Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Purple Sweet Potato Chiffon Cake

I seldom bake a chiffon cake, as most of the time, it would end up in the rubbish bin.  I do not know about other home-bakers, but I always have this problem with chiffon cakes - burnt top, sunk-in after baking, sticky at the bottom or simply the wrong texture.  This is a cake that always gives me headache, heartache and lots of question marks.  I do follow the recipe closely (hmmm... sometimes out by a little.. usually to cut down on the sugar), careful when beating the egg whites and folding it to the egg yolk batter, but the end-product is often less than satisfactory.

After many trial and error attempts, I decided to bake a chiffon cake again.  This time, with a completely new ingredient - Purple Sweet Potato and a new kind of flour - Violet Flour.  I have already tested purple sweet potato on buns and English scones, but adding mashed purple sweet potato to chiffon cake is my first attempt.  I learnt about Violet Flour from Cosy Bake when I read about her bakes.  Violet Flour is like our Prima Top Flour for making chiffon cakes and swiss rolls.  So when I see packets of Violet Flour at Isetan (Meidi-ya at Liang Court has it too and cheaper), I decided to buy a packet to test it out.

Here is my chiffon cake:

It may not be the "perfect" chiffon cake, but at least the texture, appearance and taste is close to a chiffon cake.  Personally, I find it a little bland.  With no addition of any artificial flavouring, this chiffon cake loses out in terms of aroma and taste, when compared with our local favourite "Pandan Chiffon Cake".  On hindsight, I could have replaced the "3 tbsp of milk, 3 tbsp of corn oil and 3 tbsp of water" with "9 tbsp of coconut milk".  I believe the coconut milk should improve the taste factor of this chiffon cake.

(for 7 inch chiffon tube pan)

100g purple sweet potato (steamed and mashed with 3 tbsp milk)

3 egg yolks
25g sugar (I used orange sugar or 赤糖)
3 tbsp corn oil
3 tbsp water
85g Violet Flour (or Top Flour) - sifted

4 egg whites
50g castor sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp corn flour

Handful of diced steamed sweet potato cubes (lightly dust with 1 tsp flour)

1) Whisk egg yolks with sugar together.  Mix in corn oil and water.  Add the mashed purple sweet potato and mix well.  
2) Sift in flour and mix batter till smooth. 
3) Using a hand-held electric mixer, whisk egg whites till foamy.  Add a pinch of salt, sugar in 3 batches into egg whites.  Add the corn flour with the last batch of sugar.  Continue to whisk egg whites till soft peak (i.e. when held up mixer, the peak should fall back gently.
4) Add 1/3 portion of whisked egg white into the egg yolk mixture and mix well.  
5) Pour egg yolk mixture into the remaining egg white mixture and carefully mix with a spatula till well-combined.  Do not over-mix.
6) Stir in sweet potato cubes.

7) Pour batter into ungreased chiffon tube pan. Bang the cake pan lightly against table top to release air bubbles in the batter.

8) Bake in preheated oven at 165C for about 45 minutes.
9) Remove from oven, invert cake pan and let it cool completely before removing cake from tube pan.

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