Monday, April 29, 2013

Coffee Chiffon Cake recipe

Chiffon cakes come in many flavours and recently, I decided to incorporate coffee into this delicate cake.

C is for Coffee

When the cake was baking in the oven, the coffee aroma was so fragrant and inviting. If you are a coffee lover, you should try out this cake.

(For a 17cm chiffon tin)

3 eggs (about 60g each, separated, at room temperature)
20g + 50g fine white sugar
45g non-flavoured oil (I used Canola oil)
50g fresh milk (I used low-fat, high cal Magonlia milk)
2 tablespoons coffee granules (I used Moccona coffee)
70g cake flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder (scant)
A pinch of baking soda (optional)
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar/lemon juice (optional)

1. Weigh and sift cake flour in a big bowl with baking powder and baking soda. Leave aside.

2. Heat up milk briefly and dissolve coffee granules. If you are a coffee-lover, you can increase it to 2.5-3 tablespoons but too much of it will give the cake a bitter after-taste. As I use fresh milk straight from fridge, I popped the mug into the microwave to heat for 20 seconds to warm up the milk. This mixture has to be left to cool to room temperature as it will be added to the egg yolk mixture later and you do not want your egg yolk to cook and curdle. As I was running short of time, I simply popped the mug into the fridge to cool after I have made the coffee.

3. Separate eggs into two big mixing bowls, egg yolk bowl mixture and egg white mixture. Eggs are best separated when they are cold and left outside to reach room temperature. Alternatively, just use store-bought eggs. Personally, I do not have much difficulty separating the eggs, either cold or room temperature ones. Be sure to use fresh eggs as the egg yolks are less likely to burst during separation process. If you get some egg white in your egg yolk mixture, that is still fine; however, the egg whites mixture has to be void of any traces of egg yolk as they have to be beaten till stiff.

4. Beat the egg yolks with either a manual whisk or a hand-held whisk for about 15 seconds. Add in 20g of fine white sugar.

5. Beat mixture of egg yolks and sugar until pale in colour and you should also notice an increase in volume. This takes about 30-40 seconds. If using a hand-held whisk, I usually use speed 1 or 2.

6. Add in oil and mix well with a spatula or whisk. Add in the coffee mixture and mix well.

7. Sieve in cake flour and baking powder, soda mixture. Mix well until no flour traces can be seen. Do not over mix.

8. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. I usually pre-heat the oven only after I have prepared the egg yolk mixture. It is important to preheat your oven for 10-15 minutes before baking. Do not wait until you have finished preparing the cake batter as the air bubbles in the batters will start to deflate and this could affect the outcome of your cake.

9. Beat egg whites gradually. Using a stand mixer (I bought a cheap one from Giant hypermart; Toyomi Brand), start at speed 1 for about 10 seconds and speed 2 for another 10 seconds. Once you see mixture starting to become frothy, add in cream of tartar/lemon. 
(The picture below was taken when the mixture was beyond the frothy stage. If you add in cream of tartar at the approximate timings as stated above, it should be alright)

10. After adding cream of tartar, increase to speed 3 and add in 50g of white fine sugar gradually. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks. This takes about 1-2 minutes. If you refer to the picture below, you will see that the tip of egg white bends slightly and when inverted, mixture does not fall from spoon/bowl.

11. Fold in egg white batter into egg yolk batter in three batches. Always mix in the lighter mixture into the denser mixture so as not the deflate the bubbles you have painstakingly whipped.

12. Once it is completed, pour the batter into mould. Give a few hard taps of the mould on the table top to burst any bubbles that might have been trapped during the pouring.

13. Bake in preheated oven for 50mins -1 hour. The baking time will vary depending on the model of oven used. I am currently using a Toyomi 30l oven bought at Giant hypermart. It is technically an electric oven with rotisserie but its a good bargain for novice bakers like me. You can start checking the cake once it hits the 50min mark. The cake is done when the surface of the cake is springy to touch and a toothpick inserted at the centre (near the chimney-looking funnel) comes out clean.

14. Invert the mould and leave to cool completely. I use a small Ikea mug as a stand to ensure that the inverted pan is not too close to the table top. This is to prevent condensation on the surface of the cake which will cause the surface to turn sticky and wet.

15. Once cool, unmould the cake by running a thin flat blade across the two circles and the bottom of the pan.

Tip: I like to eat the cake when its still warm (some temptations are too great...) despite the convention to let the cake cool completely before serving. When cutting, press down the cake and cut swiftly. If any crumbs are left on the knife, remove them before cutting the next slice


  1. Hi can I use 3 in 1 coffee powder?

    1. Hi, I have not tried it with 3-in-1 but I won't recommend it as 3-in-1 contains sugar and creamer which might affect the balance of the ingredients in this cake. Cheers!


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