Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pandan Chiffon Cupcakes (A Fail-proof Chiffon Cake Recipe)

Can you bake a chiffon cake without using a chiffon cake pan?

Yes, you can. Really?

Yes, you can and I'm not joking.

Typically, most chiffon cake recipes require baking the cakes in un-greased aluminium tube pans which make them look tall and beautiful in circular shape with a characteristic hole in the center... but but but what if I bake a chiffon cake without using a chiffon cake pan??? It will sink in the middle but the ones made with this recipe can survive the sink pretty well!

This recipe by Pick Yin (Life is Great) is said to be a very-stable chiffon cake recipe. Its higher flour-over-liquid ratio produces good success rate and also fluffy chiffon cakes to eat. I did like what Pick Yin has mentioned and used lined muffin tray to bake these chiffon cakes and it works beautifully! If baking chiffon cake has been a daunting experience for you, I would highly recommend this recipe to overcome your fear of chiffon cake baking.

If you still prefer to bake this recipe using chiffon cake pans but don't have a 25 cm chiffon cake pan. Pick Yin has this nice conversion table for you...

14cm tin - 1 egg
17cm tin - 2 eggs
21cm tin - 4 eggs
23cm tin - 6 eggs
25cm tin - 8 eggs

Brilliant, isn't she?

We are baking chiffon cakes for our bake-along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings. If you wish to bake-along with us ... with this recipe? I hope that this fail-proof recipe will work well for you.

As this is a fail-proof chiffon cake recipe with higher flour-over-liquid ratio, I hope that you are not expecting this recipe to yield a silky soft cake like the most ideal pandan chiffon cake that I have baked previously. With less coconut milk / flavouring and added fat, I have to say that these chiffon cakes are of course, not as moist and flavoursome as the cooked dough (Tang Mian /烫面 ) pandan chiffon cake that I have baked previously... Trust me. Even my 5-year old boy can taste the differences.

Hope that my description is not resisting anyone from baking this recipe... Hey, it is fail-proof! I'm not expecting much... Are you???

pandan chiffon cupcakes
Pandan chiffon cupcakes made with a fail-proof chiffon cake recipe
Always my favourite thing to do: Extracting pandan juice!
Instead of adding 1 tbsp of coconut oil, I have added 1 tsp of this instant coconut milk powder.
Like most chiffon cake recipes, this is how I mixed the egg yolk mixture

This is the egg white mixture, beaten to stiff peaks.
Combine both egg yolk and egg white mixture... very gently!
Do this and bake!
To avoid sudden change of temperature, I cooled my cupcakes slowly in the oven with its door ajar
My cupcakes sunk slightly in the middle but survived pretty well.
pandan chiffon cupcakes
Impressed? Yes, I am. Pretty good chiffon cake texture, isn't it?

Here's the recipe adapted from Pick Yin (Life is Great)

Makes 12-14 cupcakes or one 21 cm chiffon cake

6 pandan leaves
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp coconut milk or 1 tsp instant coconut powder (optional)
90g self-rising flour, preferably bleached with 7-9% low protein content
(alternatively if self-rising flour is unavailable, use 90g cake flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)
20g castor sugar
4 egg yolks (from 60g eggs)
3 tbsp rice bran oil (or any light-flavoured oil)
1/8 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites (from 60g eggs)
50g castor sugar
1/4 tbsp cream of tartar (Yes... This recipe uses tablespoonful of cream of tartar!)

Preheat oven to 170°C (or 150°C fan forced) with a metal rack at the second lower position. Line a 12-hole standard size muffin tray with baking paper cups or prepare one 21 cm chiffon cake tin, clean and un-greased.

Wash and snip pandan leaves into small pieces. Place into a processor and add 3 tbsp water. Process to form a thick paste. Instead of using a processor, a mortar and pestle can also be used to pound the leaves into thick paste. Remove and squeeze out all the liquid from the paste through a muslin cloth. The amount of pandan juice yielded should be about more or less 30 ml. Top pandan juice to 60 ml with 1 tbsp coconut milk or 1 tsp instant coconut powder (optional) and the rest with water.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with oil to form an emulsion. Add the pandan mixture and sugar and whisk until sugar has melted and all are well combined. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture and whisk well into a smooth batter. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar in low-medium speed until egg whites start to foam. Increase mixing speed and add sugar gradually in 3 additions. Whisk until the meringue is smooth and glossy, with stiff peaks. With the addition of 1/4 tbsp of cream of tartar, the meringue form stiff peaks quickly and easily. I have also noticed that the meringue is smoother with smaller bubbles. Be careful not to over-beat the egg whites as in a glance, it can become dry and lumpy easily.

