08 January 2017

Cocoa Rum Chiffon Cake

Happy New Year!

Haha. I know I'm super late here :p But I've been busy with my kiddo as he officially commences his formal education journey i.e. Primary One. Saying which, frankly I am the one who needs time to adapt to the new routine and lifestyle more than him.

And so, finally I have time for a first formal bake of 2017 (last Friday) and posting recipe today :p

After a few days of new year and new term frenzy, I am seriously in need of some chocolate therapy and alcohol to perk me up. Nah, just joking about the alcohol. Actually I don't drink alcohol but I do love the aroma and like to use some in cooking and baking. Since I've not baked chiffon cakes for a long time, probably a light and tender cocoa chiffon (spiked with a little rum) can do =D I'm not really a chocolate person, and don't take much rich chocolate bakes :p

I'm not sure whether to call it chocolate rum chiffon, because only cocoa powder is used, but cocoa is chocolate right? Oh, whatever. I almost wanted to name it coco chanel already. Sorry, blabbering here, still having Primary One blues and hangover.

Many people are wary of baking chiffon due to the egg-separation method. I guess it takes some practice to get the hang of it, I myself failed many times :) Just be mindful when beating the egg whites (till soft peak stage - tip of meringue loops a little) and folding the meringue into main batter (scoop from bottom of batter).

The steps I used here are quite manageable with straightforward ingredients - dry ingredients (cake flour, baking powder and sugar), wet ingredients (cocoa powder melted in fresh milk, egg yolks, oil, rum and vanilla) and meringue (egg whites and sugar). This time, I used cocoa powder dissolved in fresh milk to get somewhat like melted chocolate. Next time, I could perhaps melt a mixture of dark and milk baking chocolate and see if the result is the same.

Cocoa Rum Chiffon Cake
(makes one 18cm cake + 10cm cake, or one 21-22cm cake)

  • 1/4 cup fresh milk
  • 22g cocoa powder (I use Valrhona cocoa powder)
  • 75g cake flour
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (I use regular size 60g egg) 
  • 1/4 cup neutral tasting oil (I use grapeseed oil)
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 40g caster sugar
  1. Preheat oven (top and bottom heat) at 165 degree celsius. Prepare the chiffon tubes, making sure they are dry and ungreased.
  2. Heat the fresh milk in a small pot, add cocoa powder and stir till dissolved. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down.
  3. Sieve cake flour and baking powder into a big mixing bowl, add 100g caster sugar and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, add egg yolks, oil, rum, vanilla and cocoa milk mixture, stir till well blended.
  5. Add the wet ingredients (from 4) into the dry ingredients in (from 3), fold gently to mix, until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  6. Beat egg whites using electric mixer on medium high speed till foaming, add 40g caster sugar gradually, till soft peak stage.
  7. Fold one third of the egg white meringue into the batter (from 5) gently until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  8. Add another one third of the meringue into the batter, fold gently until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  9. Finally, pour the batter (from 8) back to the bowl with the remaining one third of meringue. Fold gently until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  10. Pour the batter (from 9) into the prepared chiffon pans, gently tap the pans on the counter top to remove air bubbles and send into the oven.
  11. Bake for 30 mins at 165 degree celsius (If using a larger pan, may need to increase baking time by 5-10 mins). To test if ready, insert a stick into the cake and if the stick is clean, the cake is done. Overturn the tube pan and let the cake cool down completely before unmolding the cake.
  12. After the cake is unmolded, keep it in an airtight container. The cake is best enjoyed the next day, for the flavours to fully develop. Eat it on its own or serve with some chantilly cream and strawberries.
I could smell a whiff of chocolate in the kitchen towards the last 5-8 mins of baking, how I love the aroma!
As usual, I couldn't wait till the next day, so sneaked a slice of it the very afternoon.

The cake has a tender texture and taste-wise on the lighter side, not too sweet with a mellow chocolate taste; can't really taste the rum but I could smell it. I love pairing the cake with some chantilly cream (whipping cream, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar) and strawberries (oh, chocolate and strawberries go so well together).

This recipe is a keeper for me, when I crave for just a little bit of chocolate and cake :)

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