Sunday, January 2, 2011

Matcha chiffon cake


I’ve been wanting to try making a matcha flavored chiffon cake for a while now since I love green tea flavored desserts, but only got around to it this past week. I saw a couple of different recipes, but I ended up using the recipe I’ve used for pandan chiffon cake and instead substituted in matcha powder. I also tried using cake flour instead of all purpose flour to see if it would make a difference.

The cake came out a very pale green. It was very soft and light on the inside. I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference between the cake flour and all purpose flour. Perhaps if I did a side by side comparison I might notice a difference in texture.

I’ve used this chiffon recipe many times now with success, however, as I’ve experimented with  more different recipes, the one thing I don’t like about this recipe is the thick outer layer that the cake develops. Next time, I’m going to try to make a chiffon cake that has a much lighter outer layer like the ube chiffon cake I made recently.

Matcha Chiffon Cake (adapted from Little Corner of Mine)

Ingredients
(A)
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 Tbp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp matcha powder

(B)
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk

(C)
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350′F (175′C).

2. Combine (A) ingredients in a bowl. Stir well to blend. Add (B). Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, Beat (C) (egg whites and cream of tartar) until moist peaks
formed. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff and shiny peaks are formed. Fold 1/2 of the egg whites into the egg yolks mixture using a spatula and stir and fold until no egg white streaks remain. Then fold and mix in the rest of the egg whites. Fold until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into ungreased 10″ tube pan.

4. Bake for about 55 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you touch the top of the cake, it should bounce back. Invert cake pan and let cake cool completely in pan upside down. When cool, loosen the edges of cake with a plastic knife and shake pan to remove cake.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Purple Yam (ube) chiffon cake

I love how pretty the color of this cake came out. The purple pink tones makes the cake look delicate and princessy in my opinion.

For a while now I’ve tried to achieve a purple sweet potato cake that maintains it’s purple color. It usually turns a dull greyish purple once I mix the batter with egg yolks, like the one I made here. I am beginning to suspect it has something to do with the type of purple sweet potatoes available in the US.

Not too long ago, a fellow blogger told me to try adding lemon juice to the sweet potatoes to maintain the color. I’ve been wanting to try it out. So I was going to try it out for this cake, but I was also afraid it wouldn’t work. And I was planning on making this cake for BF’s family and I didn’t want to end up with a grey cake.

So then I thought about using ube. Ube is a purple yam that is very commonly used in filipino desserts. It also has a vibrant purple color like purple sweet potato. I’ve  baked with ube before, making ube cupcakes, and the cupcakes turned out a nice pink. So I decided to make an ube chiffon cake.

I’ve never seen fresh ube before, but they sell frozen grated ones at Ranch 99, so I think you should be able to find it at your local asian grocery store. You can see a picture of the one I use from this post.

I tried a new chiffon recipe. Lately I’ve found some new recipes that create an even lighter cake than my previous chiffon cakes. The cake came out light and cottony. BF liked how the colors looked on the cake.

There are some things I would do differently next time. For one, I am going to try  make a uniform paste by steaming the ube first and mashing it in a food processor. I just used the finely grated ube as is in for this cake, so there are lot of flecks of ube inside the cake. I also will add more sugar. I modified a recipe for a sweet potato chiffon cake, but sweet potato is naturally sweeter than ube, so I should have upped the sugar levels for the ube cake.

Now that I know how to make a chiffon cake using ube in the batter, the possibilities are endless. I think I’ll try regular sweet potato, taro, and attempt purple sweet potato again.

Ube chiffon cake (adapted from Little House)

Makes one 7 inch chiffon cake. I used this Wilton Pan

Ingredients

100g grated purple yam
3 tbs milk
15 ml lemon juice
3 egg yolks
20g white sugar (this is what I did for this cake, but next time I’ll try 50g; the original recipe calls for brown sugar but I didn’t want to dilute the purple pink color)
1/8 tsp salt
50ml canola oil
3 tbs water
85g cake flour
4 egg whites
50g white sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).

2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites, 50 g white sugar and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy peaks formed. You should be able to hold your bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the rest of the white sugar, salt, water and oil until combined.

4. In a small bowl, mash the purple yam with the milk and lemon juice. Add the purple yam mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until blended and smooth. Sift in the flour and beat until smooth.

5. Take about half of the egg white mixture and fold it into the batter. I use a spatula and keep stirring until no egg white streaks remain. Then add in the remaining about of egg whites and fold until no streaks remain.

6. Pour the batter into the ungreased pan.

7. Move the oven rack to the one row below the middle. Put cake in and bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake’s surface is golden brown. When you touch the cake it should spring back.

8. Remove from the oven and revert the cake pan upside down to finish cooling and rising. Put a plate underneath in case it falls out.

9. When the cake is completely cooled, gently run a plastic knife around the rim of the cake and then remove cake from pan.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mice cookies

When I saw these mice cookies on Serious Eats, I knew I had to try making them. Cookies that look like cute little mice! How perfect is that?

The recipe comes from Martha Stewart.  The cookies don’t spread much during baking, making them ideal to mold into shapes. I had some trouble shaping my mice and getting them to all look the same, but I was pretty happy with my first attempt.

The cookies are a cross between shortbread and sugar cookies and have almond extract flavoring. The little almond ears are very delicate and many of mine fell off. I skipped the licorice tails to make these cookies more adult orientated.

Next time I think I will experiment with creating something other than mice, but these mice are super cute and would be perfect to bring to a party.

Mice cookies (from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sliced natural almonds
  • Directions
    1. Whisk to combine flour and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in extract, then egg. Reduce speed to low, and add one-third flour mixture. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. Halve dough and shape into disks; wrap each in plastic, and chill 2 hours or up to 1 day.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll about 1 tablespoon of chilled dough between your palms to form 1 1/4-inch- to 1 1/2-inch-long oval shapes. Slightly elongate one side to form face. Gently pinch bridge of nose to form eye sockets. With a paring knife, make 2 small slits at top of each shape, for placement of ears. (I didn’t do this step. Instead, I just broke a sliced almond in half and stuck each half onto the dough.) Place 2 sliced almonds into slits. Place shapes on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
    3. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are light golden brown on bottom and around edges, and tips of ears are golden brown, about 20 minutes. (I did not rotate my sheets and the cookies came out fine.) Transfer sheets to wire racks.  Let cookies cool completely on wire racks.
    4. To make the faces, I made some chocolate ganache and put it in a freezer ziploc bag and cut a tiny whole at the bottom and then piped eyes and a nose for each mouse.