Chocolate Sponge Cake

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, please meet my seized chocolate cake:
http://kitchentigress.blogspot.sg/2013/10/chocolate-sponge-cake-video-recipe.html
Seized?

Don't worry, I haven't seized anything from anyone. It's cocoa powder that's doing the seizing, not me.

My very soft and fluffy chocolate cake is made with cocoa powder that's mixed with hot oil. The scalding helps bring out the chocolate flavour. Of course, I use high quality cocoa powder or there wouldn't be any flavour to bring out.

When the oil and cocoa combo is not too hot and not too cold, I add a little bit of milk. This is when the seizing happens, i.e. the small cocoa particles absorb the milk, become sticky, and stick to one another to form bigger particles, resulting in a thick paste. The thickness of the cocoa paste is crucial to the success of chocolate sponge cake.

If the cocoa powder isn't seized at all, it'd be suspended in a runny liquid, which will sink to the bottom of the pan during baking. The cake will be pale and bland except for the bottommost 2 mm or so. If that thin layer is stuck to the pan or parchment paper after unmoulding, then the cake doesn't taste of chocolate at all.

If the cocoa powder is "over-seized", it becomes too coarse and will look like ground black pepper in the cake. The colour of the crumb, light brown with specks of black, won't look right. There will be some chocolate flavour but it'll be weak.

When the thickness of the cocoa paste is just right, the chocolate flavour is strong and spread evenly in the cake. And the cake's colour is a nice medium-brown, not pale.

How do you control how much the cocoa powder seizes? By watching the temperature. The hotter the oil and cocoa powder mixture is when milk is added, the stronger the seizing. The right moment for adding the milk is when the bowl holding the mixture doesn't feel hot but is still quite warm.

Of the various types of cake I bake, chocolate sponge rises the most, more than even chiffon cakes. The batter more than doubles in height in the oven. After shrinking a bit whilst cooling down, the cake is twice as tall as before baking. The more the batter rises, the fluffier the cake, right?

To make the batter rise as much as possible, the bottom of the pan should have more heat than the top. Separate controls for the oven's top and bottom heating elements would be very handy. If your oven isn't so fancy, as mine isn't, just bake the cake on the bottom instead of middle shelf.

After baking comes eating. When the chocolate sponge is unadorned and still warm, the fluffiness really shows through. If you are a chocolate fiend, you could cover or sandwich the cake with ganache. Whipped cream or buttercream, whether plain or chocolate-flavoured, is quite nice too. Do you like black forest cake? A sexed up chocolate cake would be ideal for a celebration.

Compared to my vanilla sponge and pandan sponge recipes, chocolate sponge is easier. The batter is more stable because it has less egg white, so it doesn't deflate easily. With this recipe, I think even a novice baker can bake a chocolate cake that's soft, fluffy, moist and chocolatey . . . if he/she follows the instructions. That's not too difficult . . . is it?



12 December 2013 Update
Here's a video to explain why glucose helps make cakes fluffy:
 


CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE
Source: adapted from FoodHouse8
(Makes one 20 x 12 x 5 cm cake)

25 g corn oil
10 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
10 g milk, cold
⅛ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract

10 g glucose
105 g whole eggs
15 g egg yolk
80 g castor sugar
50 g cake flour
⅛ tsp baking soda

butter, softened, for greasing

Measure ingredients as detailed above. Grease 20 x 12 x 5 cm cake pan with butter. Line pan with parchment paper. Generously grease paper. Preheat oven to 170°C.

Heat oil till very hot, almost smoking. Add 25 g to cocoa powder. Mix thoroughly. (There should be a chocolate aroma. If there isn't, either your oil isn't hot enough or you've got crap cocoa powder, or both.) Let mixture cool down slightly, till bowl doesn't feel hot but is still quite warm. Add milk. Stir thoroughly. (You should now have a smooth or slightly grainy paste that coats sides of bowl thickly.) Add vanilla extract and salt. Stir again. Set aside to cool down completely.

Whisk glucose, eggs and yolk till starting to thicken. Gradually add castor sugar whilst still whisking. Continue to whisk till mixture is thick and pale, reducing speed towards the end to remove big air bubbles.

Add cocoa paste in 2 batches. Whisk till you don't see any streaks of cocoa after each addition. Thoroughly scrape bottom of bowl with spatula and fold till evenly mixed.

Sift cake flour and baking soda into bowl in 2 batches. Mix with whisk after each addition, stirring just top part of egg mixture. Scrape down and fold with spatula till just evenly mixed, banging mixing bowl against worktop 2-3 times.

Pour batter into cake pan. Tap pan against worktop 2-3 times.

Bake in bottom of oven till batter doesn't move when gently jiggled, about 20 minutes, rotating pan as necessary so that cake rises evenly. Transfer to middle of oven. Continue baking till skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, 5 minutes or so.

