I have been mad with chiffon cakes lately. It comes from a passionate baker's curiosity within me, I suppose. It's the desire to challenge my skill to another different level. Nothing more to speak out, to be quite sure.
After a success with previous Chocolate Chiffon Cake, I tried out to make Rainbow Chiffon Cake, written by Fatmah Bahalwan, a famous baker and cook of Natural Cooking Club Indonesia in Jakarta. My first attempt was a disaster. The colours were there, but it did not rise high. I had troubles with pastes required in the recipe. I made a few trials and errors to substitute the use of pastes, but I failed. The cake was suffered from receiving too much liquid, the results from adding too much food colouring and essence.
This is my second attempt. I learned my mistakes and tried my best to avoid using too much liquid. I reduced the use of oil and coconut milk to each 60ml only. This way, when I add essence plus food colouring, the cake will be able to stand extra weight of liquid. The cake is still moist and proudly rising and protruding to the sky.
I am not yet satisfied with this. I am not too happy with the crust left on the tin when I removed the cake from it. There must be a way to make the crust staying and enveloped the moist cake.
Chiffon Rainbow Cake
by Fatmah Bahalwan, NCC
In this mixture, the recipe calls only to pour the egg yolks into a well of dry ingredients. I whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar, firsthand, and then mix it to the dry ingredients, oil and coconut milk.
50g caster sugar
20g milk powder
140g standard flour
1 tsp baking powder
100ml oil (60ml; rice bran oil--ab)
100ml coconut milk (60ml--ab)
140g egg yolks
Egg Whites Mixture
What I do is to treat this mixture like you are making meringues. Whisk the egg whites and salt until foamy, and then gradually add in the sugar in three batches. Keep whisking until soft peaks.
300ml egg whites
150g caster sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
I only have pandan paste, and I have to substitute the other pastes my own. What I do is to use a drop of rose essence plus a drop of red food colouring to substitute the strawberry paste; and using cocoa powder mixed with hot water for the chocolate paste.
1/2 tsp pandan paste
1/2 tsp strawberry paste
1/2 tsp chocolate paste
Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare a 20cm chiffon cake (less in diameter will be alright, I am told). Do not grease or line the tin.
Combine sugar, milk powder, cornflour, flour, and baking powder (I sifted these ingredients together, 3 times). Make a well in the centre. Pour the egg yolks (mine is already mixed with caster sugar) in the middle, mix well, while adding the oil and coconut milk. Work from the middle to the edge, combine well until you have a smooth egg mixture.
Meanwhile, whisk egg whites, caster sugar, salt and cream of tartar, if using, until soft peak. Mix this mixture into the egg mixture. Work lightly but thoroughly, to avoid any lumps (which will make holes in your cake).
Divide the mixture into 4 portions and put each portion into a bowl (I only use 3 bowls, and leave the plain mixture in the mixer bowl). Work each paste into each bowl, so you will have one bowl of pandan paste mixture, one bowl of strawberry paste mixture, and another bowl of chocolate paste mixture, while the rest of the mixture remains plain (I drop vanilla extract in it).
Pour these mixture into the tin, and bake for 45 minutes, or until it becomes springy to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately turn the cake (in the tin) upside-down, using the tin's feet (if you have a chiffon cake with feet). Otherwise, use a strong bottle, like your aged Modena vinegar bottle, to hold the cake by sliding the bottle into the tin hole in the middle. Leave it to cool.
When it is already cool, remove the cake from the tin by using a long thin knife, loosening from the sides and bottom of the tin. Serve as is, sliced.