Sunday 2 March 2014

Sweet Potato Chiffon "Pumpkins" (Cooked Dough Method)

When I heard rave reviews about the cooked dough method of making chiffon cakes, I was really curious and eager to try. This is one of my unplanned bakes... the type where you just grab anything available at home (I happened to have some frozen sweet potato puree) and start baking on the spur of the moment :P. If I had more preparation time, this post would have been "Pumpkin Chiffon "Pumpkins"" instead of "Sweet Potato Chiffon "Pumpkins"". You may replace the sweet potato puree with pumpkin puree for more authentic "pumpkins". Here's my sweet potato chiffon cupcakes masquerading as mini pumpkins!

You may ask "If this was an unplanned bake, how come you have cinnamon sticks on hand as pumpkin stems??" I have another awesome planned bake that will need cinnamon sticks. Will post that one very soon!

I adapted the recipe from durian chiffon cake made by using the cooked dough method:

Ingredients (Makes 10-12 mini pumpkins, depending on size of molds and eggs used):
30g Canola oil
30g water
A squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of salt

(B) (Sift together)
45g cake flour (I used only 40g. On hindsight, 45g may be better)
1/5 tsp baking powder

(C) (Mix together)
2 egg yolks
50g orange sweet potato puree (Steam small cubes of sweet potatoes until soft and mash with a fork. I left some small chunks in the puree.)
Orange gel food coloring (optional)

(D - Meringue)
3 egg whites
50g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Combine (A) and cook over low heat in a small saucepan. When it starts to simmer, take it off the heat and stir in (B)
3. Pour (C) into step 2 and mix until combined. If you would like a deeper orange color, you may add more food coloring. Set aside.
4. Beat egg whites using an electric beater until foamy. Add in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and the bowl can be turned upside down without the batter falling out.
5. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter 1/3 at a time. The first addition may need some time to combine it well as the egg yolk batter is of a soft dough consistency. Pour the batter into ungreased metal jelly molds like the ones shown in the picture above until about 2/3-3/4 full.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees Celsius and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto a cooling rack if the tops of the cakes are not above the rim of the molds. If the cakes are too tall, don't invert the molds. The cakes will still be soft but more dense. Cool completely before removing the cakes from the molds by hand.
7. Insert a cinnamon stick at the top of each cake and place the cakes in paper cupcake liners.

Here's a peek at how a pumpkin wannabe looks like inside:

I am still not very good at working with this method as the egg yolk batter is really thick and I wasn't sure if I was combining the yolk batter and meringue correctly. The cake turned out rather dense (maybe because I really used loads of sweet potato) but it is so very very moist and soft! My kids loved the texture of this cake! It is not as springy as chiffon cakes made using the regular method but definitely moist and soft. I need to do more research before jumping in to try some new technique so will definitely give this cooked dough method a try again after I am more prepared :).

With love,
Phay Shing

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