Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Lychee Raspberry Strawberry Rose Chiffon Cake with Diplomat Cream and Lychee Jelly

I was wondering what flavour of cake to make for my dad's and uncle's birthdays that is flavourful yet refreshing and not too sweet. My dad said he would like to try a new flavour from me since I made earl grey, pandan kaya cakes and chocolate cakes in the past. I thought why not try the lychee mixed berry rose combination and I came up with these cakes! 

Lychee rose chiffon sponge with lychee rose diplomat cream and chopped lychees between sponge layers. There was supposed to be the mixed berry compote between sponge layers but I forgot to put it in😅 so I served the compote on the side with each slice of cake. The hole of the chiffon cake is filled with lychee gelatin and chopped lychees. Topped with decoration of whole fruits and gold coloured lychee tuiles. 

There are many elements in this cake so be prepared for a long blog post! The following is the list of elements and I have indicated those that you may omit if you are short of time or want something simpler. 

1. Lychee rose chiffon sponge 

2. Raspberry strawberry compote (try not to omit this but go ahead and leave it out if it is too much work for you) 

3. Lychee rose diplomat cream

4. Lychee jelly (omit if it is too much work or if you are baking in a pan without central core) 

5. Gold coloured lychee tuiles (omit if it is too much work for you) 

6. Raspberries and/or strawberries and whole and chopped lychees for decoration and filling

I used as little sugar as possible and even omitted it for some elements because lychees are sweet and I use rose syrup for the rose flavour. I find that rose syrup doesn't have a chemical aftertaste that most brands of rose water that I tried have. 

Lychee gold tuiles
These can be prepared in advance and stored until needed that's s why I put it at the top of the list of recipes here. 

5g plain flour 
30g vegetable oil
25g lychee syrup from the can (or water) 
Gold spray can for gold colouring 

1. Whisk together flour, oil and lychee syrup until no trace of flour is seen. 

2. Heat a non stick frying pan at medium heat for a couple of minutes. Carefully pour a teaspoon worth of batter onto the pan. Be careful as it will splatter. 

3. When the tuile looks almost browned, remove pan from heat as it will continue cooking. Carefully slide one edge of the tuile up a silicone spatula and transfer onto paper towels to drain. 

4. Place frying pan back on heat and wait for a minute before repeating. 

5. Spray on the gold paint when tuile is cool. Alternatively, you may colour the batter with gel colouring to any colour you want. Preferably something dark and strong like red or cyan as the browning from cooking may show through. 

6. Transfer tuiles onto fresh sheet of paper towels and oven dry at 110-120°C for half an hour. Cool completely and store in airtight container between parchment paper until ready to decorate. 

Lychee rose chiffon cake
Ingredients (makes one 6" and 7" chiffon cake or one 8" chiffon cake) :
Egg yolk batter
5 egg yolks
75g vegetable oil 
75g canned lychee puree (blend and strain lychees) 
1 - 1.5 tsp rose syrup (for making Bandung) 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/8 tsp salt
120g cake flour 

7 egg whites 
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
85g caster sugar (I used half caster and half diabetic friendly sugar, erythritol) 

1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Set a tray of water at bottom of oven (optional) if using steam bake. Set oven rack to second lowest position. 

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add lychee puree, rose syrup and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add sifted flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour is seen. 

3. Make the meringue. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean metal bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until firm peak or just reach stiff peak, gradually adding sugar when egg whites are foamy. 

4. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 additions using a whisk or spatula. Fill the chiffon tins. 

5. Bake for 20 min at 150°C. Reduce tenperature to 135°C and bake for another 40min for 6" chiffon, another 50min for 7" chiffon and another 60min for 8" chiffon. Note that baking temperature and time is oven dependent so adjust accordingly. Baking time is also shorter without steam baking. 

6. Invert chiffon tin to cool completely. Carefully unmould by hand. Slice each chiffon cake into 3 layers horizontally. 

Lychee rose diplomat cream
3 egg yolks
30g cornflour 
75g milk
225g lychee puree (blended and strained) 
9g rose syrup
1/8 tsp salt
25g unsalted butter 
250g stabilized whipped cream* (use whip topping if making this is too much work but note that whip topping is pre sweetened and doesn't taste as good as full dairy) 

1. Heat milk, Lychee puree and rose syrup in a saucepan until steaming hot but not boiling. In the mean time, whisk together egg yolks, cornflour and salt in a glass measuring jug or heavy bowl. 

2. Pour hot lychee mixture into egg yolk mixture in a thin stream while whisking the egg yolk mixture continuously. This is to temper the egg yolks. Pour everything back into saucepan. 

3. Heat the saucepan at medium low heat while whisking continuously. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Place saucepan back on heat and whisk and cook until pastry cream is able to hold a firm peak. 

