If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you might have come across one very excited tweet in which I exclaimed that I had FINALLY baked a beautifully TALL and moist chiffon cake! *pumps fist in air* SUCCESS SUCCESS SUCCESS! Success, my friends, was truly sweet, both literally and figuratively. After repeated attempts at baking chiffon cakes and having the end result either sink on me or just be much too dense in texture, I was quite ready to throw in the towel 😦 But “Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat”, or “Fortune Favours the Brave” and so I persevered, sniffing out the best recipe and researching on techniques.
Before I started going all bake-crazy, I thought those baking fanatics a little kooky, especially when I read that some of them had had sleepless nights just thinking about their unsuccessful cakes/cookies/muffins etc… But y’know what? I became – or have become – one of those kooks. And man, am I proud of it 😛 It was on one of those arvos when I just COULD NOT STOP obsessing about that last sunken almost-inedible orange chiffon cake that I decided to run with the latest recipe I’d found and put into practice some new-found techniques. I am SO HAPPY that I made that decision – and that the cake turned out wonderfully, of course – because my ego is now a little less bruised and I don’t feel like such a complete failure.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to be hawking my baked goods any time soon but it would be nice to see someone other than my boyfriend eating and enjoying my cakes etc.. In any case, I still have a loonng way to go and lots more to learn! 😀
Anyhow, I digress. In the course of my “research”, I chanced upon the following video by Pastry Friends and it was a lifesaver!
It really is VERY IMPORTANT to cream the eggs and sugar until they become light and fluffy. I didn’t cream until the mixture was all pale in colour but I definitely spent a little more time on the eggs and sugar than on all the other attempts.
Also, instead of using the same number of egg yolks as egg whites, I used only 5 yolks and 6 whites. Once again, it worked for me this time around, so methinks I’ll be sticking to this method/recipe.. Why fix something if it’s not broken right? 😛 The recipe and instructions have come from several different sources (namely Poh, The Cookbook Chronicles and Little Corner of Mine) and the result, like I said, is what worked for me, so here goes!
1 3/4 cup all-purpose / plain flour (sifted)
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable / canola oil
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar / white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
1. Brew the coffee and allow it to cool.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup castor sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vegetable oil, brewed coffee, flour, baking powder, vanilla essence and salt and whisk until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, begin whisking the egg whites with an electric beater (or stand-mixer), until stiff peaks.
4. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until combined. Repeat process until egg whites are completely incorporated into egg yolk mixture. BE GENTLE and take care not to over-mix.
5. Pour batter into a baba cake tin / an ungreased angel food cake pan and bake for 45 minutes at 160 degrees celsius. Turn up the temperature up to 180 degrees celsius and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Invert the cake until cool. (I balanced my inverted cake tin on top of a mug so as to prevent the cake from being too close to the counter-top which could keep “cooking” the cake.)
7. When cooled after an hour or so, slowly remove from the cake tin. Cut with a serated knife and ENJOY!