Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hokkaido Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes with Dark and White Chocolate Custard Cream 北海道巧克力牛奶蛋糕

After enjoying my first batch of Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes, I have been craving for more of these ultra soft and fluffy cakes...

Instead of using the same recipe that I have baked and liked, I keep telling myself that I have to explore more Hokkaido chiffon cupcake recipes...

Today, I shall stop craving and thinking and put my thoughts into action!!!

This time, I'm going to use this Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes recipe that my baking kaki (meaning good friend in Malay language), Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY loves to bake. She likes this recipe so much that she has been using it to bake lots of Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes at here, here and here.

Why is this recipe so good?

1) According to what I have seen at Doreen's bakes, these chiffon cupcakes have nice flawless tops... Absolutely true! There are no cracks on these chiffon cake tops. How? Instead of baking these cupcakes 170°C or 150°C fan forced for 25 mins. These cakes are baked in a lower temperature like 140°C or 125°C fan forced for 40 mins which is a longer period of baking time.

2) I did a little calculation and found that each of the cupcakes that I had baked with the previous recipe contain 33% of an egg. Whereas, the cupcakes baked with this recipe contain a slightly higher amount of eggs as each contains 38% of an egg. With a little more eggs, I'm guessing that this recipe yields cupcakes with bouncier and less shrinking kind of texture. Based on these cupcakes that I have baked, I think that I'm pretty right...

Hokkaido chocolate chiffon cupcakes dark white chocolate custard cream
Hokkaido chocolate chiffon cupcakes with dark or white chocolate custard cream

To start, I like to make the chocolate custard cream filling first.

This Julia Child's recipe uses the same method as most custard cream recipes that I have used.
... but this recipe makes cream with a lighter texture and also many variations.
For mine, I made two variations. I have added dark chocolate into one and white chocolate into another.
For some strange reasons, the cream with white chocolate is a little runnier than the dark one.
When the custard base is completely chilled, I have mixed in whipped cream to lighten its texture further.

Next, I'm baking the cupcakes...

Warm this milk-and-oil mixture until lukewarm.
Like most typical chiffon cakes, the egg whites in this recipe are beaten until stiff peaks form.
First, I mixed vanilla and milk-oil mixture into the egg yolks.
Then, I mixed in the dry ingredients and the egg white mixture.

Next, I'm using my Tovolo cupcake batter scoop to distribute the cake batter into the cupcake cups.
I'm loving it because it is a no-mess plus non-drip scoop and can distribute batter in a consistent amount.
See! There is NO cracks on these cake tops!
While the cakes are cooling, I have piped out these chocolate hearts with melted chocolate.
Chocolate hearts? Yes that they are great for Valentine's day :)
Like most chiffon cupcakes, these cupcakes shrink away from the cupcake cups after cooling.
I reckon the cakes made with this recipe tend to shrink a little more. 
Its texture is as cottony and soft like the chiffon cupcakes that I have baked before.
... and extremely light and heavenly with this beautiful chocolate custard cream!
Although the white chocolate cream is slightly runny, these cupcakes is as heavenly as the dark chocolate one.
So heavenly that my son only want to eat the white chocolate ones! My little Mr Fussy!!!

These very chocolate kind of Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes are equally ultra-soft and fluffy as the Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes that I have baked. The subtle increase amount of eggs in these cupcakes is great as it doesn't give the cupcakes any extra egg-y taste or smell. Instead, it does give them a slightly prettier crack-less look. 

Despite of the crack-less looks, I reckon that the cakes made with this recipe tend to shrink more from their sides and can look not so perfect too with their detaching edges. I wonder if these cupcakes will shrink lesser if I cool the cake in the oven with its door ajar - Update on 17 Feb 2015, Doreen said that the cakes will shrink lesser if I drop them from a height immediately after baking. Hope to try either of these methods work in the near future.

Ultimately, after baking and enjoying these, I have to warn you something... Beware if you are a chocoholic and a Hokkiado chiffon cupcakes lover! Your first bite of these chocolate Hokkaido chiffon with either dark or white chocolate custard cream will make you craving for more... LOL!

Ok... Got to think and talk less and bake something now!

Here are the recipes that are mostly mostly adapted from My Little Favourite DIY and a Julia Child's recipe at Cookstr

Makes 13 cupcakes

60g neutral tasting oil
80ml milk

5 egg yolk (from medium eggs, 60g each)
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

85g cake flour, preferably 7-8% protein and unbleached
15g cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona

5 egg white
90g sugar (from medium eggs, 60g each)

To make dark or white chocolate custard cream enough to fill 13 cupcakes:
300ml milk
3 egg yolk (from large egg, 70g each)
60g caster sugar
3/4 tsp cornflour
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp vanilla paste or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
75g dark or white chocolate, preferably the best quality ones like Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa if using the dark chocolate, melted

1-2 cups of whipped cream - you can use the nozzle kind of ready-to-use whipped cream and it can be fat reduced.

Based on the ingredients that I have listed at E, I have used 1/3 of the recipe to make one batch of dark chocolate custard cream to fill 5 cupcakes and used 1/3 of the recipe to make another batch of white chocolate custard cream to fill 4 cupcakes. And, so we ate the rest with no fillings.

To finish:
extra dark or white chocolate to melt and pipe into shapes on baking paper for decorations

Preheat oven to 140°C (or 125°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.

