHM. I have become inept making friends and need lots of courage to initiate a new relationship.

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  12. So cute! your chiffon is like a sponge, slowly springs back to its original size again!;)

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  13. Hi HHB,
    I love chiffon cakes, especially with matcha and Earl Grey tea. I have a question: do you use a convection when baking this cake?

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  14. Wow... beautiful chiffon.. so nice to be your friend !

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  15. perhaps this is called fate.. by the way, the cake looks good :)

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  16. The video you posted is cool! Shows how bouncy your chiffon is even though you're like almost poking a hole through it!

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  17. HHB, I just found out that whenever I bake chiffon cakes using recipe from 好吃戚风蛋糕轻松上手, always ended up with big failure... I suspect is my egg size too small (using grade A, may be not big enough) :(

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  18. Very Nice Creation you got!

    Papacheong
    http://home-cook-dishes-for-family.blogspot.com/

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  19. Happy for you. :) Good friends with common interest and frequency are hard to come by. Hope you ladies have a long lasting and fun friendship that last a lifetime. ;)

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  20. It's always a pleasure to have friends who share the same interest as you and best of all kids of same age.

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  21. Who's that lucky cake friend who can try your cake instead of drooling at the pics? :)

    我说过我也好想鼓起勇气和网友见面。等我这个也有点内向和自闭的人做好心理准备时,就会试试看。;)

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  22. The Experimental Cook, thanks for sharing, I thought it was just me who is having this problem. It's good that we are able to get to know more people via blogging...even though I have not met any of the bloggers, somehow I (at least on my side) feel that I know them very well, and they are just like a friend.

    A to Z - food and travel, I didn't use the convection function. I used the top and bottom heat without the fan. I will try it with the fan the next time I bake a chiffon cake.

    neyeeloh, for this cake I used eggs I bought from fairprice...the package says 55g. I think it is not considered big. I could only get bigger eggs from the wet markets.

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  23. Papacheong, thanks for visiting!

    Thanks Bee Bee!

    Fiona, I certainly agree with you :)

    SSB, when you are ready just let me know ;)

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  24. The world is indeed small. Probably fated to know this mummy. There's 1st and there will be 2nd and more. I know i have the honour to know u too. Cos i m v interested in baking but not v gd wi it. I am the banana cake lady. Haha

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  25. I like this chiffon book recipe!!! And yours looks marvellous...

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  26. It is such a small world indeed!

    And what do you mean your blog is nothing to be proud of? You take such mouthwatering photos of your delicious bakes- you have so much to be proud of it, HHB!

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  27. HI HHB
    no doubt one's social circle will widen if she works but how many of such "friendships" can last? sure hope this new found friendship of yours is an everlasting one:)
    octopusmum

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  28. Hi HHB
    I must applaud U for all the professional looking cakes and all. If I need inspiration for baking, I will always come to ur site. :)

    Have been wanting to bake a chiffon cake but just wondering does it have to be a tube pan? Will a normal cake pan work? I have tried to bake normal sponge cakes but i think i always have the problem over-folding the mix so the cake doesn't rise as much and not to the softness which I expected. Do you have any tips in folding so that the flour can be completely "dissolved"?

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  29. The cake looks so yammy! I love green tea chiffon cake and can't wait to try your recipe! I love your 'spring test' too! :)
    Cheers!

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  30. Wonderful story and wonderful cake. It is a small world after all. Lucky friend!

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  31. thecoffeesnob, it is definitely nothing compared to the achievements of my working friends ;)

    momo, for best result, it is better to bake a chiffon cake in a tube pan. The cake will rise much higher than a normal round pan. The texture will be lighter too. For making sponge cake, the first thing is to make sure you beat the eggs and sugar till the batter becomes thick and triple in volume. Sieve the flour at least 3 times and when ready to use, sieve in the flour in 3 separate additions. Use a rubber spatula (more flexible) to fold in the flour. For me, I find it easier to fold in flour for a sponge cake than folding egg whites for a chiffon cake.

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  32. Hi,

    Your Chiffon cake looks so professional & prefect!
    Today, I tried an orange chiffon cake with my oven. I used 180C, 50mins, placed the wire rack at 2nd level (from bottom), 21cm tube pan. The cake turn out no brown crust at the side and bottom but the top part is ok. Do you know where has gone wrong?

    Tks,
    CF

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  33. Hi,

    Forgot to mentioned, I covered the top of the cake with aluminuim foil after 40mins of baking as the top turned too brown.

    Tks,
    CF

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  34. HHB, when you're ready to meet more cyber friends, pls don't forget me. Although I've stopped blogging for now, I'm still into baking. :)

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  35. The chiffon cake looks absolutely delicious. Love the height of this cake as well.

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  36. Hi CF, I am not sure what went wrong, but I place the pan at the lowest rack position, but I flip the wire rack around so that it is slightly higher (hope you know what I mean?). I believe your 21cm pan is bigger, so you can try bake at the lowest level. Just position your pan so that it is in the middle of the oven.

    FYI, this cookbook that I am following, recommends baking 20cm cake at 180degC for 40mins only. Another cookbook that I have tried, recommends baking 20cm cake at 160 degC for 50 mins.

    I bake this matcha chiffon using top & bottom heat (without fan), and have also made a chiffon cake using the 3D hot air function (but at 170degC instead of 180deg), both were the same.

