A while ago, a dear friend of mine made one of the loveliest, fluffiest cakes I’ve had in a while. It was a matcha chiffon cake, dressed with lightly whipped cream and strawberries, and it was divine. So soft, and so delicately flavoured, and it’s one of my favouritestest flavours on the planet! Green Tea.
I decided there and then that matcha chiffon cake HAD to be a part of my life. So on an off-day, I set out baking this cake with the help of my trusty Charlie the kitchenaid. And, no surprises, I think I’m going to make it again. And again. And again. To complement the lovely matcha, I used Marriages Miller’s Organic Plain White Flour, which is so finely milled. Good flour does make a difference in baked goods, and I think it definitely played a part in the final texture of this delicate chiffon cake.
I’m still trying to get that perfectly even fine texture for my chiffons (some large bubbles still exist in mine), but for those attempting a chiffon cake for the first time, here are some little tips to help your cake stay tall and airy!
1) Use a tube pan. It’s extremely imperative that you use a tube pan because using a normal round cake tin would mean that the centre of the cake would collapse. Chiffon batter is so airy that it can’t hold much weight upon itself. It’s also to your advantage if your tube pan has a loose base/springform.
2) NEVER grease the pan. An ungreased pan means the cake can ‘cling’ on better to the sides of the pan, helping it achieve height. Try not to use a non-stick pan as well; you want the cake to stick to the pan.
3) Always cool your cake upside down. When the cake is straight out of the oven, it tends to deflate a little. This is normal, but to prevent it from deflating too much, cool it upside down to prevent it sagging towards the call of gravity while it’s still hot. I kind-of did not realise this in my first few attempts, and ended up with delicious, misshapened flatcakes.
There’re many ways of doing this! some tube pans come with little legs to stand on, or you can prop your tin up using ramekins/mugs/wine bottles/other multitasking kitchen equipment.
Recipe from Just One Cookbook
Makes one 17-cm cake. I used a 20 cm pan, therefore my cake is shorter. Also, my camera died halfway so the step-by-step photos aren’t complete ):
- 3 large egg yolks
- 85 g (3 oz, or 1/2 cup and take away 1 Tbsp.) sugar
- 3 Tbsp (40 ml) vegetable oil
- 4 Tbsp (60 ml) water
- 75g cake flour OR 65g plain flour + 10g cornflour
- 1 heaping Tbsp. (about 10 g, or 0.4 oz) matcha
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 large egg whites
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C 2. Whisk egg yolks and 1/3 of the sugar till light. Then add oil and water and whisk to combine. 2. Sift cake flour (or plain+corn flour), matcha and baking powder together. Add sifted ingredients to egg yolk mixture in 3 batches. Whisk to combine completely. 3. Whisk egg whites till foamy, add 1/3 of sugar and whisk till soft peak. Add the last 1/3 of sugar and whisk till stiff peaks form. 4. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the flour mixture to slacken it. Then add the rest of the egg whites in 2 batches, folding gently to prevent deflating. There should be no streaks of egg white in the final batter.
5. Pour the batter into an ungreased 17cm tube pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release the air bubbles.
6. Bake for 30 minutes (mine took about 40 minutes) until a skewer inserted comes clean.
I’ve always loved chiffon cakes, my favourite flavours being Pandan (a really fragrant leaf), orange, and most recently, matcha. They’re just so airy and soft that I can eat too much in a go. Enjoy with a cup of tea or steamed milk (makes it taste just like a matcha latte- Glorious!).