Friday, November 16, 2012

Orange Chiffon Cake

I have given up making chiffon cake years ago as I never be able to make a good one.  It is such a simple looking cake without icing and what you only need to succeed making it is to get the airy texture and stay in shape.  Overlooking my failure is due to not having the right baking tin and good recipe.  My luck finally comes after searching through the internet and get a few tips, then combined two recipes to make this first ever so called a "passed" chiffon cake! (Well, it has been few hours after making the cake and it is still in good shape)  The tip to achieve a good result is to invert the pan on the cake rack and leave it cooled before release the cake from tin.  The gravity helps to keep the cake in shape.

Many people said that chiffon cake was liked angel food cake (one of the cake I've never made either).  The cooking steps are very much the same except that angel food cake is cooked without oil and egg yolk.  Chiffon cake is very poplar in Asia as many Asian prefer vegetable oil than butter as used in most western cake.  When I went to Malaysia the first time, I found out that many of their cakes are green in colour.  My husband told me that they were pandan cake which use pandan leaves to make the juice to give the fragrant and colour as what they called Asian vanilla.  As pandan leaf is not easy to get here and my husband is never happy with the taste of pandan essence, I choose to use orange flavour this time.

Although Asian has created many flavours in chiffon cake, it is actually created by an American Insurance Agent, Harry Baker in 1927 and he kept the recipe as a secret until he sold it to General Mills in 1947.  He must be very determined to keep a secret for 20 years and make a profit from it.  If you're interested in the history of chiffon cake, please click here.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Egg yolk mix:
5 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
100g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
60g orange juice
1 tablespoon orange rind
3 tablespoon vegetable oil

Egg white mix:
5 egg whites
80g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven at 170c.  Beat egg yolks with sugar, add oil and mix well.  Stir in orange juice, rind and sifted flour and baking powder.
  2. Beat egg whites with electric mixer until frothy, gradually add in sugar and cream of tarter in 2 batches. Beat until stiff.
  3. Fold egg white into flour mixture in 2 batches.  Pour mixture in a lightly greased tube pan (some say don't grease the pan but I still grease a little, just in case the cake got stuck) Tap the pan at the kitchen bench a few time to release bubbles.
  4. Bake about 35 to 40 minutes.  Gently invert pan on cake wire and leave cool.  Run a spatula around side of pan to release cake. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

Beetroot Chutney

After making several bottles of jam a few months ago, I want to try making chutney and preserve.  Beetroot is one of my favourite purple vegetable, however it does stain your hand after handling.  So if I only get my hands dirty for once and enjoy the chutney for a few months in a bottle, that's not a bad idea! It's also a nice gift for Christmas.

I serve it with turkey minced burger and it is tasty enough that you can skip the tomato sauce!

Beetroot Chutney
(make 2 bottles, about 3 cups)

3 beetroot (500g)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cardamon pods, bruised
2 green apples (400g), chopped
1/2 red onion (85g), finely chopped
1 cm ginger, chopped
1 garlic glove, finely chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Keep the skin on the beetroot and cook with boiling water in pan or microwave till cook.  Use a fork to poke into the beetroot, if it gets in then it's ready.  Drain.
  2. Cool then peel the skin off.  You can wear gloves to prevent the juice stain on you hands.
  3. Chop half the beetroot into fine dice, blend the remaining beetroot till smooth.
  4. Put the beetroot puree, apple, onion, ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan.  Add in spices (you can tie spices in muslin bag), make it to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.  Add chopped beetroot and simmer for 10 minutes more.
  5. Store chutney in sterilised jar and it can keep in the fridge for 3 months.
Source: modified and adopted from the cookbook, "The Australian Women's Weekly: Classic Preserves Jams Chutneys Relishes"