Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes 北海道牛奶蛋糕

I have never been to Japan or Hokkaido before. We did booked our air tickets to Japan three years ago but had to change our holidays destination due to the tragic tsunami happened in March 2011. Sad!

Whether I have been to Japan or not, I have never tasted Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes and never know how real and authentic Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes should be. As usual, I Google "Hokkaido Cupcakes" for answers. All I was told are these:

1) According to Wikipedia, Hokkaido cake is a chiffon cupcake that is filled with cream.

2) According to Kitchen Tigress, Hokkaido cupcakes are made with Hokkaido milk and that's why they are named as Hokkaido cupcakes.

3) According to Small Small Baker, one of the earliest Hokkaido cupcakes recipe was posted by a Chinese baker, 周老师 (Chef Zhou) naming these cakes the softest cake in history. Why is this recipe originate from a Chinese, not a Japanese?

4) According to Google, the two most popular Hokkaido cupcakes recipes are from Kitchen Tigress and Nasi Lemak Lover.

Knowing the above, I asked myself...

Do Hokkaido cupcakes originate from Hokkaido or Japan? I don't know.

All Hokkaido cupcakes recipes that I have seen seems to claim that their Hokkaido cupcakes are soft or even the softest. Hmmm... All are good but which recipe is the best? All I know is that all Hokkaido cupcakes are typically made with least amount of flour and high egg content and both Kitchen Tigress or Nasi Lemak Lover recipes have the similar characteristics too. So, which one to choose??? After my triple-serious consideration, I have decided to bake the one from Nasi Lemak Lover.

Why? What are the difference between Kitchen Tigress and Nasi Lemak Lover recipes? The cupcakes made with Kitchen Tigress contain higher proportion of egg white than egg yolk. Containing more meringue, I can imagine the cupcakes should be fluffier and whiter but anticipate that the cakes might be a little over-powering with egg white according to my liking. In contrast, the cupcakes made Nasi Lemak Lover contain equal number of egg white and yolks. Plus, the textures of Sonia's cakes look equally fluffy, amazingly stable and fail proof to bake. After weighing out the differences, I have decided to give Sonia's recipe a go.

These are my Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes and I'm also baking these for our chiffon cake bake-along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings...


Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes
Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes baked with Nasi Lemak Lover recipe
Like typical chiffon cakes, start by whisking egg yolk mixture separately.
Mix in sifted flour - There is no baking powder used in this recipe!
Beat egg white into near stiff peaks...
Mix both egg yolk and white mixture together, divide into baking cups and bake! Easy!!!








Instead of using just whipped cream as my cupcake filling, I have made a light and tasty vanilla custard that I have used to bake a classic fruit tart previously.
Cooking the custard base
The must-adds for this beautiful custard: vanilla beans and light whipped cream
Like most Hokkaido cupcakes, mine are filled with custard cream and topped with fresh fruits (blueberries).
I can't wait to try these...
Wait a minute... I need a finishing touch! Icing sugar, please!
Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes
I'm impressed with its cottony soft texture :)
Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes
Totally speechless!

Thanks, Sonia! This is a fantastic recipe!

Despite that the cakes contain a high proportion of eggs, the cakes lose any detectable egg smell and taste after they are completely cooled and stay amazingly soft, fluffy and delicious both in room temperature or chilled.

After baking these cupcakes, I feel strongly that I have to clarify my views here... regarding my opinion on preferences and judgement.

To me, every individual preference and expectation for texture and taste can be subjective. Cakes that are soft to us might not be soft enough to others. What is tasty for me might not be tasty enough for you... I don't think we can really tell how much we like certain food unless we eat the food and judge it by ourselves.

Personally, I feel that the softness of these cupcakes are beyond what I have expected. I'm very impressed with this recipe and happy to use it again if I have to bake any Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes in the future. Having said that, I'm not saying which recipe is better or which is not... You can say that I'm diplomatic. In regardless, I like to be very honest in my opinions without upsetting others.

Seeing how Kitchen Tigress wrote about Nasi Lemak Lover makes me feel that her comments are not very fair to Sonia. I think that Sonia's recipe is really good and Kitchen Tigress should try baking Sonia's recipe before passing a judgment saying her Hokkaido cupcakes are better than Sonia's.

For this reason, I like to emphasize here that I'm not saying Sonia's recipe is the best but it is ideal enough for me.

Here is the recipe that I used to bake my Hokkaido Cupcakes (mostly adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover)

Makes 9 cupcakes
3 eggs, separated ( from 60g eggs)
20g plus 25g caster sugar
35g oil, preferably light in flavouring (I used rice bran oil)
60g milk
70g cake flour (preferably 7-8% protein)

To make vanilla custard cream (enough to fill 7 cupcakes):
1/3 cup (80ml) milk
1 egg yolk
10g sugar
4g cornflour
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or seeds scraped from 1/4 vanilla pods
2 tbsp light whipped cream
(You might wish to make double amount of this recipe if I like to have more cream for your cakes)

To finish:
fresh fruits (I used blueberries)
icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 170°C (or 150°C fan forced). If you are using paper baking cups like the ones that I'm using, arrange them on baking tray. Otherwise, you can line baking cups in a muffin tin.


