Orange Chiffon Cake (香橙戚风蛋糕)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Knock knock!

Who's there?

Chiffon cake!

Chiffon cake who?

She's fond of cakes, especially light, fluffy cakes.

I have a recipe for another  light and fluffy cake, a chiffon this time. I hope you like orange?

To make a very orangey orange cake, you need lots of finely grated zest from the topmost, most oily part of the peel. Make sure you use a sharp grater or you'll have more of the precious orange oil on your grater than in your cake.

Before you start grating, please get rid of the nasty stuff that's sprayed on oranges. I wash mine in boiling water, then give them a good scrub and a thorough rinse under the tap.

Besides orange zest, you also need some orange juice.

If you use fresh OJ you squeeze out of oranges, you  won't taste it when the cake is freshly baked. It needs to rest  overnight or at least eight hours for the flavour to develop.

If you use "fresh" OJ you pour out of a carton or bottle,  the orange flavour is artificial even if the juice is "100% pure and  natural" and "not from concentrate". This is what I use for baking. The man-made flavour is heat-stable, so it tastes the same before and after it's baked. And it tastes like fresh OJ, which is why a lot of people don't know their store-bought fresh OJ isn't fresh at all. You're not one of these suckers, are you? 

My orange chiffon cake recipe is adapted from the pandan chiffon cake recipe I use. Because OCC is made with orange juice whereas PCC uses coconut milk, I've made four changes to the original recipe:

• The cream of tartar, an acid used to stabilize the whisked egg whites, is reduced  from ½ tsp to ⅓ tsp. Because orange juice is more acidic than coconut  milk, the batter would be too sour if I use the same amount of cream of tartar as in the original recipe. The cake doesn't rise well when it's too sour because the more acidic it is,  the quicker it sets.

• The baking powder is reduced from 1 tsp to ¾ tsp. This is necessary because the orange flavour is mild compared to coconut milk. It doesn't hide the baking powder's bitter taste as well, hence the lesser amount.

• To make PCC, corn oil is mixed evenly with egg yolks that have been whisked till thick and pale. For OCC, the corn oil is whisked with the thickened yolks till the mixture is thick once again, like mayonnaise. This helps prevent the OCC from drying out quickly in the oven. Why doesn't PCC need the same procedure? Because it has coconut milk which doesn't evaporate as easily as OJ when heated.

• OJ replaces only the non-fat part of coconut milk. To make up for the lack of coconut fat, there's more corn oil in OCC than PCC.

I like orange chiffon cake because it uses orange peel which I would have thrown away otherwise. And also because it uses corn oil which is cheaper than butter. And because it tastes of orange, which is nice. And because I like cakes that are soft and fluffy. Actually, I like dense cakes too. And also cupcakes, cheesecakes, ice-cream cakes, mooncakes, pancakes, crab cakes, fish cakes, two-way cakes . . . . Hey, there's cake on my face!

No, I'm not fat (yet), in case you're wondering.

(Recipe for one 21 cm cake)

60 g egg yolks
50 g castor sugar
80 g corn oil
65 g orange juice
100 g cake flour
¾ tsp baking powder
sift with cake flour
¼ tsp salt
15 g finely grated orange zest

180 g egg whites
⅓ tsp cream of tartar
50 g castor sugar

1. Measure and prep ingredients as detailed above. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Whisk egg yolks and 50 g castor sugar till thick and pale. Add corn oil. Whisk till thick again, like mayonnaise. Add orange juice. Whisk till evenly mixed. Re-sift sifted cake flour and baking powder into bowl. Add salt and orange zest. Mix till just even. Set aside. Thoroughly wash whisk. 

3. Whisk egg whites till very frothy. Add cream of tartar. Keep whisking till egg whites are thick. Gradually add 50 g castor sugar whilst continuing to whisk. Keep whisking till egg whites reach firm peak stage. Add to yolk mixture in 3 batches. Mix with whisk till almost even after each  addition. Scrape down thoroughly with spatula. Fold till just evenly mixed. Bang bowl against  worktop 2-3 times to remove big air bubbles in batter.

4. Pour batter into 21 cm  loose-bottomed chiffon pan that's not non-stick, slowly so that  big air bubbles burst as they flow out of bowl. Level batter with  spatula. Run chopstick around sides of pan and knock pan 2-3 times against worktop to get rid of more big air bubbles.

5. Place cake in bottom of oven. Reduce temperature to 180°C. Bake till cake is level with pan and slightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Place baking tray in top of oven to block heat from top of oven. Continue baking till cake is brown and slightly springy when pressed, another 20-25 minutes, rotating as necessary so that cake browns evenly.
6. Remove cake from oven. Invert and rest cake elevated from worktop. Leave till cool.

7. Unmould by cutting cake out of pan.

8. Slice and serve.


Janine @ Un Pastiche said...

Love the useful substitution tips! and the knock-knock joke is quite amusing :)

KSY said...

can i use the fresh OJ squeeze from the fresh orange and boil , will the taste be same as " fresh OJ" from the bottle ?

MrsO said...

KT, you are such a perfectionist, are you a virgo? anyway, I like your sense of humour and jokes both.

MrsO said...

Can I use baking powder, instead of double action one (because most of my recipes only asked for baking powder, not double action)

kt said...

"will the taste be same as " fresh OJ" from the bottle ?"

kt said...

