This post is all about a chiffon cake that is cottony soft, moist and fluffy. The secret weapon is Tang Mian/cooked dough. As its name suggests, tang mian (literary “scald dough”) is a dough that is scalded with hot liquid. Similar to the water roux or Tang Zhong method used in bread making, when mixed with hot liquid, the starch in the flour is gelatinized. Moisture will be locked in the starch as the mixture thickens up. The gluten in the flour will be transformed, resulting in a very soft, moist and springy cake. My first encounter with this method was the “golden sponge cake” by 妃絹. It took me several trials to get it right because the yolk batter was too thin and my cake separated into two layers during baking. After reading more at Bake for Happy Kids, Jane’s Corner and 君之, just to name a few, along with making adjustments to the original recipe, and some trial and error, I’ve finally mastered this technique and my cakes come out perfect every time since then. I was also able to modify the ingredients and turn them into different flavors. What I am sharing with you today is the pandan version that I have developed. This pandan chiffon cake has the same texture as Japanese souffle cheesecake; however, a water bath is NOT required (yay…good news). I use pandan paste for this cake as it is difficult to find fresh pandan leaves in Toronto. If you do have fresh pandan leaves, you may cut 8 to 10 of them into small pieces and blend them with the coconut milk in a food processor. Filter the mixture through a wire mesh or cheese cloth then it is good to go.
Here are some tips that I think are crucial when I was
playing experimenting with this cake:
Do not scald flour with boiling liquid. The dough will be too thick and you will have a hard time breaking it down when the yolks are mixed in. I got bits of dough all over my yolk batter one time because of that.
If the yolk batter is too thin, chilling will help it to thicken up a bit. Conversely, if the yolk batter is too thick, you can thin it by adding a tablespoon of egg whites. The yolk batter should look like a paste (it actually looks like slime to me).
Only beat the meringue to soft peaks. Meringue that is too stiff is harder to fold and may result in a cake that rises too high, which tends to collapse during cooling.
Make sure you bang the cake pan on the tabletop several times to release as many big air bubbles as possible before baking (you can actually see them rising up to the surface). Otherwise, you will see holes in your cake after baking.
Bake cake with a lower temperature to prevent it from cracking on top. I first bake with 325ºF/160ºC, then reduce to 300ºF/150ºC. The doomed shape or cracks won’t affect the texture or taste of the cake, it is just the appearance that most people are concerned with.
I hope you find the above suggestions useful as well. If you have other tips to add on, feel free to leave me a comment.
這篇網誌與一個綿密、濕潤和極有彈性的雪芳蛋糕有關，而此蛋糕的秘密武器是燙麵糰！燙麵糰顧名思義是“燙過的麵糰”，即將熱的液體加入麵粉把它燙熟。這技巧與做麵包的湯種法如出一轍，受熱過程會使澱粉質糊化，水份會被鎖在內，麵粉中的麩質(即我們常說的筋)會變質，因此燙麵法做的蛋糕會很濕潤、組織細密和富彈性。EC的第一個燙麵法蛋糕是妃絹的黃金蛋糕，初試時蛋黃糊太稀和出現了布甸層，做了幾次才成功。後來閱讀了其他的網誌(如Bake for Happy Kids，Jane’s Corner，君之及其他 )，加上修改食譜及做法、不停嘗試和在錯誤中學習，EC總算掌握了燙麵法蛋糕的製作竅門，現在蛋糕每次都做得很好，亦懂得更改材料變成其他口味。今天EC分享的是班蘭口味，這個燙麵班蘭蛋糕擁有日式輕乳酪蛋糕的綿密質感，但完全不需使用水浴法(好消息喔！)，可惜在多倫多要找新鮮的班蘭葉比較有點難度，所以EC使用的是班蘭香精。有新鮮班蘭葉的可將八至十塊班蘭葉切碎放入攪拌機與椰奶一起打匀，隔渣後使用。
Pandan Coconut Chiffon Cake (Tang Mian Method)
Makes a 7-inch cake
50 g cake flour, sifted
10 g granulated sugar
50 g coconut milk
25 g virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil
25 g canola oil
4 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp pandan paste
4 large egg whites
50 g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
The eggs I use each has a net weight of 50 – 55 g.
Coconut oil may be substituted with unsalted butter. But it will be less flavorful.
低筋麵粉(過篩) 50 g
Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC.
For the yolk batter, heat canola oil, coconut oil, sugar and coconut milk in the microwave or a small saucepan until it is hot to the touch and above 150ºF/65ºC (but not boiling). Whisk well then pour into the flour. Quickly stir with a pair of chopsticks or a spatula to form a soft dough (i.e. the tang mian or cooked dough). When dough is warm to the touch, whisk in egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition, to form a shiny, smooth, and paste-like batter.
To make the meringue, place egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. With an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar (to stabilize the meringue) and continue to beat until foamy. Then slowly add sugar in batches and continue beating until soft peaks. When you lift the whisk, the meringue will stand straight up with a little curve at the tip.
Add one third of the meringue to the yolk batter and mix well to lighten. Add the remaining meringue in two batches. Fold gently and thoroughly with a spatula until you see no streaks of white. Do it quickly but gently so as not to deflate the meringue.
Pour batter into an unprepared cake pan and smooth top with a spatula. Tap pan against the tabletop several times to get rid of any large air bubbles.
將麵糊倒入模具中 (不用抹油) ，用膠刮抹平表面，將模具住桌上輕敲幾下敲出較大的氣泡。
Bake for 10 minutes then reduce temperature to 300ºF/150ºC and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean (adjust time according to your own oven). Invert cake pan onto a wire rack to cool completely before unmolding.
放入焗爐10分鐘後調低爐溫至300ºF/150ºC，繼續焗25-30分鐘至熟或竹籤插入不沾麵糊 (請自行跟根據自家焗爐調整時間) ，取出後立刻在鋼架倒扣，完全放涼後可脱模。
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Can you frost this cake with buttercream or is it too heavy for such a light cake? Is there a frosting that is suitable to this cake?
Hi Elaine! For frosting I would just use lightly seeetened whipped cream. Hope it helps.