Chanced upon this 酸奶蛋糕 yoghurt cake from a Chinese website when I googled for a recipe to use up the two small tubs of yoghurt before they expire.
As mentioned in several Chinese blog posts, the finished cake resembles a Japanese souffle cheesecake. This is something rather 'unusual' from a usual 'yoghurt cake'...which tends to be more dense and butter cake-like.
The cake batter is prepared using the separate eggs method, very much like a chiffon cake and is baked in a water bath just like a Japanese cottony soft cheesecake.
Whipping up the cake was a breeze as the recipe calls for only a few pantry staples plus I am so familiar with making chiffon cakes. Yet, there was a major or minor (depending on how one views it) hiccup after I sent the cake into the oven.
I have set the oven temperature to 170 degC and for the first 30 minutes all went well and the cake rose and domed nicely just over the rim of the pan. However, very soon after that, the cake kept rising and expanding until the top erupted like a volcano! I immediately turned down the temperature to 150 degC but the damage was already done. I left the cake to continue baking and before the baking time was up, it looked more like a tall and gorgeous prosperous huat cake (^_^"). From my previous experience with baking souffle cheesecakes, I should have baked it at 150~160 degC instead.
Thank goodness, once I retrieved the cake from the oven, the exploded top started to close up. Upon cooling, the top sank and I was left with a souffle cheesecake-like cake with a crackly crust, lol. It is definitely a flawed cake but I have learned not to be too obsessed with baking the perfect cake. In the past I would have deemed this as a major let down but I am now able to take things easy and minor hiccups like this wouldn't bother me as much.
The texture of the cake is just like a souffle cheesecake although the tight and compact crumbs makes it look more like a Chinese traditional kueh.
I wouldn't use the adjective delicious to describe this cake. It tastes light and tender very much like a healthier version of a souffle cheesecake without the cream cheese flavour. The next time I were to bake this, I would probably jazz it up with some lemon or orange zest. The yoghurt lends the cake a very slight tangy flavour making it a refreshing dessert especially after it is left to chilled for a few hours in the fridge. This recipe will be a keeper, there is no doubt that I will grab it whenever I need to use up my yoghurt :)
Yoghurt Soufflé Cake 舒芙蕾酸奶蛋糕
(makes one 7" cake)
200g plain yoghurt (I used marigold's plain low fat yoghurt)
48g vegetable oil (I used canola/sunflower seed oil)
4 egg yolks (I used eggs with net weight of 55g)
40g cake flour
24g corn flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites (I used eggs with net weight of 55g)
70g caster sugar (original recipe calls for 80g)
- Preheat oven to 160 degC.
- Line the base and sides of a 7" round cake pan(fixed base) with parchment paper, set aside. (Note: it is not necessary to grease or line the sides of the pan).
- Sieve together cake flour and corn flour, set aside.
- Place vegetable oil in a mixing bowl. Add yoghurt and whisk with a balloon whisk to combine.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, whisk to combine.
- Sieve over the flour mixture, whisk to combine. Small lumps may form once the flour is added, whisk the batter gently till there are no lumps.
- Add vanilla extract, whisk to combine.
- In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Add half of the sugar and turn to medium-high speed and beat the mixture. Continue to add in the remaining sugar mixture in separate additions 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. Turn to low speed and beat for another 1 to 2 mins (this helps to stabilise the air bubbles).
- Add the beaten egg whites to the yolk mixture in 3 separate additions, each time fold with a rubber spatula (I prefer to use a balloon whisk) until just blended.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
- Place cake pan in a deep baking tray. Fill the baking tray with hot water (the water should rise up to about 1 inch of the cake pan).
- Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake at 160 degC for 60 mins. (Note: every oven works differently, lower the temperature by another 10 degC if the cake rise and expands too quickly or if the top starts to crack).
- Remove cake pan from oven and immediately drop the pan at a height of 20~30cm onto the table top. This helps to prevent the cake from shrinking upon cooling. Unmould the cake immediately. To unmold, place a large plate or baking sheet on top of the cake pan, invert the cake pan onto the plate/baking sheet. Remove the cake pan and the parchment paper on the base and sides of the cake (Note: do use oven mitten as the cake pan will be very hot). Next, place a cooling rack on the base of the cake, invert the cake right side up onto the cooling rack and leave to cool completely. Leave the cake to chill in the fridge for about 2 to 3 hours, best overnight, before serving.