Remove cake to wire rack. Wait a few moments. When top of cake starts to wrinkle, unmould. Peel paper from sides of cake. Leave cake on wire rack to cool down. Cut with serrated knife. Remove paper from bottom of cake. Dig in.

56 comments:

Vivian said...

hi, like your chocolate sponge cake so much ! will try it on the weekend.
can I use another cake pan ? it is 8 inchi cake pan (20cm)?
Thanks !

kt said...

Double all ingredients for a 20 cm round pan.

Mae said...

Can I use golden syrup instead of glucose ?
That's what I have in hand :)

min said...

Hi, wat I replace glucose with if I don't have it now? Thanks.

li ying said...

may i know where can get the glucose ?

kt said...

Shops that sell baking supplies.

li ying said...

thanks ya ...

Betty Lisna said...

Thank's.

Ting said...

hi, like your video so much. Can I know what brand of blender you are using? It looks light and easy to use...Thanks so much!


Yvonne said...

Hi can I use sugar instead of glucose?

xinghui said...

wa... you cake is so nice and beautiful and sure very fluffy.

florence said...

hi, can I substitute corn oil with sunflower oil ?

Veronica said...

A 10 out of 10 chocolate sponge! Very very soft and made me want to eat.

kt said...

Liquid glucose and ovalette are two completely different things. How can they have the same effect.

rach said...

where did you go KT? would you be so kind as to share a curry puff recipe?

Millie said...

Another fabulous recipe KT. These are incredible! Thank you!
Is there any chance you could so a few roll cakes or Japanese strawberry shortcake?
Also I was wondering if for the pandan chiffon cakes coconut oil can be used instead of vegetable oil? Since coconut oil solidifies unlike vegetable oil I was wondering if it would cause a problem.

Millie said...

I'm not KT, but glucose provides moisture and it doesn't taste as sweet as simply adding more sugar would.

You make coconut oil by heating coconut cream or milk until it separates and leaves you with oil and some solids. Then just strain. It makes delicious, fragrant coconut oil. You need to use coconut milk that doesn't have anything to keep it from separating added.

jimmy appudurai Chua said...

this is the best method kudos to you.. successful everytime...I like mine black,,so I drizzle one table spoon of "Thiam see yu" over it..have been experimenting with a few with King prawns and crap meat..wonderful..in fact you can add anything you like to make it more special..but getting the cake right in the first place, is the most important step.....jimmy

Davinah said...

I think sunflower oil
is quite alright.
as long it is a vegetable oil.

Ena said...

Hi, i try to bake this pandan sponge cupcakes this afternoon, i replace coconut oil with vegetable oil . The bottom part of the cakes are not well done.. Its not cooked and its like 'kuih' .. Can advice what is the problem? Tq :)

Erna said...

Hi KT, I just wanna thank you for your superb recipe. I followed your recipe and it turned out super good. I live in Florence and it's impossible to find pandan leaf (not even extract) and fresh coconut cream. So I did mine with coconut cream powder and I left out the pandan. It still turned out super good. Thank you so much!

florence said...

thanks, you are right. the sponge texture was very good

Lolly said...

Hi, I love PCC and would love to be able to bake one soon. Since I don't have the cake mould, I would try this first.
Can you let me know if I can replace the glucose with icing or castor sugar instead. Thanks!

gleefuldream said...

Can i blend pandan leaves with cocunut milk instead of water to get the greenish result?

Rachel Minyi Lei said...

Thanks for great recipes. Can't believe it... First time baked with perfect cheese cake.

gleefuldream said...

Hi kt
I tried ur recipes n follow closely to ur recipe but sadly end up it turn lumpy n watery. I suspect I had overcooked kaya as I extent e cooking a few more mins n keep stirring e mixture to just make sure it well cooked even e mixture already thicken. Thereafter I got runny texture with lumps, totally not like ur smooth texture.

Shan said...

Excellent recipe! I used a 8in x 8in square pan instead as that was the closest size I got. Turned out perfect nonetheless! Thanks KT

sharon said...

hi i did ur butter cake it was just wonderful,so i want to go with u even for the chocolate cake,only thing is i dont know where to get corn oil i have canola,veg,sunflower,olive oil,normal cocoa pow,where to get glucose, & can u tell me how to substitute the cake flour as i dont get here in australia.plz i have todd & asks always for this.thanks

kt said...

Your writing is an insult to the English language, as well as everybody who has the misfortune of reading it. I have banned you from posting comments on my blog.

Yogi Marsahala said...

thats nice cupcake

Jen Tan said...

Can I chk how many eggs is t 100gm eggs, also any replacement for glucose? Am baking the chiffon tomorrow. Thank you very much

kt said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_pZR9mlcoI

AT said...