4. Remove from heat and add butter. Whisk until butter is incorporated. Transfer into a bowl and press cling wrap on the surface. Refrigerate for at least 2hours. You may prepare it a day in advance. 

5. Remove cling wrap and whip the chilled pastry cream until smooth and lightened in texture. Fold in the stabilized whipped cream. Transfer the diplomat cream into piping bag with a hole cut at the end for cake assembly. 

* Stabilized whipped cream (adapted from Bakertanbakes (Instagram account) 
50g whipping cream 
1.5 sheets gelatin
20g icing sugar
180g cold whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp freeze-dried lychee powder instead. Use vanilla if you don't have the lychee powder) 

1. Soak gelatin sheets in ice water until soft. 

2. Heat 50g whipping cream until steaming but not boiling. 

3. Squeeze water out from gelatin sheets. Stir into hot cream. Pour into 180g cold whipping cream 

4. Add sugar. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Press cling wrap onto cream surface before refrigerating. Chill overnight. It should look like panna cotta after setting. 

5. Whip until firm peaks with electric mixer. Add lychee powder (or vanilla extract) and whip until combined. 

Raspberry strawberry compote
100g raspberry puree , pressed through sieve to remove pips
100g strawberry puree (chop and blend strawberries) 
20g sugar (or to taste. I make the compote really sour) 
A pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Place everything into saucepan and heat and stir over low heat until reduced to about 60% of original weight of ingredients. Cool completely before using to assemble. You may prepare this ahead of time and keep refrigerated. 

Lychee jelly
Ingredients :
400g canned lychee syrup (you may dilute it with water to make up 400g liquid in total if the canned syrup is too sweet) 
8 gelatin sheets (use 5 or 6 sheets if you prefer a softer jelly. The one I made is fairly firm) 
2 chopped lychees

1. Bloom gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 min. Squeeze out excess water. Microwave on low power for 20 sec to melt the sheets. Stir. Repeat heating if necessary to melt it all. 

2. Pour melted gelatin into lychee syrup and mix well with a whisk. 

3. Carefully spoon the gelatin into the hole of the cake. Add chopped lychee bits if you wish. If you want the chopped lychees to be suspended throughout the jelly instead of sinking to the bottom, repeat filling the hole with a little gelatin and lychee and chilling in fridge for 5 min until you have filled to the brim.

1. Place cakeboard on turntable. Apply a little diplomat cream and place one layer of chiffon sponge on the cakeboard. 

2. Spread some compote on the sponge (I forgot this so I served the compote on the side instead with each slice of cake 😅) 

3. Pipe a layer of diplomat cream on top of the compote layer. Smoothen it with a spatula. 

4. Place some chopped lychees on top. 

5. Place another sponge on top and repeat steps 2-4.

6. Place last piece of sponge on top. Frost the whole cake including the hole in the middle with lychee rose diplomat cream. Chill the cake in the fridge, 2h or overnight. Keep the excess diplomat cream in piping bag or in a bowl covered with cling wrap. You will need to use some of this for decoration. 

 7. When frosted cake has set, prepare the lychee gelatin. Fill the hole with gelatin and chopped lychees. Chill for at least 30min or until firm. 

8. Cover the gelatin with a little diplomat cream. Decorate with whole lychees, raspberries /strawberries and gold tuiles. You may pipe some dollops of diplomat cream too. Do note that the tuiles are best inserted shortly before serving or they may collapse due to absorption of moisture from the fruit and cream. If you need to decorate in advance, place some toothpicks behind the tuiles to help support it. 

Serving the cake with compote on the side! 

Cake was really yummy according to my dad, uncle and other relatives who tried the cakes! Please don't forget to layer on the compote like I did 😅. The tanginess from the mixed berry compote really livens up and complements the lychee and rose elements. 

I hope this post has been helpful! You may choose to simplify or omit some elements if you find it too daunting to make all the elements of the cake. But be warned that the subtle complex flavours may be compromised! 

With lots of love, 

Phay Shing


  1. I chanced upon your blog. Amazing and Creative bakes. May I know where did you get the lychee powder. Thanks

    1. I got it from Kitchen Capers before they closed their outlet at Kent Ridge. Ever since then, I have not been able to find it. So I am using whatever I have in cold storage, hoping that I can find another source soon 😂. Origin of the powder is from Taiwan. That is all I know.

  2. Hi! Thank you for sharing all your lovely bakes and tips! May I know what strength is the gelatin sheet? Also, any idea how to substitute with powdered gelatin instead? Thank you :)

    1. Hi Sharon, it is gold strength.
      You may google for the conversion. It doesn't have to be very precise either as it depends on how firm you want and the environment, whether it is very warm or cool.