Wednesday, 23 May 2012

chiffon salé

No, I am not selling chiffon cakes, nor is there any chiffon cake on sale. The word salé is a French word, which means salted.

My cyberfriend VB sent me this book "戚风咸蛋糕and戚风甜蛋糕" earlier this year, and it was only last week that I managed to find time to try baking my first savoury chiffon cake...a Bacon and Onion Chiffon Cake!

Except for the reduced amount of sugar, addition of salt, the ingredients and method is similar to any other chiffon cake. Instead of using the combination of mustard and bacon, I replaced it with chopped onions, bacon and freshly ground black pepper. Not knowing that the timing to add the ingredients is quite crucial, I made the mistake of adding the onions and bacons last, that is, after I have folded the whites and yolks batter together. This caused the batter to deflate and as a result, my chiffon cake didn't rise as high :_( Next time I were to make this, I will remember to add the onions and bacons mixture into the yolk batter instead.

This chiffon salé gives a whole new dimension to chiffon cake. If you like savoury pastries, I am sure you will love it..imagine the taste of a slice of this savoury cake, with bits of bacon and onion studded in not too sweet, not salty but pillowy soft cake crumbs. On the other hand, if you have got sweet tooth, you may find the taste weird...just like my better half, to him, all cakes have to be sweet not savoury ;)

If you are game enough, why not give this a try? Who knows, it may lead you to discovering a whole new world of baking...

Bacon and Onion Chiffon Cake

(for 17cm tube pan)

3 egg yolks (use large eggs*)
10g caster sugar
3g salt
50ml vegetable oil
50ml water
80g cake flour

4 egg whites (use large eggs*)
20g caster sugar

2 slices streaky bacon
70g onion (about half a yellow onion), finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper

(*I used eggs with a nett weight of 55g, about 20g yolk, 35g white)

  1. Cut bacon into 3~5mm stripes. Pan fry the chopped bacon in a non stick pan till golden. Remove and drain on paper towel. Pan fry chopped onions in the same pan with the oil from the bacon till soft. Mix in the bacon and some freshly ground black pepper. Leave to cool. 
  2. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl. With a manual hand whisk, whisk the yolks a little. Add in sugar and salt, whisk till the batter turns pale and thick (about 5 mins).
  3. Add in vegetable oil gradually, whisk to combine.
  4. Add in water gradually, whisk to combine.
  5. Sieve over the flour and whisk till the flour is fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
  6. Add in bacon and onion mixture, stir with a spatula to just combine. Set aside.
  7. 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.)
  8. Add the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  9. Pour batter into 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 170 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.
Recipe source: adapted from 戚风咸蛋糕and戚风甜蛋糕, 小岛喜和

Thursday, 10 May 2012


这款oreo芝司蛋糕, 是第6个做给我家那台不用插电全自动洗碗机的生日蛋糕。不过说来惭愧,我做给他的蛋糕一年比一年丑。虽然我不是赖小姐,但我总认为那是因为他对我没有任何要求,即使马马虎虎做一个蛋糕来充数,他半句怨言也没有,还夸张地对着未经修饰'全裸'的蛋糕说 "Oh,it's a heart shaped cake!"

待人处事比较圆滑的他,和个性较冲动有话直说的我,好比一个圈圈遇到一个正方形。多年的相处下正方形的四个角被磨得也变得有点圆了。有烘蛋糕的您,要为圆形烤盘铺油纸时是怎么剪圆形油纸的呢?好多年前我从电视学会了Jamie Oliver的方法,就是先剪个正方形,然后对折四次,大略剪一条圆弧,打开就是一个圆形了。


之前都只会做免烤生乳酪蛋糕,第一次烘New York style芝司蛋糕,零经验,don't know what to expect。阴差阳错,也就将错就错,用买了N个月的心型模具。成品真的不怎样,我想还是用圆形烤盘会比较好看。因为是New York style cheesecake,所以不虽要用水浴法来烤,直接放入烤箱就可以了。照着食谱用170度烤40-45分钟,蛋糕出炉, 表面有点‘moh peng’,可能我的烤箱温度有点偏高,放凉后收缩坍塌得蛮厉害,不过我想典型的烤乳酪蛋糕也就是这个模样,所以也不当一回事,没放在心上。蛋糕完全冷却后还不能吃,更不能立刻脱模,必须连模具放进冰箱冷藏至少四小时以上,最好隔夜冷藏,味道会更好。

