This must be the longest record for a hiatus I’ve had from the food blog. I still am very in touch with the foodie scene (self-professed claims aren’t very convincing, but my foodie friends can assure you of this!), I’m just getting lazy and not writing about them. That, plus uni is getting more and more hectic as the years go by… Although my procrastination is still going strong wahaha! I just spent the past few days watching Masterchef almost non-stop, which I suppose is the catalyst behind igniting my desire to come back here to gratify a need for some self-indulgent blogging. I was kind of gawking at how little blogging I have done regarding nutrition or dietetics, considering I’m spending the bulk of my time (supposedly, anyway!) studying about it. I’ll get to it soon, so stay tuned with some fascinating insight and commentary about nutrition!
I wanted to share a recipe that I love: a blueberry chiffon cake that my now sister-in-law taught me. It is a delightfully light, fresh-tasting cake, that, if executed well and with some TLC, will not fail to impress. I did not have a chiffon pan at the time so it doesn’t look as tall or appealing as it should be, but it still tasted amazing. I was also too lazy to make the cream but the cake still tasted really good without it.
It is a recipe from a Japanese cookbook, and the cake certainly exudes the dainty and delicate art of Japanese cake-making, although my version is an unfortunately crude attempt, as my pictures show… The blueberries impart a soothing blue tinge to the cake as well as a subtle fruity aroma.
Now’s my chance to shine with some insider knowledge about food science! The recipe states not to grease the cake tin, and the reason behind that is so that the cake can ‘grip’ on to the sides of the pan to achieve maximal height, which would not be possible if you greased it with oil and make it too slippery for the poor batter to hold on to as it wants to rise to fame in all its chiffony goodness. That also probably is the rationale behind the existence of that ‘holey’ thing in chiffon tins: the more support the cake gets, the higher it rises. I think, anyway. Which is the reason behind the dismal heights achieved in my cake. No matter, it still tasted good.
Although the batter was grey, the cake’s flavour was anything but dull! I hope you enjoy making and eating it as much as I did
Blueberry Chiffon Cake
3 egg yolks
100g blueberries/strawberries (about less than one punnet (125g).
30g sugar (1/8 cup granulated sugar)
5 cc. (mL) lemon juice (1 tsp)
Few drops of vanilla oil (essence)
50 cc. (mL) vegetable oil
80g plain flour (low viscosity) (2/3 cup flour = 80g)
2/3 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites
1/10 tsp cream of tar tar
60g sugar (¼ cup)
250mL fresh cream (whipping cream)
25g icing sugar (10 tsp)
10mL orange liquer (preferably) or brandy
Decorations: crushed almonds and mint
Preheat oven to 160°C (gas).
Cook blueberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a small saucepan. Simmer a little till berries start to leak and colours the syrup slightly. Cool down completely.
Sift baking powder and flour into a bowl.
Put egg yolks into a large bowl. Mix with an electric beater/whisker till fluffy and creamy coloured (you may need to tilt the bowl to make it whip). Add in blueberry syrup and mix it in with a hand whisk.
Put egg whites and cream of tartar into a separate bowl. Use a (clean) electric beater at low speed first, then progressively go towards the highest speed, while also simultaneously gradually adding sugar, beat till thick and fluffy (if you move the whisk up out of the egg white, the tip of the egg whites droops down very slightly (ie. Not horizontal, not drooping down a lot). Soft peaks.
Using a hand whisk in one direction, gradually pour oil into the blueberry and egg yolk mixture, gradually adding one at a time and mixing till fully incorporated.
Add flour and beat briefly on electric beater till combined (can use the beaters used to beat egg whites, even without washing).
Place 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Use a hand whisk to fold it in slowly and gently till combined (with the whisk at right angles vertical to the bowl, use a circular motion to make one semi-circle of the bowl in one direction, first surrounding the edge of one half of the bowl, then cutting through the middle. Repeat on the other semi-circle). Add a further 1/3 of the egg whites and continue folding in using the same technique, this and subsequent times using a plastic scraper to fold it in to combine (‘cutting’ the half with the ‘blade’ of the scraper). Add the last 1/3 and again fold in with plastic scraper.
Prepare a chiffon tin (do not grease). Use a spoon to put a layer to cover the base of the chiffon cake tin (to prevent large bubbles). Pour the rest in, careful not to let any onto the edges (otherwise it will burn).
On a piece of cloth on a hard surface (counter), bang the tin 5 times to get rid of big air bubbles.
Place the cake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean.
Invert immediately on a metal rack and leave to cool.
Ice with chilled surface cream and decorate with berries.
Place icing sugar and cream into a glass bowl. Place this bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cold water. Beat this with an electric beater on low speed for about 1 minute till a little thick. Add 10mL of orange liqueur/brandy, then beat again on electric beater starting with low speed, then gradually high speed, beating until thickened (thick but still liquid enough that if you lift up the whisk, some cream should drop down). Chill. Frost cake with a flat spatula.