Friday, 12 August 2011

for the love of baking

I guess you are already used to my long silence.

If you are still reading and keep coming back to check on this humble blog, I thank you :D

I have no excuse for my tardiness. Except for having volunteered to look after a sick toddler who was down with hand foot and mouth disease for a week, the last 21 days flew past without me knowing that I didn't bake a single thing. I thought I have lost interest in baking, or rather, lost any interest in food per se. I have not been blog hopping and am terribly guilty of not even leaving any words of encouragements and support on those rare occasions when I visit my regular food bloggers. My apologies.

Why, I asked myself? Could it be my allergic rhinitis (aka sinus problem) which keeps haunting me since the beginning of the year? I keep sneezing the first thing in the morning...even when I was brushing my teeth! I am ultra sensitive to dust, even flipping a book from the library will send me sneezing away. My nasal will get all blocked whenever I turn on the air-conditioner in the room. Many weeks have past with me waking up in the middle of the night fumbling for tissue papers. I believe my bad habit of stuffing tissue into my nostrils have made them bigger than ten cent coins! My condition only improved if I take medication...ie anti-histamine and nasal spray. Once I stop, the problem will come back...*sigh*. My elder child went through the same thing since he was a baby. It took him many years before his health improved. He grew up taking medicine more than candies and ice cream. I wonder how long I'll have to battle with this illness?


Lately, instead of reading cookbooks and playing around with flour and eggs, I found myself reading novels, watching Korean dramas and movies, online. I feel shy to admit, but I think besides allergic rhinitis I am suffering from love sickness (*^^*) as my better half has been away for the longest time. I know I should spend my time on more worthy stuff yet it soothes me whenever I immerse myself in the storyline, especially love stories in Korean drama, haha! 

Well, I guess these are the reasons that kept me away from my oven. The one good thing for not indulging in any baking frenzy is that, I have actually lost some weight. I managed to shed a few pounds without having to do any exercises. So, imagine, how much damage had done to my body in the past when I was baking almost every other day?!

Yet, I couldn't help but to bake something this week. My baking passion is not all gone :)


I have lined up a list of chiffon recipes to try, and I picked this Cranberry Yoghurt Chiffon cake since I have all the necessary ingredients on hand. This is nothing new as many bloggers have already tried it. I was interested in this recipe as it calls for yoghurt, something new to me, when it comes to baking a chiffon cake. I was curious whether yoghurt will work its wonder by making a chiffon cake very moist and tender as good as when it is used in other cakes.


I made it a point to read the fine prints in the cookbook, and did the right thing to chop the dried cranberries into smaller pieces and diligently coated them with some flour, to prevent them from sinking into the bottom of the cake. Well, although most of the cranberries were well distributed in the cake, quite a number still sank to the bottom. So, I ended up with a polka-dot cake ;)


I don't really know whether yoghurt has contributed to the soft and tender texture of this cake. It is just like any other chiffon cake I have made. However, I find the taste really interesting. The sweetness of the crumb is just right, but when the tangy dried cranberries hit your palate, it will sure wake up all your nerves ;) Great choice to have it for breakfast! This recipe is something worth trying, that is, if you have not done it before.

I have already lined up my next to-dos...orange chiffon, orange pound cake, black sesame chiffon, lemon pound cake and even a sakura chiffon cake. I guess I will put the extra pounds back once I am back to my baking mood!  





Cranberry Yoghurt Chiffon Cake

Ingredients:
(for 17cm tube pan)

3 egg yolks (use large eggs)
25g caster sugar
40ml vegetable oil
80g plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
80g cake flour

4 egg whites (use large eggs)
55g caster sugar

60g dried cranberries
some cake flour for dusting


Method:
  1. Sieve flour and set aside. 
  2. Chop dried cranberries into smaller pieces. Coat with flour and sieve to remove excess flour. Set aside.
  3. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl. With a manual hand whisk, whisk the yolks a little. Add in sugar and whisk to combine.
  4. Add in vegetable oil gradually, whisk to combine. 
  5. Add in yoghurt and lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Sieve over the flour and whisk till the flour is fully incorporated. Do not over mix. Set aside.
  6. 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.)
  7. Add the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  8. Add in the prepared dried cranberries. Fold in until just blended Do not over mix.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

49 comments:

  1. Glad that you are still blogging and baking, was wondering why you have been MIA for a while :) As a FT Mom like u, I know with 2 kids, hubby away and housework can be overwhelming, so it is OK to be away for a while, I am sure your avid readers like me will understand. Cheers and have a great weekend !

