Friday, April 15, 2011

玩一下文字游戏的 Chiffon Cake

What do you call a chiffon cake in Mandarin: Is it 威风蛋糕 or 戚风蛋糕?

This is not a question lifted from our primary school examination papers nor is it a quiz taken from 《华文?谁怕谁》.  The characters 威 and 戚 looks quite alike to me and interestingly, I found both terms used on the internet.  So, should it be 威风 (wēifēng) 蛋糕 - 那高高蓬松的海绵蛋糕,让你吃了感觉格外神气"威风"?Or should it be 戚风 (qī fēng) 蛋糕, literally translated from the word "chiffon"?  

Take a break, relax your mind with the recipe first ...

Pandan Chiffon vs Banana Chiffon

Pandan Chiffon Cake - 21cm chiffon pan
(adapted from kitchen tigress, source: kiamnianwong's recipe)

7 to 8 pandan leaves
120ml fresh coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pandan paste
25ml vegetable oil
4 egg yolks* (about 55g)  
45g sugar
50 g cake flour + 50g top flour + 1 tsp baking powder (sift together)

5 egg whites* (about 172g)
½ tsp cream of tartar
45 g sugar

* I used NTUC pasar eggs - 55g net weight each

1) After rinsing the pandan leaves, microwave it for 10 seconds on high.  Cut into small pieces and blend it together with the coconut milk.  Add one tbsp water if the mixture is too dry to blend.  Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and sieve (and press) to obtain about 120ml pandan coconut milk mixture.  Mix in salt, pandan paste and oil.  Set aside.

2) Whisk egg yolks and sugar till pale, thick and creamy.  Pour in the mixture from step 1 and mix well.  Sift in the flour mixture and mix well till smooth.

3) Whisk egg whites till foamy on medium speed.  Add in the cream of tartar, followed by sugar and whisk on high speed till peak (some recipes called for stiff peak egg whites, but I prefer the whites to be just before stiff peak, for easier mixing with the egg yolk mixture), continue to whisk for another 2 minutes on medium-low speed.

4) Take 1/3 egg whites and mix with the yolk mixture.  Pour this mixture into the remaining egg whites and carefully fold to combine the mixture together.

5) Bang the mixing bowl against the counter-top (laid with kitchen cloth) a few times to release air bubbles in the batter.  Slowly and carefully pour the batter into a 21cm chiffon pan and run a chopstick round the side of pan to remove trapped air bubbles in the batter.  Level the top with a spatula.

6) Bake the chiffon at the lowest rack of a preheated oven at 175C.  When the cake rise almost to the top of pan and starts to brown - about 10 minutes into baking (and before it starts to crack), quickly place a piece of foil over the chiffon to block off heat from top.  Continue to bake for another 25 to 30 minutes.  

7) Remove the cake from oven, invert over to cool on rack for an hour.

For Banana Chiffon Cake:
Same method and recipe, except to:
@ Replace pandan coconut milk mixture with 160g mashed banana (about 2 large banana) and 50ml oil.
@ Replace pandan paste with 1 tsp vanilla essence

Now back to my question at the beginning.  Is it 威风蛋糕 or 戚风蛋糕?  I think 戚风蛋糕 should be the correct translation (I may be wrong).  But one thing for sure, it is not 咸风蛋糕 ^_^ What do you think?


  1. I have an award for you. Please check it out.

  2. the texture of your chiffon is beautiful!

  3. Thanks Angel for the lovely award!

    J3ss: Thanks! I was so thrilled cos finally managed to get a nice texture.

  4. the texture of your chiffon cake is good. To me all along it is 戚风蛋糕. It is hard for me to associate a light cottony chiffon cake with 威风, lolz.

  5. ha... I always glanced through text, din really pay attention. But dun know why some write it as 威风 instead? Hee...

  6. Wow!!!! Your chiffon cake texture is great!!! So light and spongy :p

  7. the chiffon cake look so LOVELY! with soft and fluffy texture! im sure it taste yummy! (: :

  8. I have a twenty years 新洲日报 baking section, at that time, it have a very romantic named, called 香橙雪芳蛋糕, see the words, also I feel nice, sweet juicy orange, snowy fragrant cake... anyway, to be serious, baking of chiffon cakes makes me heartaches, sometimes jadi, sometimes tak jadi, sometimes can, sometimes, cannot, even I follow the recipe to the dots, still fail.

  9. Me too... till now, chiffon is my most feared "cake to bake".

  10. I have baked again the 斑兰雪芳蛋糕,just by looking at the chinese name, dotted phalaenopsis snow fragrant cake is enough to put me in nine heaven!

    However, still kink and dent at the side, I suspect it is the high ratio flour. I have baked once using superfine flour (pandan flavour - perfect cake), another one (orange flavour, this time, I was short of superfine, thus, I added some high ratio cake flour, resulted in kink a bit cake). I asked the bakeries supplies boss, she said it is my mixing, now I suspect it is the high ratio cake flour.

    Malaysia Day coming (long holiday), I will bake again 斑兰雪芳蛋糕,this time, using ALL superfine flour!

    唉,雪芳呀!雪芳,when can I get you right again?

  11. For practice, I suggest you use plain flour first. Get the egg whites and mixing right. Once you achieved good results, you can try substituting superfine flour to see the difference.

    1. Thank you, Fong, you are so kind and nice!

      I already know how to fold egg whites and mixing egg yolks. I suspect it is the high ratio flour (for cakes only)的怪物,because I have baked it twice successfully this year with superfine flour, NOT high ratio flour, the third time, I mixed some HRF, and my orange flavour dented a bit. I don't know the different HRF and Superfine, price wise, they are the same.

  12. Hi, why the top of my chiffon cake texture seems to dense? But the rest of the part is so fluffy and spongy,
    Need your advise

    1. Not sure if it is the moisture while resting the chiffon cake. I supposed you invert the cake over immediately upon removing it from the oven? Or it could be uneven heat in your oven such that the top layer is not well baked? Chiffon is still very much a headache for myself too ;P

  13. Hello can i ask u when you mentioned 175 degrees celcius is it with fan force??

    1. I do not turn on the oven fan for baking cakes.


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