If you've been using your BP for some time and you're happy with it, it doesn't matter whether it's single- or double-acting unless it's for something that sits around for a bit before it's cooked/baked.

MrsO said...

Thank you very much for the reply and also the OCC recipe, one more request, the indonesian layered cake recipe (I know, this is very very fat cake) Honestly, when recipes reach your hands, you can turn it into something very wonderful and marvelous, thus, I have faith in you, KT.

Christine Jong said...

Hi can I not using the chiffon mould cos I dun have one . Just normal 8" round cake tin can succeed?

MJ said...

Hi, I have a 10" (25.5cm) baking pan, how much % should I scale it up pls? Thks.

kt said...

100. Cheers.

kt said...

That depends on your definition of succeed.

Mary said...

Hi. I made chiffon cake today and the top puffed up really high and there were cracks. What did i do wrong?

kt said...

How wide and deep were the cracks?

Mary said...

It was not flat like yours. It puffed up, it was not even. The cracks were kinda deep making the cake look ugly.

kt said...

The cake is served upside down.

sweet mama mia said...

Really fabulous u have someone recording u while baking chiffon cake? Can this recipe use for pandan swiss roll or u have a different adaptation. I want to perfect a soft fuffy roll. Tks.. Cheers, Sweet mama mia.

A-bundt-antly hopeful said...

I would love to try this but am short of a chiffon cake pan. Do you think this recipe would work with an oiled and floured bundt cake pan? It's not flat on top so unmoulding it un-greased would be an exercise in futility.

kt said...

Sorry, not a chance. A-bundt-don all hope, please.

PY said...

Hi KT, I have a 23cm chiffon pan. How do I scale up your recipe for it?

kt said...

Hi PY, increase all ingredients by 50%. Cheers.

Wendy said...

My chiffon does not rise up? Is it because I open the oven bfr it's done? Or I whisk too long for my mixtures or I didn't whisk the egg white properly? Please help me.

kt said...

Your chiffon may be Singaporean. Singaporean chiffons are too oppressed to know the meaning of "rise up".

Serene C said...

Hi KT, thanks for sharing this recipe. I have some questions to ask. My chiffon rise up 2-3cm when baking, but once out from oven it falls. The egg yolks and whites must be exactly 60g/180g? Can I use 4yolks and 5whites? Can I reduce the sugar to 40g/40g?

kt said...

How not exact is not exact?

PY said...

Hi KT. This is PY again. I followed your method using a recipe taken from a cookbook and the result turns out decent. Thanks loads :) 2 aspects needs improvement - 1) the top (which will be the bottom) rise more around the 'chimney' and ended up a 'dome' shape :( and 2) the base and side do not brown so evenly like yours. Help!??

kt said...

Help with . . . what? Eating your cake?

PY said...

1 give pointers how to achieve the even browning of the side and top

2 any idea how come the top of my chiffon did not bake flatly


kt said...

Wow, you have combined English words with Thai punctuation. That's so creative. Sheer brilliance! And only a genius would combine two recipes to bake a cake. I am too stupid to do that, I'm afraid, so I can't help you.

yvonne said...

Thx a million for sharing this recipe. I just tried your recipe and its yummilicious!!!

jules said... do you put up with so many stupid questions each time you publish a new post? Ladies do some research first. Enjoy visiting your blog kt..minus the silly Qs.

SL said...

lovely cake but u r kind of sarcastic and unpleasant aren't you

Melodis said...

Hi, what temperature should I set for my oven and how long should I bake the OCC if I'm using a 12-cup muffin tray instead of the 21cm chiffon pan? Thanks.

Jacqueline said...

Hihi... my baking pan is 24cm. How do I scale up your recipe for it?

jane hoyk said...

Thanks for your recipe, happy with my first successful attempt ^^

cindy liong said...

Hi KT,
I love your recipes and I have baked using your butter cake as well as chiffon cake recipes many times. The first few times were successful but lately, my chiffon cake tends to turn dense and sticky after awhile. It will come out of the oven very nice and will remain like that for about a few hours. Afterwhich it will turn sticky and wet. Is it the temp of my oven or is it my kitchen being warm and humid that causes it? Here's what I did with the butter cake and chiffon cake. Please advise.

KT said...

Hi Cindy

Which part of your chiffon cake is it that turns sticky and dense?

cindy liong said...

the sides and the top and then the whole cake will become soggy and heavy after a day or two. I cut it into pieces and put it in ziplock bags to give to my family members and was told it turned soggy and heavy the next day. was wondering if it has something to do with it being kept in a plastic bag?

KT said...

Is there icing sugar on the cake you put in plastic bags?

CINDY liong said...

Hi kt, nope. No icing sugar:). I suspect it's the humidity if my kitchen. I will try again soon:) bet, the ones in the pictures were very well-received! This for the great recipes!

Kim said...

Hi KT, you are a genius! My orange chiffon and pandan chiffon turned out really beautiful. All thanks to your excellent pointers and video. Thank you once again!

Any chance you can show us how to do macarons? I have 6 failed attempts. Still trying. I trust your recipes. I chanced upon your blog while searching on Bak Chang.

nicole said...

hi KT, can i bake this with the muffin / cupcake liner? I tried baking it using the chiffon cake tin and it is so fragrant and nice. But i would like to bake some for my colleagues so easier to give using muffin cups / cupacake liner.

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