Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chocolate Chiffon Cake Revisited

I've been wanting to bake another chocolate chiffon cake since my first try last year. That attempt was less than satisfactory: the cake had a very dense layer at the bottom and the texture was rough. But as usual, I had too many projects lined up so I kept pushing this back until this week, when I finally decided to give it another go.

The usual egg yolk mixture and whipping of egg whites. The only thing I did differently this time round is to add cream of tartar to the whites. After several chiffon cake attempts in the past year, I have decided that adding cream of tartar is crucial for stable egg whites, at least for a lousy baker like me.

The 2-egg batter only filled about 70% of my 6" pan. Of course I was crossing my fingers for the batter to rise as high as possible. Well, it did rise, but perhaps not as tall as I would like it to be. The surface did not crack as badly as some of my other chiffon cakes though.

Finally, the unmolding process left the skin on the pan. But at least the surface of the cake is browned. There is still a slight dense layer at the bottom and the cake is not as airy as the perfect chiffon cake. Well, as a self-consolation, this is still an improvement from my previous attempt.

I try to make at least one submission to Aspiring Bakers each month but unfortunately, I missed last month's theme as I am not a fan of cheese. So I was greatly delighted to know that this month's theme is chocolate (I'm a chocoholic)! I'm submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #7 – Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested and Tasted.

Ingredients (makes a 16 cm cake):

2 egg yolks
20 g castor sugar
1/8 tsp salt
20 g canola oil

70g Warmed Fresh Milk
13g Cocoa Powder
*Mix well

60 g Cake flour
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Baking Soda

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
25 g castor sugar

  1. Whisk yolks and sugar (in A) with a hand whisk till sugar dissolves and the mixture turns pale and sticky. Dribble in the oil and salt and stir.
  2. Dribble in the chocolate milk (B) and stir well.
  3. Fold in sifted flour and mix well (C).
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites till foamy and frothy. Add in cream of tartar and beat till soft peaks form. Add in sugar in thirds and beat till stiff peaks (D).
  5. Fold in the whites in thirds into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into a 16 cm chiffon tube pan. Tap the pan on the table sharply a few times to get rid of air bubbles.
  7. Bake at 170 deg C for 25-30 mins.
  8. Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it has completely cooled.
Adapted from Rei's Double Chocolate Chips Chiffon Cake.

The election fever is officially over, but looks like the weather is leading a protest: a few days of intense heat followed by a few days of intense rain. Anyway, I sure am glad to see the presence of a few Teochew Muay stalls somewhere on this island, but the next 5 years will be crucial for the stall owners to prove themselves. Good luck and hope that you won't let your customers down!


  1. Pretty tall chiffon! It's chocolate some more, definitely yummy! :)

  2. Thank you DG! Not as tall as I would like it to be though. Haha.

  3. I think your chocolate chiffon cake is pretty good. I never get very tall chiffon cakes, but I am pretty satisfied with them. My chocolate chiffon cakes turned out alot denser than yours (recipe used melted choc too).

    Indeed, cream of tartar makes egg whites a lot easier to incorporate. The beaten egg whites are very creamy and that cannot be achieved with just beating egg whites and sugar.

    just my 2 cents worth, to avoid that dense layer, after pouring your batter into the chiffon tin, give the batter in the tin some further folding so that the batter that was originally at the bottom of the mixing bowl can now be more easily incorporated.

    Are you using Tefal Activys 26l oven? Yours is the one with convection function. Mine is the model without convection fan. This model is pretty good.

  4. Hi ZY,
    So far I haven't try those chiffon recipes with melted chocolate because I think those are too challenging for me. Haha. Yes, I realized the usefulness of cream of tartar via the hard way.

    Oh...I get what you mean. When I was pouring the batter into the tin, I saw some streaks of batter that was not well mixed and after baking, these streaks became the denser parts. I'll heed your advice the next time I bake a chiffon.

    Yes, mine is a Tefal Activys 26l with the fan =D. My friend bought the one without the fan...probably same as yours. But one problem she faced with that oven is the long time needed to preheat the oven. Is it the same for yours as well?