Friday 4 July 2014

Black Glutinous Rice Chiffon Cake

My friend and my mum wanted to share some black glutinous rice (pulut hitam) chiffon cake with their relatives as this is a cake not commonly found in Singapore and they were curious to try after seeing my first attempt. I made one for each of them. As I didn't want the cake to look too plain, I decided to have fun with some simple decoration with pandan flavored milk powder paint for one and dusted the other with snow powder :).

The purplish black canvas of the chiffon cake inspired me to paint the scene of cherry blossoms reaching out to the night sky. I did it in a hurry so it's not perfect but good enough :p.

This is a simple bake but I paid particular attention to the baking process, watching oven temperature like a hawk and using homemade cake strips to provide some insulation and even heat distribution. The result was cakes that didn't brown too much but rose beautifully tall and didn't crack badly.

I adapted the recipe from Ellena Guan.

76g black glutinous rice flour (available at Bake King in Singapore)
3 egg yolks (65g eggs)
15g caster sugar
35g canola oil
70g coconut cream
1/6 tsp salt
1/3 tsp charcoal powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pandan flavoring

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
55g caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a 17cm chiffon cake tin with cake strips. **(You may bake without using cake strips but reduce baking time by 5-10 minutes.) Set the rack to second lowest position in the oven.
2. Prepare the egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and all sugar has dissolved. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add coconut cream, vanilla extract and pandan flavoring and mix well. Gradually sift in black glutinous rice flour, charcoal powder and salt. Whisk until no trace of flour can be seen.

3. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the merinuge won't fall out.

4. Gently but fold in the meringue one third at a time. Ellena Guan suggested using a balloon whisk to fold in. You may use a spatula or even your hand. I usually use hand when amount of batter is a lot.

5. Gently scoop the batter into the chiffon tin and run a chopstick around to pop any air bubbles. I usually tap the mixing bowl a few times on the table before slowly pouring the batter into the tin. Trying out to see if there is a difference :p.

6. Bake for 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees Celsius and bake for another 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 140 degrees Celsius and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a spatula.
7. Immediately invert to cool and carefully unmould by hand or spatula when completely cooled.

8. You may choose to leave it plain or dust it with snow powder over a pretty stencil. I painted one of them with homemade milk powder paint. Refrigerate the cake and consume within three days.

All packed and ready to be served!

My friend said that her family loved the cake as it was fragrant and the texture was good and soft. My mum will be sharing with some relatives tomorrow so I will only have their feedback later. For now, I am enjoying easy bakes and savoring the fragrance of the cakes in the oven :).

*Update: My extended family loved the cake too! Especially the older folk who find the flavor good and not too sweet.

With love,
Phay Shing

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