    Orange Juice

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am still reading your blog to let u know that you are not forgotten. Hehe. Kdramas are addictive and oh I love their love stories. *shy* I am always dreaming away with the storyline. Hehe. Great chiffon, I love this author's chiffon, one of my fav.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful chiffon cake. Yeah too much cakes is not doing the body much good but I also cannot resist baking! May be I should be more diligent in working out! haha

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to see a new post from u. You are an excellent baker and I often bookmark your recipes. Thanks for sharing yet another fantastic recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Will be looking forward to your new bakes!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ooooohh that looks yummy...
    a small bit, not related to the cake...,

    i too had this same problem untill a native medicine practitioner advised me to take 1 teaspoon of "dry ginger powder and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper powder" mixed in "more than warm" water with honey as the first food in the morning and leave atleast 15 mts before the next meal. This worked wonders for me in about 15 days. No sneezing and no side effects..:-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always wanted to try this recipe for the longest time, but whenever I hv the yogurt, I will use it to bake something else @_@

    ReplyDelete
  8. Another wonderful chiffon cake! Glad to see your post again.
    I had sinus problem too in e past. Like you, popping anti-histamine and feeling weak all e time. After being a SAHM, somehow my condition has improved. Hope you can get rid of this horrible sinus soon.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My girl's allergies used to send me shivers , which never fails to develop to asthmatic coughs that racks her for weeks. At its worst, the vessels in her eyes rupture, leaving no whites, due to forceful coughing. Her prolonged use of steroid left my little girl with trembling fingers ( good for her violin vibratto but bad for her piano playing ! ) until she was off the drugs completely.

    Now, she is clear for a good 5 years, partly due to a change of environment and 6 years of a daily dose of B-complex, a deficiency common is asthmatic patients. Like most teens, she does not eat/sleep/exercise as much as I want her to, but otherwise, her allergy does not plague her anymore.

    Maybe you would like to douse yourself with B-complex for a while and see if there is any improvement ?

    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have the Same ebook and baked this particular chiffon cake before. It is great isn't it?? This chiffon recipe book seems o be the most popular among the bloggers, i am like yiu having a long list twaiting to try them out. My black sesame paste been sitting in my pentry for mkre than two months, i think it is time i should try out the black sesame chiffon...

    Sinus is something running in my family, luckily I am not the serious sufferer among all. Dust is is definitely the worse thing that would stir up a big time
    allergy for me. I would even have swollen eyes and itching endlessly.
    Hope you will get well soon and see more of our bakes!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi HHB,
    OMG - when i was living in singapore 9 yrs ago,I experienced exactly "every one" of the sympthoms u described about ur sinus problem! Sleepless nites cos always waking up in the middle of the nites, sneezing non-stop and fumbling for tissues.Even my son,was also under medication. Luckily for us - AFTER my family migrated to Australia, both my son n my allergies miraculously disappeared within 6 mths by itself! ( I think the air quality in sg is poor becos its located near Indonesia, who practise forest burning.) However, every yr when we go back to Sg for hols for a couple of weeks - the sneezing bit n slight blocked nose do crop up now n then but thankfully the other more severe chronic sympthoms have not resurfaced! Strangely, only my son n i are afflicted with this allergic rhinitis , my dh n dd are not affected at all.

    HHB, mebbe u could place Honeywell air purifiers with HEPA filters in ur bedrooms, it may help you cos it did help reduce our allergies abit.I belive u can purchase Honeywell from Best Denki.
    Hope this helps.

    Susanna, Perth

    ReplyDelete
  12. hope you're keeping well. Tell me about it on gaining weight..how can we not eat after we have baked..you have a nice weekend, ya!

    ReplyDelete
  13. ohh good idea to coat the cranberries with flour! i think i omitted doing that when i made the exact cake then...and mine turned out pretty ugly because the cranberries are all at the bottom!

