I am in the mission to bake chiffon cakes these days. I have this recipe, looks very yummy, using cream cheese as base. Before embarking on this, I also read up a lot about the do’s and don’ts in baking chiffon cakes. So I though I’m all ready to bake, and with full confidence, I bought a 25cm cake tin, gave it the start last week.
Alas! Turned out, it is not as easy as I had thought!
First attempt, it rised so well, and I was soooo happy, until it cooled upside down for 3 hours… then I realized it was a complete disaster.
Second attempt, I adjusted the oven temperature. Someone mentioned that he uses fan force for the first 10 min, then switch off the fan for the rest of the baking time, so to guarantee high heat in the beginning. So I followed. It turned out rised toooo high in a short time, the top part over baked. To be more accurate, the entire outside ‘crust’ over baked and fell off from the inside (like a thick buffalo skin peeled off).
And the inside was actually quite okay, with the right texture.
So, I thought, maybe I should just go back to the way of my 1st attempt, and just bake a little longer. So I did it with my 3rd attempt. Same way, extended 10 min from 45 min baking time to 55 min. Looks 100% perfect inside the oven, rised beautifully, smells wonderfully. But when removed from the oven, I dare not see… the sides shrunk, so I knew the cake is collapsing. When removed, look at the groove. Like a volcano hole…
When sliced, it is like my 1st attempt, only slightly fluffier… It was like semi pancake. Wahhaha!
So, I gave up. Friend suggested that I should try other recipe now. So, I switched to my ‘final target’ (yes, I was thinking once successful this will be the ultimate one that I will make) –> Pandan Chiffon Cake. This one need a lot more eggs and need coconut milk and pandan leaves. In short, more costly. But I gave it a try.
This is my 4th attempt…
WAAAHHHH!! I nearly cried. Again, it collapsed so much after removal and cooled upside down. The center became so dense, and because it uses more flour than the previous recipe, it was hard to the touch. Even Isabel also could feel the difference and questioned me. For this one, we had to throw away part, as we couldn’t finish in 2+ days. At least the cream cheese chiffon cake was soft enough and delicious even I failed, and we could finish in less than 2 days each.
Look how ugly the cake was:
From the ‘top’ you won’t see how the bottom has collapsed, but when sliced you can see, how dense the center was:
It was a complete failure again.
So, I did my 5th attempt yesterday. I remembered in my 4th attempt, I had thought the meringue was well beaten, but when I was pouring into the yolk batter, it was not stiff enough, a little runny. So I thought that is something I could do better this time. I really beat the egg until really stiff peak (was also very worried to overbeat it). Then folded in, everything seem perfect.
It rose very beautifully in the oven, nice aroma, beautiful color, etc… My hope was high. Then I removed the cake from the oven, turned upside down to cool… Out of sudden, the cake fell off the pan, dropped onto the table top, the tin flew all directions…!
Well, despite the falling off issue, the cake turned out to be the perfect one! Nice color, no dents at the sides, didn’t collapse much (except those that were torn when it fell off), and the structure holds through the next day, very moist inside and fluffy. It is finally successful in everything… had it not fell off the tin.
So, what could have caused it to fall off then? I looked back at all my steps, and then realized that… I had miscalculated the time! I wanted to bake for 55 min, and I did 50 min only! I read somewhere on troubleshooting – the 1 possible reason why it falls off, is because under baked. An additional 5-10 min would have solved the problem.
No wonder, the sides all look not enough caramelized. (see pic below)
Then I wanted to do my 6th attempt, now I know that I almost got everything correct now. I bought all the ingredients, and just before begun, I realized the cake tin SPOILT! All because of the fall, it knocked itself out of shape. It cannot contain any liquid in it. Everything poured in, comes out immediately. Sob! I have to invest in another pan again. Okay, enough said, I’m going to the shop now. Update again later!!