Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Perfect Cottony Soft Tea Chiffon Cake - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

I'm sorry that I have been able to answer or address most of the questions that were asked via my blog and social media accounts in recent years.

Please don't get me wrong. I really wish that I can help with any baking problems but my hands are tied due to lack of time. You see... I'm a busy full-time working mum and would rather spend my spare time exploring and sharing new recipes via my blog.

In fact, I didn't ignore all comments. I just didn't have the time to answer all. From time to time, I will make effort to read through the comments. I will usually take note of those that are genuine and will fulfill the attainable type of requests. Perhaps, my response is not instant but I can assure you that your sincere comments have not been ignored and forgotten.

I remember once that I was asked to create an ultra soft chiffon cake with tea. Immediately, I know that it is easily achievable because most tea is mild acidic like coffee but slightly less acidic than cream of tartar. Hence, the addition of tea into chiffon cake will make the egg proteins in the cake set faster and firmer than usual but less firmer than those with added cream of tartar.

I knew too that there are actually two types of recipes that I can use to bake the ultra soft type of chiffon cakes with tea:

ONE is the traditional chiffon cake recipe that I have optimised to bake with slightly acidic liquid ingredients just like Ultra Soft Perfect Orange Chiffon Cake at here.

Or TWO is the Swiss meringue recipe that I have to beat the egg white mixture with an alternative sugar like honey or maple syrup or brown sugar with heating until the mixture reaches 65°C. This recipe can accommodate 60g more liquid than the traditional recipe one, making it a better recipe to use if the tea that you used is milder in flavour.

Here, I'm showing you how to bake an ultra cottony soft TEA chiffon cake using the traditional chiffon cake recipe ONE and it's PERFECT!

perfect ultra cottony soft tea chiffon cake
Happy that I've baked a Perfect Cottony Soft Tea Chiffon Cake ^-^

I will show how I baked this perfect cottony soft tea chiffon cake. Plus, I have a few baking tips to share...

1) You can used ANY tea that you like to bake this cake like English breakfast, Earl Grey or Masala chai tea as long as they are slightly acidic. By the way, most green tea is neutral in pH and matcha tea is alkaline.

It can be either cold infused or hot brewed, with or without caffeine.

I'm sensitive to caffeine and so the tea that I'm using to bake this cake is a caffeine-free red tea from TWG. And it was brewed with hot boiling water. 

2) The addition of vanilla is optional depending on the tea that you used. Do not add vanilla if you think that your tea clashes with vanilla.

3) I like the addition of dried tea leaves into this cake because it enhances its tea flavour a little further... but can be optional especially if the dried tea leaves are too coarse or too hard to chew. For example, My son and I think that this cake is perfect but my husband hates the dried tea leaves in the cake because he feels that the leaves are poking his mouth. Hmmm... If you are fussy just like my husband, I suggest that you can ground the dried tea leaves into fine powder before adding it into the cake batter. 
Honestly speaking, I wouldn't be bother because it is really difficult and troublesome to grind just a tiny 5g of tea leaves in any coffee grinder or food processor. I will add the tea leaves or I don't. 

Nevertheless, here's my video. Enjoy!

Music: Bensound

perfect ultra cottony soft tea chiffon cake
This tea chiffon cake is PERFECT with feathery light cottony soft texture. 
perfect ultra cottony soft tea chiffon cake
I will definitely bake this cake again! Will you?

I love this recipe but what if I need to incorporate more tea liquid into a chiffon cake... 

Due to this reason, I will be showing you how to bake another tea chiffon cake using the Swiss meringue recipe TWO with honey at the same day and time next week. I promise. It's also a better recipe to use because you can add 60g more liquid than this recipe one and it will work better if the tea that you used is slightly milder in flavour. So please stay tune if you are interested.

If you like this recipe, please support me! Please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you means a lot to me. It tells me that I'm in the right track and will continue to bake and share more in the future. Thank you!!!

Here's the recipe.

IMPORTANT: Please use the exact weight and make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.

Makes one tall and perfect 8-inch (20 cm) chiffon cake

For the tea extract:
5g (about 1 tbsp) any tea leaves, cold infused or hot brewed type
90g water plus slightly more to top

To make cold infused tea: Combine tea leaves and water (at room temperature) and allow mixture to infuse for 10-15 min with occasion stirring. Strain and remove the tea leaves. Top the extract with extra water to 90g if required.

To make hot brewed tea: Combine tea leaves and hot boiling water. Set aside for the tea to infuse while cooling to room temperature. Strain and remove the tea leaves. Top the extract with extra water to 90g if required.

For the egg white mixture:
210g egg whites (about 6)
100g caster sugar

For the egg yolks mixture:
90g egg yolks (about 6)
45g neutral tasting vegetable oil
90g tea extract
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract, optional depending on the tea that you used
80g all purpose flour
40g corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
5g fine ground / chopped / pieces tea leaves, dried and not hydrated - please read my above tip 3

Preheat oven to 160°C.

For the egg white mixture:
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in the lowest speed for at least 10 mins to stabilise the mixture.

While the mixture is beating, prepare and whisk egg yolk mixture.

For the egg yolk mixture:
Using a hand whisk, combine egg yolks and oil in a large mixing bowl until combined. Whisk in the tea extract and vanilla paste. Sift in both flours and salt. Add fine ground / chopped / pieces dried tea leaves and whisk gently until the batter is smooth and combined.

Back to the beating of egg white mixture:
Increase beating speed to the next higher speed. While beating, add sugar gradually. Increase beating speed to another higher speed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be very smooth with tiny bubbles. Do not over-beat the mixture.

Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture in 3-4 batches. It is ok to mix the 1st batch of egg white more vigorously into the egg yolk mixture but the subsequent portions must be folded in very gently. Make sure that most of the white is not visible after folding.

Pour batter into an un-greased 20 cm chiffon tube pan. Give the pan a gentle tap.

Chiffon baking options:
Basic - Bake at 160°C for 50 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. IMPORTANT: This cake has to be baked for at least 50 mins in total.

With slits - This chiffon cake baking strategy will help the cake to rise uniformly rising with minimal cracks. The cake will also have a deep flavoursome top and surrounding crust.

Bake at 160°C for at least 15 mins or until a "skin" has formed on the cake surface and just before the cake surface starts to crack.

At the 14th minute, remove the cake out from oven. Cut 6 or more slits on the cake surface and place the cake back into the oven immediately. Continue to bake at 140°C for another 50 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. Increase oven temperature to 160°C and bake for another 5 mins until the top skin of the cake is nicely browned.

Please do not bake this cake with too low oven temperature or a tray of boiling water (also known as steam bake). Detailed explanation is at here.

After baking, drop the cake from a 20-30 cm height immediately onto your tabletop to minimise shrinkage. Then, invert the cake immediately to cool on a wire rack.

Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before removing it from the pan. Important: Do not unmould the cake by pressing it! To unmould, please use a blunt thin plastic spatula or knife to run along the cake's edges and gently push the cake out from the pan.The cake is fragile and so it is easier to slice with a serrated knife. Enjoy!

Happy Baking

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