Combine ingredients A in heat proof mixing bowl. Place the mixing bowl on a double boiler and cook until mixture is lukewarm. Otherwise, mixture can microwave in high power for 30-40 secs.

Using a hand whisk, whisk in egg yolks (ingredient B) one at a time. Sift in all ingredients C into egg yolk mixture and fold until mixture is well combined.

Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg white (from ingredient D) in low speed for 2-3 mins until foamy. Increase beating speed to medium high. While beating, sugar gradually in about 3-4 batches and continue beat till 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 140°C (or 125°C fan forced) for 20 mins at the middle rack. You can cover the cupcake very loosely with a foil if your oven is too strong with its top heat - If you think that your oven temperature is well calibrated, you can choose to omit this step. Remove the foil and increase the temperature to 150°C (or 140°C fan forced) and continue to bake for another 20 mins, After removing the cupcakes from the oven, set aside to cool the cupcakes in the tin or a tray for 10 mins. Remove and let cool completely on wire racks. Update on 17 Feb 2015, the cakes will shrink lesser if you drop them from a height immediately after baking.

To make the light chocolate custard cream using ingredients E:

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 - Do not over-cook mixture. Over cooking the mixture can scramble the eggs! If unsure, please use a candy thermometer to check and it has to be less than 165°F or 74°C.

Remove from heat and whisk in the melted chocolate and vanilla paste or extract until well combined. Transfer custard into a bowl and cover the surfaces well with cling wrap - This will avoid a layer of skin forming. Chill custard for at least 2 hrs.

Stir in the whipped cream until the cream achieve the feathery light consistency that you like. Continue to chill the cream until the cakes are cooled enough for filling.

Pipe custard cream into cupcakes using a long narrow piping tip (like Wilton 230). Top the cupcakes with chocolates that was piped into shapes. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Both are as good.

Happy Baking

Hope that you will love baking these for your valentine :) Happy Valentine's Day!
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  1. LOVELY and YUMMY Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes! Soft and fluffy chiffon, custard, chocolates....what more can you ask for?? Love it!! :)

  2. I love Hokkaido cupcakes! They are so soft and fluffy, and filled with delicious cream in the center.. And yours look exactly the same, oooo with chocolate custard! And I also like the ones with white chocolate cream, oh my, I would just love to suck the cream out from the center part first, haha..

  3. Yeee...this is gorgeous, Zoe. I especially love how you did the little chocolate hearts ❤ ❤

  4. Such a beautiful muffin case :)

  5. Zoe, I love dark chocolate and I love Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes too, sure gonna like this! Reading your description makes me salivate.....hope to try it soon!

  6. Hi Zoe, first of all my apologies for MIA as have been quite occupied recently. Love this yummy and beautiful hokkaido chocolate chiffon cupcakes. Here's wishing you Happy Valentine's Day :)

  7. These cakes look so yummy. I'm going to eat them non-stop if I ever bake them. And yes, I've got to get that batter scoop.

  8. Hi Zoe,
    They are sooo good looking...Beautifully baked cupcakes!

  9. I would love to take one of the dark and one of the while... they look amazing!

  10. I am loving the filling... I call this 爆浆! I can't wait to bite into these little devils

  11. Chiffon cupcakes what a cute idea!

  12. These cupcakes look so good! Love chocolate.. :)

  13. These look soooo irresistible! A soft fluffy cake, a liquid delicious filling? Oh my zoe, if I were your child I'd always be waiting at the kitchen table for the next goodie you're cooking up!

  14. Good morning Zoe. I love Hokkaido Cupcakes, I can devour a couple at one go, as they are so light. Yours look beautiful especially with the chocolate Custard cream. Happy Valentine's Day!

  15. Beautiful valentines day cup cakes...... So soft and moist with yummy cream filling at the centre..... Those chocolate hearts are so cute.... :)

  16. Look absolutely amazing Zoe! I love yours muffins cases!

  17. Zoe, whenever I want to feast on dessert, I come to your blog. Sure to make me drool.

  18. Hi Zoe,
    I am with Ryan, the white chocolate cream sounds delighting!
    Want a non shrink cupcakes? Try drop it from a height onto the counter top. This will give the cupcakes a shock. Shocking will prevent the cupcakes from shrinking. I have tried it, it works. Why don't you give it a try!
    Thanks for the shout out!

  19. So love the little hearts. and that chocolate custard oozing out is to die for. Happy Valentine's Day.

  20. Zoe, your very chocolaty Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes are so inviting! I think I can eat 6 at one go. Ooops I'm starting to sound like Louiz :)

  21. Nice presentation! And a great recipe! My husband and I love Hokkaido! We love to visit there in lavender season.

  22. I would like to ask that is the cream very watery or it's like cream form? Thank you in advance :)

    1. For a thicker cream, you can use whipped cream with 35% fat or use lesser whipped cream.

  23. Hi Zoe, I baked these lovely cupcakes for my daughter's birthday party and they were a hit! I followed your chiffon recipe but i used whipping cream+dark chocolate for the filling. I also used this same chiffon recipe to bake into a round 7" cake and sliced it up, filled with chocolate cream and frosted with chocolate ganache. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and the tips you offered were really helpful. Both the cupcakes and round cake didn't sink or shrink or crack. I am sooooo pleased! I have very few success with round sponge cakes (for birthday cakes). Mine will usually crack or sink so I was so thrilled to see that this recipe worked for me. Thank you!!
    Hazel from sunny Singapore