Monday 13 November 2017

Matcha Azuki & Chocolate Salted Caramel Mini Chiffon Cupcakes

This is the second part in my series of wedding bakes. Sorry for the long delay because I had more pressing bakes and ToTT class registration announcements to make 😅. Here are some simple but yummy mini cupcakes that are tasty but not too sweet. I stress the "not too sweet" part because the bride was very specific about the bakes being not too sweet 😅. Chiffon sponge that is soft, fluffy and packed full of flavour, and Swiss meringue buttercream that compliments the sponge cake flavour. I made tea flavoured heart shaped macarons in pastel rainbow shades along with these cupcakes.

Matcha chiffon cupcake with Azuki bean Swiss meringue buttercream and Azuki bean jelly hearts

My matcha chiffon cupcake recipe here uses same number of egg yolks and egg whites, which is what I don't normally practice (usually I use less egg yolks than whites for a lighter texture). I do so here to help to make the cake richer and stay more moist as the size of the cakes are small. Resulting texture is not noticeably different from my usual chiffons and the key to this is a well made meringue and good technique of folding in meringue into egg yolk batter.

I love making cake deco that is yummy and compliments the cake flavour, such as my macaron decorated cakes and Ondeh-Ondeh pandan kaya Gula Melaka chiffon cake. For these minis, I made simple Azuki bean jelly that totally goes well with the Azuki bean cream and Matcha chiffon. This is not the first time I made jelly as deco to compliment the cake. You may take a look at my mango cupcakes with vanilla cream and mango jelly over here.

Matcha chiffon cupcakes recipe
Ingredients (makes about forty 30x38mm cupcakes):
Egg yolk batter
5 egg yolks 
10g caster sugar
56g canola/vegetable oil
65g Matcha milk (dissolve 4-5tsp (about 7-8g) of matcha powder in 60g of hot milk, sieve to remove lumps. You may not use all of it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt

5 egg whites
70g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 140℃, set oven rack to second lowest position and place a tray of water at the base of the oven (optional).

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add matcha milk and vanilla and whisk until combined. Gradually whisk in sifted flour and salt until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in sugar when the egg whites are foamy.

4. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in 3 additions. 

5. Carefully fill the cupcakes until about 80% full. Bake for 10 minutes and reduce temperature to 130℃ and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before adding cream.

Azuki bean Swiss meringue  buttercream recipe
100g Mashed canned Azuki beans
1/8 tsp salt

1. If using frozen thawed Smbc, rewhip the cream before adding in mashed azuki beans and salt. Whip everything together with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

2. Transfer cream into piping bag fitted with star tip.

You may prepare the cream ahead of time and freeze in freezer Ziploc bags. Simply defrost at room temperature and rewhip before using. Pipe a simple swirl on top of cooled cupcakes.

Azuki bean jelly recipe
120g Azuki bean puree (press canned Azuki bean through sieve or buy Koshian from Japanese section of supermarket)
120g water
20g white sugar (or to taste. Mine is considered less sugar)
1/8 tsp salt
1.5 tsp agar powder

1. Combine everything into a small saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Boil for a minute while stirring to ensure agar powder is fully dissolved as we are making a firm jelly here.

2. Pour into silicone moulds till about 5-10mm thick layer. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. You may prepare this a day before assembly time.

3. Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out small hearts.

Top the Azuki bean cream with a dainty Azuki bean heart :).

All done!

Chocolate chiffon cupcakes with Salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream

When you have a tried and tested recipe where recipients from more than one party say that it is yummy, you go back to it :).  The chocolate chiffon recipe I use here is a tried and tested recipe that I have used for log cakes, bigger chiffons as well as cupcakes, all with very good reviews. I tweaked the recipe slightly, omitting the Kirsch and  instant coffee but substituting these two with Kahlua coffee liqueur. I also replaced the baking powder with baking soda and find that the batter is more stable so this tweak shall stay for my future chocolate cake bakes. I decided to do this replacement as I still notice some deflating of the batter due to the use of cocoa powder (even with Dutch processed) so an alkaline-based leavening agent such as baking soda will help to balance the pH of the batter better.

Chocolate chiffon cupcake recipe
Ingredients (makes about thirty-five 30x38 cupcakes):
Egg yolk batter
4 egg yolks
10g caster sugar or brown sugar
56g canola or vegetable oil
60g fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp Kahlua coffee liqueur
26g Dutch processed cocoa powder (if using regular cocoa powder, add 1/2 tsp baking soda)
52g cake flour
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp baking soda

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
70g caster sugar

Follow the same steps as Matcha chiffon recipe above. Just sift together all powdered ingredients and mix all flavourings with the milk.

Salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream
180g Reduced-sugar vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream
70g Homemade salted caramel

Similar points to take note of as Azuki bean smbc above. Mix salted caramel with vanilla smbc using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Piping salted caramel smbc on chocolate cupcakes

Sprinkle the salted caramel cream with some chocolate rice and top with a red heart sprinkle.

Packed and ready to party!

Here's a peek at the insides of the cupcakes. I baked extra so I could do a taste test :).

Soft, moist and fluffy! The lower flour to liquid ratio plus lower temperature steam baking helps to retain the moisture of the cakes.

Like the macarons at the wedding, these were very well received too! The bride said that the chocolate cake with salted caramel was rich and tasty without being too sweet, which was what she wanted. The Matcha Azuki cupcakes however, she felt could do with stronger flavour although she loved the fact that it is also not too sweet, so I have amended the recipe shared here to include more Matcha powder and Azuki bean.

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. hi Phay Shing. the cupcakes look great n tasty. btw I was looking at some of your old postings some of them not there anymore. May I check have u taken them down?

  2. sorry forgot to add my name on the previous comment...Elaine

  3. Hi Elaine, thank you :). Which postings are you referring to? I haven't taken them down and I randomly checked, the posts are still up.