As usual, when I popped by the baking supply store two weeks ago, I walked over the baking pans section to look-see look-see. I was so happy when I spotted the 7" chiffon pans on the rack, and best of all, there are no legs on them! Oh, how I love the nice matte finishing on the surface!
The first thing I got home was to compare the new pan with the old one. Even though the label says 17cm pan size on the new pan, it is slightly bigger than my old one. The new pan is 18cm actually, and it is also at least 1 cm taller than the old one. I also noticed how 'straight' the sides are, which make the pan appear deeper.
With the knowledge that the new pan is slightly bigger, I was a bit hesitant to try out the recipes from my trusted chiffon cake book. My old pan works fine with recipes that call for either 3 whole eggs or those that use 3 yolks and 4 whites. I was skeptical that there will be enough batter to fill up the pan, and so, typical me, I procrastinated...
To minimise wastage and disappointment, I decided on a recipe that uses the least expensive ingredients...a tea chiffon cake. I have been wanting to try make a chiffon cake with Lipton's forest fruit tea...my current favourite tea. You will be amazed by the wonderful aroma from a cup of pipping hot fruity tea...something you won't expect from this sort of 'everyday' kind of tea bags. I could smell the tea a couple of metres away...you need not put your nose over the cup to smell it. I am sure those who have tried this tea will know what I am talking about.
The texture was light, fluffy and moist! This time, with the good lighting condition, I managed to get quite a clear picture of the crumb, I hope you can tell how soft and tender it is from the picture. By the way, I am still using my very old, museums-will-like, point and shoot camera...my faithful and very much abused Canon Powershot G3 (there is G12 in the market now). It comes with a humble 4 mega pixels and the battery cannot be recharged anymore, so I got to use the ac adapter whenever I take photos of my food. I am not able to take decent photos when there is no natural light, and since I made this cake in the evening, I wasn't able to take a picture of the whole cake :( I do hope my camera can still be alive and kicking for another few years to come. Wish me luck!
Fruit Tea Chiffon Cake
(for 7" tube pan)
3 egg yolks (use large eggs*)
20g caster sugar
40ml vegetable oil
60ml infused tea (infused one tea bag with about 90ml hot water, leave to cool, use only 60ml)
1 1/2 tablespoon tea leaves (from about 3 satchels)
80g cake flour
4 egg whites (use large eggs*)
50g caster sugar
(*I used eggs with a nett weight of 55g, about 20g yolk, 35g white)
- Infuse tea bag (use any flavour of your choice) with hot water, leave to cool completely, use only 60ml.
- Sieve flour and set aside.
- 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, whisk to combine.
- Add in infused tea gradually, whisk to combine. Add in tea leaves, whisk to combine. Sieve over the flour and whisk till the flour is fully incorporated. Do not over mix. Set aside.
- 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.)
- Add the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
- Pour batter into a 7" tube pan (do not grease the pan). Smooth the top with a spatula if necessary. Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter. (Note: the finished batter should be thick and airy, and should be able to fill up the pan to about 90% full or not less than 2cm below the rim)
- 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 or a off-set spatula around the inside of the pan and the center core. Release the cake and run the knife/off-set spatula along the base of the pan to remove the cake.