Using a hand whisk, beat egg yolk and 20g sugar until pale in colour. Whisk in oil and milk. Add sifted cake flour and whisk until the egg yolk mixture is smooth and well combined.

Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg white in low speed for 2-3 mins until foamy. Increase beating speed to medium high. While beating, add 25g sugar gradually and continue beat till near stiff peaks form.

Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture in 2-3 batches and do it very gently. When the mixture is well combined, fill batter into baking cups to about 3/4 full.

Bake them at 170°C (or 150°C fan forced) for 25 mins at the middle rack. Allow cupcakes to cool in the tin or a tray for 10 mins. Remove and let cool completely on wire racks.

To make the vanilla custard cream:

Simmer milk in a saucepan with medium low heat. While heating the milk, whisk egg yolk, sugar, cornflour and salt in a mixing bowl using a hand whisk until thick and pale. Keep whisking and slowly pour in the scalded milk into the yolk mixture. Pour the custard mixture back into a saucepan and cook over low heat, with constant whisking until thickened. Transfer custard into a bowl and cover the surfaces well with cling wrap - This will avoid a layer of skin forming. Chill custard for 1-2 hrs.

Mix in vanilla paste or seeds and light whipped cream into the chilled custard. Pipe custard cream into cupcakes using a long narrow piping tip (like Wilton 230). Top the cupcakes with fruits and dust with icing sugar. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Both are as good.

Happy Baking
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.

49 comments:

  1. drooling here over those cupcakes..they look so pretty and mouthwatering good

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  2. I've tried Sonia recipe and it turns out really good!

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  3. Wow, these little cuppies look soooo good. Hokkaido chiffon has been on my to-do list for the longest time!

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  4. These cupcakes are SO CUTE!! I love it!

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  5. Morning Zoe,
    Hokkaido cupcakes are one of my favourites! I've never been to Hokkaido, the nearest I've been to was to Tokyo only, so I've never tasted the real Hokkaido cupcakes.. But I've heard of Hokkaido cupcakes a few years ago when I was browsing for cakes for my sister's birthday.. The bakery boss introduced to me these Hokkaido cupcakes, one for RM5, not cheap, and he said there are fillings inside - orange, blueberry, vanilla, black sesame & chocolate. He said it's very nice and it's the "in-thing" that time.. I tried one piece. And OMG, the filling oozed out and it tasted so nice, especially when the cake is chilled..
    And yours look exactly the same as those in the bakery.. I bet they taste the same too!

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  6. Hi Zoe! Ah....I have forgotten about these cute Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes! Seeing how beautiful yours are, I might bake some this weekend. About the Kitchen Tigress, I respect her for her skills and knowledge and her wit. But it saddens me that she is very sharp and critical to the point of being hurtful in some of her comments on other bloggers. In particular her criticism of The Little Teochew in her Radish/Carrot Cake Recipe.

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  7. Regardless where they originate from exactly, these chiffon cupcakes look absolutely delicious :D
    They are so cute, and fluffy, perfect for the adorable containers you have chosen!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  8. To my understanding, Hokkaido Cupcake doesn't exist in Japan.

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  9. i like your post today .totally agree with wat you said ...that every individual has their own preference..and some recipes that work for you might not work for me and vice versa....there may some which i find very delicious whereas other may find it just ok.... so we should all stay humble...cheers buddy!

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  10. So pretty...I bet I could have a few of these!!! I love chiffon cakes too...

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  11. I can't wait to try these either, Zoe! Oh no, I can't taste these little lovelies through the screen. I know I could never bake them myself although, I must admit I am more than tempted. They look just perfect Zoe!

    It is so sweet of you to offer the best from both sources. I am keeping this post of yours for future reference. I just may have to try and make them myself. I also love that custard filling, oh yummy!!! Thank you so much for sharing, Zoe...

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    1. Hi Zoe!
      I joined the Bake Along! Come see:)

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  12. thanks for this recipe!! I've always had "Hokkaido cupcakes" on my to bake list but I guess never found a good recipe. This one seems quite easy and looks delicious! now to find the cupcake cups!

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  13. This is so so soft and moist! Looks perfect!

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  14. These are so cute!
    I love the baking cups

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  15. looks absolutely yummy esp with blueberries topping, delidcious!

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  16. Beautiful Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes with the custard cream. Must be yummy!

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  17. i feel like licking my monitor now !!! T____T

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  18. These cupcakes look wonderful! Beautifully fluffy and light! Yummm.. :)

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  19. Hi Zoe,
    Wow! I love Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes.
    Yours look dainty and elegant with the blueberry touch ;)
    Love it!
    mui

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  20. Hi Zoe, I have yet to find much success with this Hokkaido cupcakes, got to try again! Yours hardly shrink at all!