    ReplyDelete
  14. 这戚风很漂亮.我会尝试做.谢谢你的食谱分享.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good that u are back! the cake looks really soft. don't think u have problems making chiffon at all!
    octopusmum

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi,
    May i know what is the weight of the egg that you used? about how gram/piece with shell?

    Tks,
    JJ

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi JJ, I use large eggs, about 61-63g with shell or 55g without shell.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Orange Juice, thanks so much for your understanding :):)

    hanushi, I love this chiffon book too…one of my best investment ;)

    Hi Yummy Koh, baking is addictive! shouldn't have picked up this hobby, yet I have no regrets ;D

    shaz, I hope the recipes I have posted here works fine for you :)

    Aimei, likely I will cut down on baking, but will probably blog about my lousy cooking!

    happy-bowl, thanks for your tip!

    neyeeloh, remember to try this the next time!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Fong, I do hope I can get rid of my health problem asap!

    Edith, hope I can keep up with the momentum ;)

    The Experimental Cook, my elder son was asthmatic when he was younger, luckily he out-grew the problem, but he still has a bit of sinus problem as he is allergic to dust mites. I can understand what you must have gone thru. Thanks for the info on B-complex, didn't realise it will help.

    Honey boy, I like most of the recipes in this book, if I have chance, I will really like to try every single one of them ;) I bought my black sesame paste for at least 3 months, haha!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Susanna, thanks for sharing your experience. I do believe the air quality here is not as good. When my elder child was suffering from allergic rhinitis, I did consider getting an air purifier, but later decided against it as I worry he will get too use to it and won't be able to adapt when there is a change in environment, eg when there is haze or going for holidays, etc. Thanks for the info, will check out the HEPA filters, may have to get it if my condition has no signs of improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  21. It is great to read some of the information and feedback, here. I hope to read more ideas in the future!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi HHB,

    Please don't stop baking and blogging! Love ur chiffon cakes...ur cakes always rise so beautifully and u always managed to demould it so nicely. :)

    Just wondering where u buy ur chiffon cake pans from? I bought one which I mistook as chiffon cake pan (actually a savarin mould) from Phoon Huat in Jurong E. I really need a good chiffon cake pan but I couldnt really find one in Belgium. Seems that I have to wait til I return to SG to buy one...

    Also, which baking books do u refer to for ur bakes, if u dun mind sharing; :)

    cheers
    Bee

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Bee, I got my chiffon pan from Phoon Huat too. However, I dont think this is available anymore, except the usual one which comes wih 'legs'. You may google and try buy it online, or get someone at home to send it over to you?

    I borrowed most of the baking books from the library, I only have a few cookbooks. I usually follow Japanese translated to Chinese cookbooks. You can refer to the recipe source which I will include after each recipe that I have posted. Happy Baking!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi,
    Does cake flour contains baking powder?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, there is no baking powder in cake flour.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello HHB, Your recipes look amazing and delicious. Do have any clue how I can convert the recipes to non-metric measurements? thank you.... Patrizia

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Patrizia, you may try this site for ingredients conversion:
    http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions/cooking-conversions-calculator.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello HHB, thanks for the recipe. I tried it just now. I don seem to get the egg white beaten to soft peak. What went wrong? Pls advise

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi, the mixing bowl and whisk that you are using have to be very clean and dry, free of oil. Also, there shouldn't be any bits of yolks in the egg whites, if not it will be difficult to beat the whites. Btw, did you use an electric whisk, if you use a manual whisk, than it will take a longer time to beat the egg whites.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy Home Baking, all my attempts in baking chiffons have resulted in a sunken mess. I just can't figure what I've done wrong; I did follow the recipe meticulously... Can you please help?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi, if you have beaten the whites to the right stage, and didnt deflate the batter while folding the whites to yolks (the finished batter should be thick and airy not thin and runny), then could it be due to your oven? Did you use an oven thermometer? Did you preheat it to the right temperature? It could also be due to under baking. Did the cake rise over the rim upon baking? It only sank upon cooling?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi hhb, I just modified this recipe to bake a strawberry purée chiffon cake. The texture is great but I just can't get the fragrant taste like having a pandan cake. Is it because there is no coconut milk in the recipe? Previously I also tried to bake a banana chiffon cake based on another of your recipe and also have the same prob

