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Yuzu bits in Chiffon cake

I know this isn’t the right season for this recipe, but sorry …! I didn’t want to see my last bits of Yuzu go into waste.  So today, here you go – Yuzu bits in Chiffon cake!  They are almost the same colour, so many people tend to easily pass lemon and yuzu as a same fruit. However, Yuzu’s unique oriental aroma with sense of sour bitter taste subtly give it away.

Last winter, I froze some peels and made bottles of marmalade – this “small preservation effort” did go a long way. They lasted me through pretty well even long after the season was over. Whenever a new season starts, new food fads come along. Yuzu chiffon cakes are popular during colder seasons especially when Yuzu are at peak harvest. DSC_8143

Japanese revamp the classic recipe by adding in their local ingredients to give a new sense of originality. Very much well-liked – matcha, earl grey tea and black sesame seeds are some other hot favourites. I’m gladly spoilt for these new choices because back home, chiffon cakes are too commonly available in the fragrance of Pandan leaves.

Pairing up great works of  Senda Wakako/千田稚子 and  Onuma Michiyuki/大沼道行, which by the way effortlessly add on extra temptation to the fluffy tangy slices.

This no-guilt cake is my family’s favourite. Because it is butter-less, we literally eat all we want without feeling bad…lol.  In fact, compared to other cakes, I find the light and airy chiffon cakes the healthiest, even though I know some recipes do require the use of cream of tartar or sodium bicarbonate. If you are like me who doesn’t like using any of them, this recipe I’m sharing below is a must-try for you. DSC_8121

Achieving a perfect meringue solely from whisking without any help of leavening agents is the main emphasis and know what? The result is beyond words! I’ve never eat a cake so soft and fluffy before! Overall, I would rate this recipe difficulty level 2 out of 5. It did require a bit more skills to achieve a perfect meringue, but it wasn’t that intimidating.

My biggest hurdle surprisingly came about when I tried to release the cake out from the pan. It didn’t go as smooth as what I expected when I ran the palette knife around the pan. It actually cut into the cake quite easily, causing patchy surface. Surely I need to buck up in the next try. Well, after much said, here’s the recipe. Try it out and let me know the result next time:)

Yuzu bits in Chiffon cake

for a 8 inch (20cm) pan
Prep time 30 mins, baking time 30 mins,
cooling time 20-30mins

What You Need

4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
A pinch of salt
30g of caster sugar for egg yolks
70g of caster sugar for egg whites

60ml of water
20ml of Yuzu juice
Yuzu peels from one fruit
65ml of vegetable oil (but no olive oil)

100g of plain wheat flour
1 heaped tsp of baking powder

1-Prep these first.

Return eggs to room temperature.
Separate egg whites and yolks into 2 different bowls.
Chill egg whites in refrigerator while you get ready the rest.
Combine and sieve the plain flour and baking powder together.
Preheat oven to 170°C.

2-Mix all wet ingredients together.

Sprinkle some salt into egg yolks. Mix them well at high-speed using a handheld mixer. Subsequently add in sugar (30g) and continue to whisk until the yolks get creamy and pale like mayonnaise. Pour in the water next, follow by Yuzu juice and peels. Finally, include the oil. Whisk further, at this point the mixture will become dilute and even paler in colour. instruction12-yuzuc

3-Add in dry ingredients.

Pass the combined flour and baking powder through a sieve again as you add them into the yolk mixture. However, do not to sieve everything in at a go. Divide into portions so that the flour and yolk mixture can blend together more evenly. You should see a smooth thick batter like pic 3 shown below. Set aside the batter while proceed on to make the meringue. instruction three-yuzuc

4-Make a perfect meringue       

Make sure the mixing bowl and beaters are dry, clean and grease-free. Place the chilled whites into the bowl. Whisk gently first to break up the egg whites. The whites will start to build up and get foamy, continue to introduce more air by increasing beating speed slowly. instruction three

Below shows my making of meringue in different stages (left to right).

Soft Peak {pic 1} → It’s when the whites start to get foamy and translucent. Slightly stiffens up but still unable to hold in shape.
Medium Peak {pic 2} → The whites become smoother and more creamy. Able to hold its shape better but will still droop down when you lift up the beaters.
Stiff Peak {pic 4} → This is when the whites can completely hold their shape. Whisk in the remaining sugar (70g) at this stage to make the meringue {pic 6}. You should see a glossy, bouncy stiff meringue. instruction 34-yuzuc

5-Combine meringue with yolk batter.

Divide the meringue to 3 portions and fold into the yolk batter. Do it gently so as not to deflate the air pockets within. Go in one direction, making sure they are well-blended before adding another. instruction six-yuzuc

6-Pour batter into pan and bake.

Pour the batter to fill the ungreased tube pan.  Tap the pan on the table or run a bamboo stick through the batter to remove any air bubbles. Prior putting the pan into the oven, lower the baking temperature from 170°C → 160°C. Then bake for 30minutes. instruction seven-yuzuc

7-Remove cake from tube pan.

To test if the cake is ready, open the oven for a while to insert a skewer in. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove from oven and place it upside down, using a bottle to hold onto it like the picture below, if possible. Leave it to cool completely for 20-30 minutes.

Get a paring knife (or any other thin bladed knife) to first cut away the little dome top, however this is optional. If you do not mind having a bulging surface, leave this step out. Next, run the knife around the side and bottom of the pan. Flip the pan over gently and give it a little tap, the cake will soon come down easily. instruction 78-yuzuc

8-To serve or keep.

Gently remove the inner core sleeve and the cake is ready to serve. If you do not plan to eat soon, wrap the cake with a piece of cling film to keep it moist and spongy. It keeps well for 1-2 days. instruction ten-yuzuc

To serve, cut the cake into 8 large wedges. A dollop of fresh cream with yuzu marmalade on the side of the plate will compliment the cake perfectly. Or go easy, sprinkle a thin layer of icing sugar on top and enjoy the natural flavour of yuzu as it is.

While waiting for next harvesting season to arrive, you can always replace yuzu with lemon or any other citrus fruits. The result will be equally awesome :)  Have fun in exploring!DSC_8142

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