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Rose, Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

I’ve fallen deep into the nasty trap set by chiffon cakes. The problem with these guys is that they’re so light and spongy, I daresay I can finish that whole cake in one sitting, no problemo. It’s like chomping on poofs of clouds and by the time I realised, I’ve already had 3 massive slices today. This was my first time making chiffon cakes at home and I know it’s going to become a regular in the house now. I’ve always loved getting them from bakeries, especially pandan ones- so aromatic with the prettiest tinge of green. But unfortunately  pandan leaves aren’t exactly easy to find in Australia so I opted for black sesame ones that I’ve been eyeing on for a long, long time. Black sesame is a common ingredient used in Japanese and Chinese desserts, alongside taro, green tea and red bean and I love them all to bits hehe. I’ve done my research and found that chiffon cakes can be pretty fussy and disastrous, with rising, collapsing, or shrinking problems. I was a little scared but decided to just go along with it, I mean the steps required didn’t look all that daunting. So glad I did because these tasted terrific, on par with bakery standard, the texture was even better than some of the ones I’ve had in the past! Tear-away soft, moist and light, it’s SO perfect with a cup of tea. 

I LOVED folding in the egg whites into the egg yolk.flour mixture. It’s so pretty seeing the swirls of colour blend together! 
I’ve adapted this recipe from two sources because I just couldn’t decide on which to use. Although I was intrigued by the recipe that didn’t require any oil, I just put some anyway, as a safeguard to ensure maximum moisture for the result. And I put a little baking powder, just a tad of the stuff to make it poof a bit better. I don’t know what would’ve became of my chiffon cake if I hadn’t put the oil or baking powder, but hey, it worked beautifully so I’m sticking to them now. I actually made the chiffon cake using 7 eggs to fit my 22cm mould but found it was way to full, mine bulged out and created an extra tall cake that was around 15cm tall! So I hope 6 eggs will do the trick next time, which is what I’m going to write down there. 

It’s certainly not the prettiest looking cake straight out of the oven but a little dusting of icing sugar would do the trick. I remembered I still had a container of dried rose petals and just sprinkled them on top of the cake without thinking much of it except for its visual appeal really, but surprisingly, the rose flavour came through and made a lovely complement to the cake with its sweet, floral scent. I’d add some rosewater next time to the batter, but that’s all completely optional and you can keep it purely black sesame if you prefer it that way. And if you’re new to making chiffon cakes and have no idea what I mean by inverting the cake on a bottle, just watch this video here.

Still looking a little homey? Spice it up with dried flower petals

I love how easy the recipe is. Okay, so you may have to do quite a bit of washing up in the end since the egg yolks and egg whites need to be mixed in different bowls but the actual steps to get to the final product are straightforward. Another big plus is that the cake can keep for days and not get dry, even if you store it in the fridge. I’m super keen on experimenting with more flavours now, Perhaps rose/lychee or vanilla/citrus next time. And look- some new props to join the family- rustic metal round platter $7 and some rustic forks for $1 each! Since I’ve started working at Newtown, it’s hard to resist going into the Vinnies store to see what kind of homeware goodies I can pick up for cheap for my shooting. I think they’d look better in darker settings though and it’s annoying because we have modern light coloured furniture everywhere in the house; no dark, rustic wooden benchtops, but I’ll definitely see what I can do:)

Black Sesame Chiffon Cake
Makes one large 22cm chiffon cake
Recipe adapted from Ju and Chelle

6 egg yolks
50g sugar
100g black sesame paste
100ml water
30ml vegetable oil
1 tsp. rosewater (optional)
130g cake flour
1/3 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
50g black sesame powder (I just pulverised some black sesame seeds)

6 egg whites

100g sugar

icing sugar, to dust
rose petals, to top

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Lightly whisk together egg yolks, 50g sugar, black sesame paste, water, oil and rosewater.

3. Sift in cake flour and baking powder and add salt and black sesame powder to the above mixture and beat with an electric mixer until voluminous and thick. 

4. In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites. When it is at foamy stage, gradually add in the sugar, with the beaters mixing constantly. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. 

5. Fold in the egg whites in four batches into the egg yolk mixture. 

6. Pour into an ungreased chiffon mould with a removable bottom and tap the mould gently on the bench to remove air bubbles. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a skewer inserted comes clean. Remove from oven. Invert immediately on top of a bottle and leave to cool completely before removing from mould. (1-2 hours). Use a palette knife to loosen the edges of the cake before inverting onto a plate. Dust top with icing sugar and sprinkle with rose petals. 

Until next time! p.s Hope you all like the new blog header and the bigger images in posts! x

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May 22, 2013 - 2:21 pm

Ellen @ Indigo Scones - This is gorgeous! I’ve never actually heard of chiffon cake, but it sounds intriguing! And I LOVE your new header, and your forks are dang sweet.

May 22, 2013 - 5:29 pm

Irene { a swoonful of sugar} - You’re kidding me Ellen!! You’ve got to try them. They’re basically like angel food cake but they’re made with whole eggs not just the egg whites but still very pillowy and moist :) And thaaaanks :) )

May 23, 2013 - 10:24 am

Gemma Chew - This looks so amazing Irene! That shot of folding the batter into the egg whites is so beautiful :) I’d definitely be chomping on this cake all day if I had some! At the moment we are getting through a flourless chocolate cake (i like to pretend it’s healthy!) The platter and forks are stunning, where are you working in Newtown? Oh, and the new header is just fab!

Come check me out at xx

May 28, 2013 - 5:43 pm

Irene { a swoonful of sugar} - Sorry for the slow reply! Thanks for the kind comment, your flourless choc cake looks scrumptious, your friends are seriously so lucky to be getting these cakes from you :D I work at yogurberry! Come drop by and say hi if you’re ever around on fridays and saturdays! :) )) x

May 29, 2013 - 5:39 am

Irina @ wandercrush - Hello! Your blog is adorable and I’m so glad to have found it. Black sesame is hands down one of my favourite flavours for desserts. I’ve never tried it paired with rose, but it sounds amazing.

October 1, 2013 - 11:22 pm

15 Baked Sweet Recipes - […] Recipe and Photos credit to […]

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