Fold in the egg white mixture into the flour batter gently and in three batches. Make sure that the cake batter is well combined. Be careful not to over-mix the batter as over-mixing will deflate the air in the meringue.

Pour batter into the prepared muffin tray or chiffon tin. Tap the tray or tin on tabletop to release any big air bubbles. For the cake in 21 cm tin, bake it at 170°C (or 150°C fan forced) for 10 min. Lower the temperature to 160°C (or 140°C fan forced) and bake for another 45 to 50 mins or until cake is cooked completely. For the cupcakes, bake it at 170°C (or 150°C fan forced) for 10 min. Lower the temperature to 160°C (or 140°C fan forced) and bake for another 20 to 25 mins or until cupcakes are cooked completely. Do not open the oven door while the cakes are baking as the sudden change of temperature especially during the first 30 mins of baking will deflate and damage the cakes completely. It is always better to over-bake chiffon cakes slightly rather than under-bake the cake. Personally, I didn't like to insert a skewer to test if my chiffon cakes are cooked or not. Instead, I choose to be on the safe side by baking my chiffon cakes with an extra 5 mins or if the cakes looks slightly over-brown, I will bake it with an extra 10 mins at slightly lower temperature. Another thing, it is ok if the chiffon cake cracks a little as the cracks mean that the cakes have risen well.

When the cake in chiffon tin is cooked, remove it from the oven and invert it immediately to cool completely. When the cupcakes are cooked, switch off the oven and leave the oven door ajar and let the cupcakes cool in the oven slowly. Remove the cupcakes from the oven when the oven is cooled to room temperature. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tray immediately. Serve.

To unmould the cake from the chiffon tin, run a knife along the sides of the cake tin and also bottom of the tube and remove the cake from the tin accordingly.

Cut with serrated knife and serve.

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

44 comments:

  1. My 4th post on pandan chiffon cakes.. I can never get bored on reading about chiffon cakes.. But I've never seen chiffon cupcakes leh.. They look so cute so light so fluffy.. Lagi can put the whole thing in my mouth without squeezing them, hehe

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  2. Hi Zoe,
    I was just popping by to let you know I tweeted the Bake-Along and used your tweet name too and lo and behold, you baked yet another Chiffon Cake, "fail proof." When I made my Chiffon Cake as cupcakes, I didn't even know you were suppose to use a Chiffon Cke pan. Thank goodness they didn't sink, lol...Your Pandan Chiffon Cake recipe is quite interesting. I'm really going to have to find some Pandan around here, lol...Thanks so much for sharing, Zoe and thank you for letting me participate:)

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  3. These look so beautiful! I m a huge fan of pandan products but I am missing the key baking tool, a MIXER. Once I have a mixer next time I'll be very happily making chiffons!

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  4. Wow you made it! And I love pandan chiffon cake so much!

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  5. now this sounds awesome.. a recipe that can survive the "sink"... now i'm gonna play with this

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  6. You are a savior! I'm gonna read this post again and again to gather enough courage to bake my first mini chiffon cake/cupcake. Hopefully can meet Bake-Along's 19/07 deadline.

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    Replies
    1. Good luck, Joyce! No rush at all!!! Please tell me if you have problem linking with us if you are late :p

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    2. I'm hunting for some pandan leaves and coconut powder now. :D

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  7. Hi Zoe, I have actually thought of baking chiffon using muffin tin which I've baked the Hokkaido Chiffon cupcakes ... after 3 attempts in chiffon pan but my cakes are not browned :(

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  8. Gosh, a fail-proof chiffon! This is what we are all waiting for, right? Thank you Zoe for bringing this to our attention.

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  9. Simply brillant Zoe! I've always wanted to try my hands on the ever so tricky chiffon but have yet to get myself a proper pan or enough courage to attempt! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!!

