Friday, 27 February 2015

Yoghurt Soufflé Cake

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.
Recipe source: adapted from here.


Phong Hong said...

Hi HHB! Gong Xi Fa Cai! That's a lovely cake, don't worry about the cracks. This type of cake drives me mad hah..hah... Mine always turns out a disaster though tastewise it is good. Yours is perfection to me :)

Madeline said...

Hi happy home baker, your yoghurt soufflé cake looks great! At first glance I thought that it's a soufflé cheesecake. The texture is so smooth :) I am going to try it out but worry that it may not turned out fluffy like yours. I have tried making soufflé cheesecakes before but was not successful, the cake sank :(. Hope I have better luck with yr recipe :). Thanks for sharing.

The Experimental Cook said...

Yum! I like the tight, even crumb.

Kimmy said...

Hi HHB, it's a long time I last baked Souffle cakes. Definitely love to have a slice of this lovely cake. So much to do and I don't know when I will settle down to bake this fine cake. But will bookmark this recipe. Gong Xi Fai Cai.

LOuisette said...

Ola, wonderfull cake yougourt, greeting from Belgium

Anonymous said...

Nice job! Interesting recipe, looks yummy. I don't think the cracked top is a flaw at all, totally adds to the charm. Whenever I make a quick bread load, I consider a cracked top a sign of success. Thanks for posting.


Bren + Lucy said...

Loving your pictures and the authentic and unique way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

Anonymous said...

the cake looks great! Just want to ask if it will make a difference if I don't have a deep baking tray so the water will not come up to 1 inch of the cake pan?

Happy Homebaker said...

If the water is not enough, it may dry up before the cake is done as it takes 60mins to cook.

Jeffrey Wong said...

Hi, I am deciding whether to buy Bosch HBN331E2J or Ariston FH62. I saw your post some years back on the Bosch model. Read somewhere that this Bosch model gives cooked external surface for muffin but insides still uncooked. Please share your experience. Thanks.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I don't have problem with uncooked bakes. You may want to check with the person who had problems with the oven. I suspect the oven was not preheated, it takes about 10 to 15mins to preheat the oven and do use an oven thermometer to check that the oven is preheated to the right temperature.

Anonymous said...


I realize it's been a few months since you posted this (wonderful recipe—I've made it a few times already and my family loves it!), but I figured out a way to bake it so that the cake doesn't crack.

First bake the cake at 180°C for 18 minutes, and then bake at 160°C for another 15 minutes. Turn the oven off, and let the cake sit in the oven for another 30 minutes. Afterwards, keep the oven door open for an extra 10 minutes to keep the cake from collapsing, and follow the rest as normal.

It's a bit more of a hassle, but works everytime :)

Thanks again for the recipe, truly a favourite!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, thanks so much for sharing your baking experience! will try your method next time :)

Zoe said...

Hi HHB, Thanks for all your tasty experiments with cakes and always
showing us how to avoid your "pitfalls" and how to make it better :)
I want to try this recipe and want to use up my olive oil and was wondering if it was suitable for this recipe. Pls comment. TIA

Wendy Lim said...

Hi HHB, I want to try this recipe next but was wondering if i can use olive oil instead - will it be suitable? TIA

Happy Homebaker said...

You may use light olive oil, however do note that olive oil has a stronger flavour and it may affect the flavour of the cake.

Happy Homebaker said...

You may use light olive oil, however do note that olive oil has a stronger flavour and it may affect the flavour of the cake.