虽然蛋糕有点丑,不过加上一些点缀还混得过去。乳酪蛋糕部分绵密扎实,酸甜适中,非常好吃,真的有点超出意料自外!没想到第一次烤芝司蛋糕味道会那么好, 吃一片肯定不够,多吃一片也不会感觉腻腻的。家里的一大两小oreo迷,都一一竖起大拇指连连赞好。


好比我的圈圈包容着我这个方方 :)

Pardon my recent absence from this blog. I have been putting in my best effort to fulfill my responsibility as a good parent to help my younger child prepare for his mid-year exams. Sad to say this is something quite inevitable in our meritocratic education system, there is no way to avoid it but to get on with it. Since I don't send him for any any tuition or academic enrichment classes, I have to assume the role of a home tutor. Anyone who has the experience coaching your own kid would know, it is definitely not a pleasant affair. I am so glad that we can now resume our happy mother and child relationship instead of getting into that all too familiar tiger-mother-helpless-lamb situation every now and then during the past few weeks.

The highlight of this post is yet another one of my 'first attempt' for the month, or rather last month. I baked a New York style oreo cheesecake for my husband's birthday. This is the first time I have made a proper baked cheesecake. Preparing the batter was quite straight forward and that left me the false impression that the cake would turn out great. Little did I know that my oven temperature was on the high side, and upon cooling, the cake shrank and collapsed with a slight sunken top. Well, it was not a pleasing sight to behold so I decorated it with whatever I had on hand to make it look more presentable. Fortunately, the taste of the cake was not compromised at all. It had a very nice creamy and smooth texture, yet taste light with a refreshing hint of lemon. You wouldn't be able to stop at just one slice. Once we finished the cake, I started craving for another one. It is no surprise that I made another version a fortnight later, and this time I was careful to bake it at a lower temperature. I left the cake to cool in the oven when it was cooked, the cake didn't shrink or sink as much as my first attempt. Unlike my husband and my boys, I am not really a fan of oreos. So I prefer this plain version as the delicate taste of the creamy cheesecake was not overpowered by the presence of the sweet oreo crumbs. The digestive biscuit base is also a better option to pair with the slightly lemony cheese filling.

My latest baking venture has certainly removed my fear of making a baked cheesecake...I am sure I will be able to move on to making more delicate bakes such as the Japanese style souffle cheesecake...

Baked Oreo Cheesecake
(makes one 7" round cake or 7" heart shape cake)


base crust:
100g oreo cookies (without the cream), finely crushed
45g unsalted butter, melted

250g cream cheese, soften at room temperature
100g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
100g sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
10g corn starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 ~ 4 oreo cookies, break into small chunks


Lightly grease a 7" round baking pan (with removable base). Line base and side of the pan with parchment paper. Combine crushed oreo cookies and melted butter together in a mixing bowl, mix well. With the back of a spoon, press the oreo cookies crumbs firmly onto the base of the prepared pan. (To ensure the crust is even, I used the base of a flat-bottom glass to press down the crumbs.)

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add in sugar and beat till fully incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides if necessary. Continue to add in butter, whisk to combine. Add in sour cream, beat to combine. Add in vanilla bean paste (or use the seeds of 1/3 of a vanilla pod), beat to combine.

Lightly beat the egg and egg yolks in a small bowl. Add in the egg mixture to the cream cheese batter in 3 separate additions, beat to combine after each addition. Add in corn flour and lemon juice, beat to combine.

For a smoother texture, strain the batter over a sieve. Pour the prepared pan with half of the batter, sprinkle oreo cookies chunks over the surface evenly. Pour the remaining batter. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven at 170 degC for about 45~50mins (Note: I find baking at 160 degC yields better result). To test for doneness, gently shake the pan, the filling should have a slight wobble in the centre. Once the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven. Leave the oven door slightly open and leave the cheesecake inside the oven to cool off for about an hour. The cheesecake may crack slightly if left to cool outside the oven.

Remove from oven and leave to cool completely. Do not unmould. Cover with cling wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, best chilled over night.

When ready to unmold, place pan on an inverted glass (or a canned drink or any canned food). Carefully slide the side of the removable pan downwards to release the cake. Transfer cake to a serving plate, decorate as desired.

Recipe source: 起司蛋糕 by 信太康代