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  10. Hi Zoe! I guess I will have to try this recipe first and then make a conclusion. Your baking cups are rather cute. At first I thought that you used baking paper to make them :)

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  11. Can I use baking paper to replace the muffin lining paper?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Thea. I'm sure that you can.

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  12. so spongy and airy dear:)feel the texture

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  13. Sorry, ladies! I have spotted a mistake in my typing and have corrected it!!! Please use the latest version of this recipe that I have updated :p

    Zoe

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  14. I could smell your pandan cake, hehe!

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  15. Hi Zoe,
    I have so many chiffon cake recipes in my list of to-do! This one included! Thought of making another one, but really got no time. (will be away tomorrow and back on Sunday).
    This looks simple and easy to make.
    I am going to make a pandan chiffon cake, really craving for some! It will have to be later, no time to link to BA!

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  16. Looks so soft just like a piece of cloud. nice color

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  17. Zoe, I think I've baked a chiffon in a normal pan once. The cake is really soft and moist. Your chiffon cupcakes look perfect!

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  18. Seen so many chiffon cakes today and last stop is at your house, I like yours in cupcake form! Wish I have the time to bake one to join in this bake along but won't be able to make it due to my busy schedule.

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  19. I have a fear of sinking chiffon cakes so always ended up baking in chiffon tin even though I have thought of baking in cupcakes before but never did! Seeing that yours survived the test somewhat eases my worries so maybe some day I would try it too lol!

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  20. My grandma used to make a lot of chiffon cakes-but not like this. Superb job, Zoe. And what wonderful links, too!

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  21. Spongey and light, but heavenly! I need to try this :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  22. I certainly didn't expect to see mini chiffon cakes like these. I love it, Zoe! It's handy for lazy people like me cause no slicing is needed. Lol!

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  23. Hi Zoe! You always have surprises for me! Love your Chiffon cupcake. So adorable!

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  24. Zoe - this reminds me of the cakes I ate when I was a kid! Thinking about it now,I realised it must have been a chiffon cake because it was so soft. DUH!!

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  25. Texture sure looks great! And yes I love the idea of not baking it in a chiffon tin cos my mother has taken my tin with her back to USA!

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  26. hey zoe, that muffin wraps are cool! .i just saw karen from 'joy and escapade' made this and it turned out very well.

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  27. You had me at 'fail-proof', Zoe. I will try this! And if it doesn't turn out as yummy, I'll eat it with lots of ice cream..haha ;)

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  28. Zoe,
    This fail proof chiffon looks wonderful.
    Love the fine texture and pastel green hues.
    mui

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  29. Hi, i am new to baking but love chiffon cakes. Learning to make the cupcakes for my toddler. I dont have access to pandan leaves as we live in uae. I brought back a bottle of pandan extract when i was home few months ago. Can u advise how do i use it for your recipe pls? Thks Carol

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    Replies
    1. Hi Carol,

      Instead of using pandan juice, you can use 60 ml of water inclusive of the pandan extract that you have plus coconut milk or powder. The amount of pandan extract to add can be quite subjective to each individual preference. You can start by adding a few drops first and see if the flavouring and colouring is too intensive for you. Then, add more if you like more of the flavours.

      Have fun baking!

      Zoe

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  30. Hi zoe,

    Gonna try this recipe soon.. but can i replace cream of tartar with others things like baking powder or lemon juice? Thank you :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sherlynn,

      The addition of cream of tartar helps to stabilise the meringue so that the cake can stay fluffy and bouncy in regardless. You can either choose not to add cream of tartar or use other substitutions. I have read that lemon juice and vinegar works too but I have not tried using these ingredients to make these cakes. Cheers!

      Zoe

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  31. Hi, Can this be baked using silicone cupcake mould?

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Sorry that I have not tried baking these cupcakes with silicon moulds before and can't answer your question. Can you line your silicon moulds with paper cups and bake?

      Zoe

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  32. Hi, can I substitute the pandan juice for pandan paste?

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Sorry for my late reply as I was on holidays... The answer to your question is yes you can.

      Zoe

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    2. Please pardon me for being extra naggy... To do that, add the amount of pandan paste (like a drop / 1/8 tsp or two) that you like into 60 ml water (which the total volume of pandan juice) and use the solution to bake the cake accordingly.

      Cheers!

      Zoe

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