    Could yours be due to the unmolding? For my pan, upon umolding, only a thin layer of crust is stuck to the pan. You can take a look at my photos here (http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2010/10/purple-sweet-potatoes-chiffon.html).
    Hope you find this useful.

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  37. KWF, I saw your blog announcement :( I will like to meet with you too. It is hard to find someone who likes baking and gardening too!

    Thanks Jo!

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  38. H HHB,
    Again thanks for your responds.

    I will try to bake at the lowest level next time. If not I will try your method like flip the wire rack (I guess you are referring to the curved bars facing upwards instead of downwards right?)

    There is very little crust is stuck to the pan after unmoulding so guess I can conclude that is my oven's temperature and the positions of rack not right.
    Thanks.
    CF

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  39. Hi HHB
    your cake looks very tasty.
    thank you very much

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  40. sob sob...

    i just tried this... 10mins into inverted cooling the cake, my cake fell off the pan!... it broke into 3 parts, tore off the base and the sides... wail...

    any thoughts why? i am so upset, just shaft the whole pan back into the oven.

    thought the cake felt a bit greasy to the touch... hmmm... why huh?

    tx in advance.

    jo

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  41. hi jo, is this the first time it happens? what about your previous attempts?
    or did you grease a pan or use a non-stick one? the other possible reason is, it could be underbaked, or your oven temperature is not right? did you bake it until golden brown?

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  42. hi hi

    I used the usual normal flute pan... not non-stick... and I didn't grease the pan...

    I believe you are right...

    1. It was underbaked -- in recollection, I thought the cake was rather wet when I tried to salvage it...
    2. I didn't do the touch-lightpress-test before inverting the cake... and when I tried to salvage it, it had little dents with my fingers...

    So I shafted it back to the oven... and baked for another 10mins 190deg... now it's standing inverted, and it's sticking well... I'm just waiting for it to 'rise' while cooling down. Keeping fingers crossed. (Yes, it is now a 3-piece chiffon cake! hahaha...)

    I am so going to try this AGAIN! Keep you posted! Tx!!

    jo

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  43. Lovely photos of the cake, seems like a simple yet delicious recipe i'd love to try.

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  44. Hello its my first time here hope you will help me in the trouble in baking chiffon cake. It turned out to look like butter cake instead of chiffon cake cause it did not rise like the usual chiffon cake. Whats the reason for that?

    Thank you.

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  45. Hi, there are many factors or possible causes, maybe you can provide more info on how you went about making the cake, the type of pan u used, how u beat the whites and how you fold in the whites to the yolks.

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  46. Hello Happy Homebaker...
    May I link your blog to my blog (www.theriecake.blogspot.com)
    Thank U
    Rie

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  47. Hi Ririe, it's my pleasure to have you link me up, thanks!

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  48. Hihi Happy Home Baking, I am so pleased that I' ve recently found your blog which is very cool ! Ever since, I have tried out a few of your chiffon cake recipes. The taste was good but just that I didn't manage to have the cake risen to the same height/volume of yours. Yours are perfect as always. As a baking dummy, I followed step by step of the recipes and yet not too sure what I've done wrong. Any idea of what could have gone wrong? Or any tips that you would suggest. Thanks heaps :)

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  49. Hi FuFu, I think maybe you have deflated the egg whites when folding the whites to the yolk batter? Did the finalised batter appear thick and flow like lava when u pour it into the pan? If the batter is thin and runny, then very likely you have deflated the batter. If this is not the reason, then maybe it could be due to your oven temperature, do u use an oven thermometer to check that your oven is well preheated?

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  50. Thanks heaps HHB for your prompt reply and much appreciated. I think you may be right about deflating the egg whites as the batter did appear to be a bit runny ><". I definitely need to work harder on how to fold the egg whites ! I don't have a oven thermometer, but I did preheat the oven and relied on the oven indicator which showed 170 deg and put the tube pan at the lower shelf of the oven. Btw, is it going to make any difference of what type of oil that I put? I used rice bran oil instead of salad/vege oil, is this still ok? Sorry for asking too much though but do appreciate your advices on this. Thanks heaps.

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  51. Hi FuFu, I am not sure about the oil...the only thing know is, some types of oil may alter the flavour of the finished cake because of the flavour in the oil.

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  52. Thanks HHB for sharing this recipe. I tried baking this today. The eggs I used were quite small so I "boldly" reduced the oil to 35g, as I didn't like cake that is too oily :p Thankfully the cake turned out fine. It's hard to find a recipe for my 16cm tube pan purchased from PH :p

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that everything went well :)
      You can follow recipes for 17cm or 18cm pan. Bake any extra batter using paper muffin cups :)

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    2. Thanks for replying :) I filled 2 muffin cups. How much should the tube pan be filled? That's what I am unsure about, so I filled the tube pan to 80% full only as I was worried that it may collapsed eventually if it's too full :p

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    3. You can fill the pan to almost 90% full. no worries that it will collapse if the batter (beating of egg whites, folding the whites to the yolk batter) is done correctly. The finished batter should be thick and airy, when poured into the pan, it should flow like lava and form thick ribbon-like trails/layers. It shouldnt be thin and runny. no worries of overflow even if the pan is filled up to 90% as the batter (thick and airy) will somehow be able to hold up as the cake expands and rises during baking. Practice a few times and I am sure you will the hang of it :)

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