You may not believe it, but this is the 3rd time that I baked this cake. I have never ever attempted the same chiffon cake so many times in my life but I have baked this cake 2 times in a row on the same day and both times I failed terribly. Maybe I was in a rush and did not pay attention to the details during baking. During the 1st and 2nd attempts, the cake looked fine in the oven, it was tall and smooth and there was no crack, but somehow the cake just came crashing down 5 to 10 min after inverting. Both times I was caught unaware, and I was very sad seeing my hard work (and so many pieces of cheddar cheese) went down the drain. I couldn't figure out what went wrong and I consulted the lady who provided me the recipe. After some discussion, finally I think I knew what was the problem. I used belgian patisserie flour instead of SR flour as stated in the recipe. Since this cake is a tangmian / scalded dough chiffon cake, the texture is very soft and yet the liquid content is higher than other normal chiffon cakes, so this belgian patisserie flour was probably not strong enough to hold the cake while it was being inverted.
So the 3rd time, I decided to bake it again for my baby's party on 12 July (along with 7 other cakes). I bought SR flour specifically for this recipe and finally it worked. You can use plain flour + baking powder too, just try not to use cake flour or patisserie flour as I suspect my 2 failures were due to the use of the wrong type of flour.
Anyway, this cake was really very very nice and worth all the 3 tries, thanks to the lady who provided me the recipe. The cheddar cheese + orange juice + dried apricot / cranberries made a perfect combination. After trying the same cake recipe for the 3rd time, I cannot say that I have mastered the recipe 100%, I still have to tweak the temperature a little and make sure the cake is completely baked. After all, this is my first tangmian / scalded dough chiffon and I am already falling in love with this type of chiffon cake.
Recipe for Oven-Baked Orange Cheddar Cheese Chiffon Cake, adapted from June Chan
4 pieces or 80g of cheddar cheese (cut into pieces)
35g fine sugar
48ml orange juice
40ml corn oil
88g self-raising flour (sifted)
30g dried apricots or cranberries (cut into pieces)
4 egg yolks @room temp
4 egg whites @room temp
50g fine sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius.
2. Double boil cheddar cheese, sugar, oil and orange juice in a water-bath / bain-marie, stir constantly until cheese and sugar are totally dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and immediately fold in flour in 3 additions into the cheese mixture. Coat the chopped dried apricots or cranberries with flour and add them in during the 2nd addition. Do not over-mix.
4. Add in egg yolks one at a time and fold well after each addition.
5. In a dry, clean and grease-free bowl, whisk egg whites till foamy at low speed. Then add in cream of tartar and whisk at medium speed till white. Add sugar in 3 additions, and whisk at medium speed until sugar is dissolved and egg white mixture is smooth. Finally increase to high speed and whisk until semi-stiff peak (meaning the peak is not very stiff yet the egg white mixture will not drop when you over-turn the bowl.)
6. Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture and fold until both are well-incorporated.
7. Pour the combined mixture back into the remaining egg white mixture and fold thoroughly.
8. Pour the batter into an unlined, ungreased 8-inch/20-cm aluminium chiffon tin. Bang the chiffon tin on the table a few times to get rid of big bubbles, then use a chopstick to run through the batter 2 rounds to further get rid of bubbles and smoothen the batter. Finally use a spatula to smoothen the surface of the batter.
9. Preheat the oven at 150C, lower oven temp to 140C and bake at bottom heat for 20 min. After 20 min, increase temp to 150C and bake at top and bottom heat for another 20 min. (I baked at top and bottom heat throughout since I do not have bottom heat function in my oven. I placed my chiffon tin on the lower shelf such that the top of the tin was at the middle of the oven. I attempted this cake 3 times and each time, 40 min was not enough for me, I had to bake for at least 60 min. Oven temp and timing is just a reference, pls use your own judgement and adjust the temp and timing according to your own oven. The next time I may just stick to one temp 150C throughout as I always forget to decrease and increase the temp.)
10. Remove cake tin from oven and knock it slightly on table top to prevent the cake from shrinking. Invert IMMEDIATELY on cake rack to cool down.
11. Once the cake is cooled, unmould it carefully either using your hands or using a serrated knife to loosen the sides and the base of the chiffon tin.
- I have taken step by step fotos during my 3 attempts and they will be uploaded at a later time if time permits.
- I think there is still room to increase to 5 eggs version so that the cake will be even taller.
I am submitting this post to Bake-Along #64 - Chiffon Cakes, hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings.