I am back with another dessert recipe made with butternut pumpkin. After I made butternut pumpkin pudding and butternut pumpkin cake, I challenged myself to another level of cake making, and that was to make chiffon cake.
I have made cakes which required to beat the egg whites separately and then fold the meringue with the egg yolk butter, and after several times trying to do it correctly, I must say that I always failed miserably. The cakes were always shrinking (a lot), deflate, had wrinkles on the sides, didn’t rise properly, and other bad things that could happen to a cake. Thankfully, some of them were still good enough to eat although they didn’t look so good. So, this pumpkin chiffon cake was my first success story of making cake that needed to beat the egg yolks and whites separately.
I did some research thoroughly through the internet before I finally made this pumpkin chiffon cake. There were lots of methods ad some dos and don’ts that I read that actually made me confuse and was so afraid to try making chiffon cake, but then I found some bakers who were willing to share a very detail step by step of how to make chiffon cake with lots of pictures that was very easy to understand.
So, after combining the things that I have read, now it was time to practice, because just knowing the things means nothing if I didn’t dare to try…………….and so here comes my first successful chiffon cake………….
The cake stayed in its shape with no wrinkles on the sides (which I was afraid the most), no shrinkage, and it didn’t deflate like my first chiffon cake ( I underbaked my first chiffon cake so I had to throw away everything into the dustbin). My second chiffon cake (which was pandan chiffon cupcakes) shrunk a lot although it was still delicious to eat.
In case you’re wondering why my pumpkin chiffon cake looks so yellow like in very dark yellow color compared to other pumpkin chiffon cake that you see in other websites, well, here’s the secret………………….first of all, I didn’t use any yellow food coloring for this cake, but I used butternut pumpkin instead of the usual round shape pumpkin. Butternut pumpkin has darker color which will make a difference in the outcome of the dish. It is also sweeter so I usually reduced the amount of sugar. It is slightly more expensive and sometimes not easy to get, so I only buy them when they are on sale.
The cake was so soft and moist and we all really loved it. There was no taste of pumpkin at all and no one was able to guess that the cake was made of vegetables. I couldn’t stop taking one slice and then followed by another slice and another slice when I took photos of this cake, although it was recommend to eat the cake one day after I made it for stronger flavour. I served this for breakfast (so I didn’t have to wake up so early on weekends), and I was so happy when everyone really enjoyed it.
It should have been baked in a 20 cm tube pan, but since I didn’t have it, I used a slightly bigger pan, and that was why my cake wasn’t so tall.
By the way, you have to use a special chiffon cake tube pan. I have tried using another pan but failed miserably, so I suggest you use the correct tube pan for best result.
And now, here’s the complete recipe and step by step of how to make pumpkin chiffon cake:
- 6 egg yolk
- 20 gr caster sugar
- 40 gr fresh milk
- 50 gr cooking oil (I used canola oil)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 100 gr mashed pumpkin puree in room temperature (peel and cut pumpkin in cubes, steam until soft and mash with a fork while it’s still hot)
- 100 gr cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 egg whites
- 1 tsp lime juice or lemon juice
- 80 gr caster sugar
- Start preheating your oven together with the chiffon cake tube pan inside (160 Celsius for fan forced and 170 Celsius for non fan forced oven)
- Cream 6 egg yolks and 30 gr caster sugar in a mixer in high speed (speed 3 is the highest speed in my mixer) for about 5 minutes or until it is light and triple in volume
- Add milk, oil, vanilla essence, and pumpkin puree to the mixing bowl and mix until well incorporated
- Turn off the mixer and sift flour, baking powder, and salt into the mixing bowl (this method save my time and bowl to wash)
- In low speed, mix the flour mixture with other ingredients just until well combined. Do not overmix. Use a spatula to scrape the flour from the sides of the mixing bowl to fasten the mixing process. Transfer the batter to a bowl
- The batter should be nice, light, and double in volume, so it will be easier to fold it into the egg white meringue (this was the first time that I tried this method instead of just mixing all together with a balloon whisk and spatula, and I was really impressed with how easy for me to mix everything and folding the batter in the end)
- Wash and clean and dry the mixing bowl and the whisks thoroughly before using them to beat the egg whites. Make sure there are no yolk, oil, or water left before start whisking the white
- Add egg whites and lime juice and start to mix in lowest speed then gradually increase the speed
- When the mixture start to foamy, gradually add sugar and increase to highest speed
- Beat the egg white and sugar until they reach firm peak and just before it reaches stiff peak stage. If you are not so sure, when the mixture start to look smooth and glossy, turn off the mixer and check. Continue mixing if the stage is not there yet but check every 5 seconds so you do not overbeat the egg whites
- Now it’s time to mix the egg whites batter with the egg yolks batter. Take 1/3 of the meringue and add it to the egg yolk mixture. Whisk gently until well combined (don’t worry that you will deflate the batter, this method will make the batter lighter and easier to fold later on)
- Add another 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolks batter, and this time, fold gently with a spatula or a wooden spoon
- Add the last 1/3 of the meringue to the batter, and again, fold gently with a spatula until well combined
- Bang the bowl 4 to 5 times to the kitchen top so the big bubbles can rise to the top and burst
- Pour the mixture into the cake pan slowly from one side of the cake pan and don’t turn the cake pan at all. This will help to get rid of big bubbles
- Using a chopstick, swirl several times round the cake pan to release any bubbles that are still trapped on the bottom side of the cake pan
- Then smoothen the surface of the batter with a spatula
- Put the cake pan in the lowest rack of the oven
- Bake for at least 60 to 75 minutes (every oven is different so please check accordingly). I didn’t have problem with the top cracking or browning too soon because it was a big oven and the cake top was quite far from the top heating element, but if you do, cover the top loosely with aluminium foil after the top starts to brown and crack
- When it’s done, the top should be brown and springy and will slightly bounce back when you tap with your finger. You can also check by inserting a skewer which should come out clean when the cake is done
- Once baking is done, overturn the cake and let it cool. Try to put the cake as far away form the table top because the hot steam will spoil the surface of the cake
- Using a thin knife (I used my long thin spatula), separate the cake from the sides of the cake pan by pressing the knife as firm as possible to the cake pan
- Slice with bread or serrated knife and store the uneaten cake in an airtight container for 3 days, then keep in the fridge after that. It was still nice, soft, and moist even after I put in the refrigerator