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  21. Yum stuff, Zoe. You had me drooling at first sight xo

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  22. Hi Zoe, I've never baked a Hokkaido chiffon cake before. Looking at your beautiful cake, makes me drool.

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  23. Hi Zoe, i baked these last year ... so sad mine deflated ... ha ha.. cant even piped the custard. Love yours ^-^

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  24. If I am not mistaken, Hokkaido cupcakes are not Japanese at all. Hehe, I think the original one was made with Hokkaido milk. A few years ago, it was all the rage here, I agree Sonia's recipe is good :)

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  25. These are beautiful-so light and fluffy! I love your cupcake wrappers. :)

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  26. Beautiful! If only all cupcakes were made like that....:)

    I have never been to Hokkaido or Japan or even tried Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes.

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  27. I have tried Sonia's recipe and it's really good! I always compare recipes before I start a new recipe, you have to choose the one that suit your taste first. Japan is a very nice country, clean and polite, food is awesome, too!

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  28. Hi Zoe,
    I have never tried baking Hokkaido Chiffon cupcakes and have seen this, really popular at bloggerland quite sometime ago! Looks really nice and I really like to try this, one of these days.
    Great one for chiffon cakes!

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  29. I have only this to say - SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PRETTY!!!!

    Well, and yes, there is no need to be critical of others. We are all baking because we have a passion for it after all.

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  30. I have bookmark quite a few recipe of Hokkaido Chiffon Cake before, but still not try it out yet. As afraid the cake will sinking a lot after baked. May be I should try Sonia recipe ^^ thanks for sharing your experience.

    Strongly agreed to your view. We have to eat and judge it by ourselves. I always appreciate the recipe sharing by all the blogger, I learn a lot. sometime may not the recipe problem, could be is our skill problem.

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  31. looking forward for the gordon ramsey event. What do you mean this is your second last cook like a chef series, ? those cakes look delicious

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  32. Zoey, if anybody is 'speechless' that would have to be me! These amazing moist, and beautiful, supper yummy cupcakes (love the cute cupcake holders)...also, the blueberries look so festive on top of the dollop of custard...totally drooling over this heavenly yumminess! xo

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  33. Such beautiful cupcakes and stunning pictures :) Lovely recipe, Zoe!

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  34. OMG! I came across your blog but accident and I love it! Thanks for sharing. can't wait to try some recipes myself! Would love you subscribe to your blog but it said "The feed does not have subscriptions by email enabled" :( Vivi

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    1. Hi Vivi,

      Thanks for letting me know this problem. I have fixed the problem and you can subscribe to my blog with your email now. Cheers!

      Zoe

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  35. Hi Zoe, After reading your detailed post, I shall try baking this again.

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  36. Hi Zoe. I love your pretty and delicious Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcake. Can share?

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  37. Hi, Zoe...you did a research on Hokkaido chiffon cake before you bake it...wow wow wow...I wish I could bake something to join this bake along...I have never bake a chiffon successfully yet...

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  38. Been sometime since i made this, looking at yours makes me miss them :)

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  39. Where exactly in my post did I say my cupcakes are better than Sonia's?

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    1. Hi KT,

      Nice to hear from you at my blog!

      You can deny all that you have said but you can't deny for all that you have written and published. Cheers!

      Zoe

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    2. You haven't answered my question. Where did I "say" or write that my cupcakes are better than Sonia's? All I did was give my reason for not trying her recipe. It was no different from you giving your reason for not trying my recipe. I did not try 周老師's recipe either and I explained why in my post. That, however, didn't upset you.

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    3. Good that you have explained for yourself :)

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  40. Where do you purchase the cute little square baking cups you used for the hokkaido cupcakes? Everything looks so wonderful.

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    1. Hi, Glad that you like these cakes. I bought the baking cups from a baking supply shop at Preston Market at Victoria, Australia. Cheers!

      Zoe

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  41. Looks fantastic! I never heard of this cake before but you did a great job! I love Hokkaido! When you go to Hokkaido, make sure visit city of Otaru...bit out of way, closer airport is Chitose Airport. I can't wait to make this!

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  42. Hi Zoe,
    I made this last night but unlike yours mine shrank. How can I prevent this happening? A question you probably get a lot from ppl. Sorry. But even though it shrank the texture and the taste were really good.

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    1. Hi Cathy,

      Without adding cream of tartar and baking powder, all Hokkaido cupcakes will tend to shrink slightly after baking. I have found that the cakes will shrink lesser if I drop them from a height immediately after baking. Regardless, I really like all chiffon cakes that are made with no cream of tartar and baking powder and won't mind the cakes shrink a little because these cakes are usually way softer than ones made with cream of tartar and baking powder :) Cheers!

      Zoe

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