During my Dec 2012 trip to Tokyo (I'm going to blog about it soon!), I managed to pick up some fresh yuzu from Tsukiji Jogai Shijo (Outer Market) at a steal. They were sold at 3 for 200 yen, which was about SGD1 each. One such fruit could probably cost $3-5 each at Meidi-ya or Isetan Supermarket? Actually I have yet to see them at these two supermarkets but heard from someone/somewhere that sometimes they do have stock.
Anyways, I grabbed 3 packs (9 yuzu) coz I absolutely love the taste or rather scent of yuzu. Like, I use only one brand of lip balm, which is the Yojiya yuzu lip balm; I always stock up 2-3 tubs when I go Japan. And the yuzu shower gel from Muji. And the yuzu honey drink. You get the drift :) I digress.
I reckon that a light chiffon would best bring out the essence of yuzu, (and I love chiffon cakes) so decided to bake Yuzu Chiffon Cake.
The curious thing about yuzu, its aroma is quite subtle as a fruit, it tastes extremely sour (more so than lemon), there's not much flesh and the seeds are huge. But once you zest the fruit, the aroma becomes more distinct, and when the batter (together with zest) is baked, the aroma turns intoxicating and I can get high sniffing on the chiffon! I guess people don't really eat the fruit in Japan, they are made into jams, drinks, cakes/pastries, or the zest used in cooking or sushi.
I baked 2 batches of yuzu chiffon cake (to use up all the fruit) varying the amount of fresh yuzu juice and bottled honey yuzu water. I found it necessary to add some honey yuzu water as the amount of fresh yuzu juice is not enough (need lots of yuzu!) in proportion to the cake batter.
Honey yuzu drink can be found at Muji, I think $2 per pet bottle. I checked the Paragon branch in Jan, it was out of stock; and stock likely to arrive in Feb (not sure). In Japan, it's 116 yen (about $1.50-1.60) per bottle. If you refer to the photo below, it's the one in the middle "Honey & Yuzu". The other brand is Minute Maid (found in most C-store in Japan), and another rarer brand is from JAL but I couldn't find it this time. Haha, see how I'm obsessed with yuzu drink?
An alternative of yuzu drink would be the Korean Citron tea (make enough quantity as the yuzu water in the recipe below and adjust sweetness accordingly). I have yet to test the recipe using Korean Citron tea so can't comment on the results of the cake.
Yuzu Chiffon Cake
(Yields TWO 21-cm chiffon cake pan)
- 225g Nissen Violet flour (This is a Japanese brand, can be found at NTUC Finest, Meidi-ya, Isetan, Cold Storage. Flour is very fine, good for sponge and chiffons. Alternative: top flour/cake flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder (I use double-acting, Phoon Huat)
- 210g caster sugar
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 7 large egg yolks (60g nett weight eggs – Chews)
- 110g oil (sunflower/canola/grapeseed – so long as neutral tasting, avoid olive)
- 50g freshly-squeezed yuzu juice (about 4-5 fresh yuzu)
- 130g yuzu honey juice (Muji pet bottle juice or make from bottled Korean Citron Tea)
- Finely-grated zest of 5 fresh yuzu
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 9 large egg whites (60g nett weight eggs – Chews)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 75g caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 165 degree celsius. Prepare TWO 21-cm clean and grease-free chiffon pans size.
- Dry ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. Add caster sugar and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- Wet ingredients: Combine egg yolks, oil, yuzu water, yuzu juice, yuzu zest and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk till blended. Set aside.
- Meringue: Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in electric mixer bowl. Beat on high speed till foamy, gradually add the caster sugar. Beat till stiff, glossy peak form. Do not over-beat.
- Add wet ingredients (3) into dry ingredients (2) and whisk gently together until smooth, do not over-mix.
- Add one-third of Meringue to the batter (5) and fold very gently until almost blended. Add the next one-third of Meringue and fold in likewise. Lastly, scrape all the batter back into the bowl containing the last one-third of Meringue and fold gently till just blended. Do not over-fold.
- Pour batter gently into the TWO chiffon pans. Bake immediately, do not delay. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Cover the top of cake with foil after 30 mins if it browns too quickly. When the cake is done, a cake tester/satay stick inserted into the cake will emerge clean.
- Remove cake from oven and immediately turn it upside down. Let cool completely before unmolding. Best serve the next day for flavours to develop.