KT, you are a genius. A brillant food scientist & baker. Will be headed to Phoon Huat to get my glucose.
Good health to you & best wishes to you for 2014!

kt said...

Thanks, AT. A very happy 2014 to you too.

Jaslyn said...

Hey KT, you can spray some veg spray on your spoon(or other utensils) before you scoop out honey or glucose.

Subhalaxmi Behera said...

This looks so moist and delicious! Yummy!
http://cakerecipes.com/

Alex said...

Hi KT,
I'm awed by the beautiful texture and height! What an innovative idea to bring out the cocoa flavour! Thanks for explaining the science behind it!

rachmawaty luthfie said...

thank you the recipe, I've tried and I like ( http://rachmakitchencreation.blogspot.com )

Florence said...

Hi! i just made it today,it turns out better than the other recipe which i had to stir 2hour++ .Love it! simply amazing

Fion See said...

If I wish to double the ingredients, what size of pan I must use in inches? Please advise. Thank you so much

Fion See said...

Hi Shan, maybe you can help me. What size of pan I can use if I wish to double the ingredients amount? Since you are so good in changing from round pan to square.

Shan said...

Hi Fion! Thanks haha but I'm really no expert in pan size conversions. I like to experiment and learn from making a mess! =) However I think that the 8 x 8 inch square pan I used may possibly hold double the cake batter volume as there was still some space before the cake pan was half-filled. You'll get a thicker and nicer looking cake. That said, I've not tried it before! Do let me know how it works out for you if you do try it or find a better way.

KT said...

Hi Jaslyn, the unused honey or glucose would be contaminated with oil. Better to use a heated, dry spoon?

vsi said...

Yep. That's what I did. Then strain the mixture. What you get is a greenish milk mixture.

vsi said...

I have tried both with coconut milk and coconut cream. The former might take a little longer time to thicken. Make sure you control the fire. Medium fire may mean different setting on different equipment. My trick is to move the pot away from the burner, and back on to the burner every 45s or so. Keep stirring. This will prevent the lumps.

Riverwall said...

Oh my.. it looks like you did a thorough research & tried many times to come up with such a detailed recipe with do's & dont's.. No nonsense recipe.. Thank you so much! I need to try this recipe (especially the homemade kway) as breakfast for my family when back to my hometown on Chinese New Year.. Wish me luck!

loopy perth said...

Hi KT, I like reading your blog, humorous at times. As what Sam has commented, let the readers be the judge and I must say your comments and critics are right on target with perfect precisions. I tried TLT recipe and the cooked kway can use it as hum thum bolla, seriously, all my wasted time, effort n money. :( can't eat as often as you like bcos it's expensive in perth. Last weekend, I tried cooking your version of ctk (without the lard) for the family and it was all praises. In the evening my daughter came back with more raddish carrots. :) Alas, I have found my favorite and reliable food blog, no more food wastage. Thanks to you, KT. Heap heap hurray!!!

wen said...

Hi KT i have followed your instruction step by step. But my steam radish is still too moist. should I add more rice flour? or is it because there is any special variety of radish type to be used? otherwise is it because of the long steaming time i.e. 1 hour. thanks

KT said...

You can leave out the radish and just use 480 ml hot water. This should be added to the rice flour slurry in place of radish liquid. If your kueh has the right consistency when you fry it, your radish is guilty. Otherwise, it is innocent.

Bear in mind the thickness of the batter, after it's cooked on the stove, is crucial to the success of the CTK. If the batter is too thin, the kueh will be mushy.

hokl said...

Hi KT, i want to cook a bigger batch of your CTK do i just increase each ingredient by proportion? because the radish seems to be a lot in bigger proportion. advice please! Thanks!

KT said...

Hi hokl, double everything except the 480 g hot water. Use 860 g instead of 960 g. Simmer 500 g grated radish and the water till their combined weight is reduced by 100 g, to 1,260 g. Good luck.

MissC said...

Thank you so much for this recipe, it's so lovely. I'm blogged about it and linked it back to your website. Thanks again.

HF said...

Hi, I tried making the chai tow kway twice following exactly your mentioned ingredients and carefully measuring each one. I also am sure during the stirring of the batter, it is the expected outcome. But both times I have failed during the steaming. I think perhaps you might have indicated your ingredients quantity wrongly which you want to review and revise for anyone who might stump upon your recipe next.

KT said...

What was wrong with your steamed cake?

Cw said...

Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe, now I can make kaya whenever I felt like. Fantastic!!!!

june said...

I'm so glad I found your 10mins recipe! Tested and it worked and tasted great! I used gula melaka sugar. Is that the Palm sugar mentioned? Subsequently I googled and found the hours of stirring recipes. Nope. Not gonna try those!

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