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi, for pandan cake, there is pandan and coconut milk, both make the cake very fragrant, I am afraid you will not be able to get the similar fragrant from other chiffon cake. Maybe you can try add vanilla extract to enhance the fragrance?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hello, Could you convert the recipes into cup , please? For example, 80g yogurt = ?cup^-^ I found it very difficult to measure the ingredients because I do not have a scale. I tried to make the cake once but my cake did not rise and feel a little over moist. ( wet) please help if you don't mind. Thanks much!!! Happy baking !! :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi hhb, I really like your yogurt chiffon cake but measuring the ingredients in grams is kind of difficult since I don't have a scale. :( Is there any chance would you convert those ingredient into cup please. ^-^For example, 80g = ? cup. thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi, I followed this site (http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions/cooking-conversions-calculator.aspx) for the conversion. However, do note that it may not be that accurate, best is to use a weighing scale.

    25g caster sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
    40ml vegetable oil (2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons)
    80g plain yoghurt (about 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)
    80g cake flour (about 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup)
    55g caster sugar (about 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)
    60g dried cranberries (about 1/2 cup)

    If the cake is a little moist, you may have under baked it, or it could be due to the oven temperature. maybe you have deflated the whites during folding that was why the cake didn't rise? the finished batter should be thick and has got 'volume', not thin and runny. hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi hbbThanks !!! I really appreciate that. :) although I have just known about chiffon cake recently but I really love the fluffing soft but easy to eat. And although my cake did not turn out so perfect, but still my boy friend and I still liked it and the way it tastes. Yeah... I also noticed folding the egg white battle into the egg York battle was also a challenge because if I just gently fold the battle , the dough won't be so smooth. Do I just gently fold the egg white in to the egg yoke? Does it need to be very smooth and runny after folding the 2 battle . If not please show mw what is the right way to gold the 2 bate. Thankssss!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi, I am no good at making chiffon cakes too...I tend to deflate the batter when folding the whites to the yolk batter. What I have done recently is, when I first mix in 1/3 of the whites to the yolk batter, I use a ballon whisk to do the folding...it is easier to do it when the white batter is so much lighter than the yolk batter (which is thicker)...then for the next 1/3, I change to a spatula to do the folding...same thing with the last 1/3, ie using a spatula. I have also changed into a bigger spatula (much much bigger than normal size spatula), it also makes the folding easier.

    The finished batter should be thick...when u pour it into the pan, it will flow like 'lava' and leave a ribbon like trail...if the trail disappear immediately, or the batter appears to be thin and runny, then you must have deflated it. You can google for video demo on how to do the folding the right way. Hope this helps and happy baking!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks!!! I have not tried to make chiffon again since the last times but thanks alot for your help! :) happy baking!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi, I enjoyed seeing your blog. Thanks for your effort for updating yr baking experience on this blog I tested out a few times on your chiffon cake recipe. The texture was nice but every time my cake don't have the brown crust on the side and bottom of the cake. I wonder if it was my oven temperature problem or other issue. Can you help me??

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi, I am not sure why, but likely it is due to the oven temperature...but it could also be the pan? Mine usually turn nicely brown after 30mins of baking at 170 or 180degC depending on the instructions of the recipes I follow. So I suspect it could also be the pan? I am using those without 'legs'...are you using the same pan?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi HHB, do you know how i shd adjust e recipe if my chiffon pan is 21 cm? Like the one u provided for the banana chiffon? Thank you ��

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi mj, the ingredient amount for 20cm pan (not 21 cm) is as follows,

    5 egg yolks (use large eggs)
    40g caster sugar
    65ml vegetable oil
    130g plain yoghurt
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    130g cake flour

    7 egg whites (use large eggs)
    90g caster sugar

    95g dried cranberries
    some cake flour for dusting

    Hope this helps and happy baking :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi hhb, tk u for the info, i appreciate that :-)
    I will try this out soon, i love anythg with cranberry!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi HHB!

    I only have 254mm chiffon pan, are you able to advise how I should adjust the recipe to suit the pan size?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi, I really do not know how to adjust the recipe...maybe you can try make double portion? but I think for best result it is better to follow recipes that suits your pan size.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi, I dun have the lemon juice at home, can i skip that? If skip, what will happened?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Shirley, I think it is ok to omit it.

    ReplyDelete