Today I baked some cupcakes for an uncle and aunt from Taiwan. The recipe makes 24 such cupcakes, so I decided to give some of them to other relatives. Since these chiffon cupcakes are sort of a new item in the local bakeries, my relatives were surprised and were happy when they saw the cakes, and I hope they really enjoyed them.
These cupcakes first caught my eyes when I visited JJ Bakery in Arcadia, California early this year. I bought one, and yes, it was quite delicious, but it was actually a simple dessert-little chiffon cupcakes with whipped cream fillings. I have made these a couple times since then, so I thought I'll make them today for the next featured item in my blog.
The same recipe also makes one 10-inch tube, or two 8-inch or 9-inch pans. Remember not to grease or line the cake pans for chiffon cakes, and you must let them cool upside down to prevent the cakes from collapsing, but cupcakes are fine cooling straight up on the racks.
HOKKAIDO CHIFFON CUPCAKES WITH WHIPPED CREAM FILLING (24 square cardboard cupcake cups)
2 cups cake flour before sifting
1 cup sugar*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar)
Whipped Cream Filling:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Make sure everything is room temperature, especially eggs and milk. Preheat the oven at 450 F.
2. Shift the cake flour together with baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, blend well milk, oil, vamilla extract and the 5 egg yolks. (I always try to eliminate utencils to wash, so I measure all these wet ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup, and whip it in the cup until it emulsified like thin mayonaise.)
4. Add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat it for about two minutes. (I do this by hand with a straight mixer.)
(The egg yolk mixture with the dry ingredients.)
5. Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar on high speed until foamy, then slowly add in sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak form. (Most recipes tell you to add most of the sugar to egg yolks, and only add a small amount to the egg whites, but some bloggers say that professional bakers do just the opposite. Huh! Trade secrete! I tried it today, and it worked really well!)
6. Fold the meringue into the yolk mixture in 3 parts. (Most recipes call for using the rubber spatula to fold it quickly and lightly, but I use the straight hand mixer. Be sure to fold it in from the bottom of the bowl as fast as possible.)
(Well blended chiffon cake batter)
7. Spoon into 24 cupcake cups evenly, give them a couple of big taps on the table to break the large air bubbles in the batter for finer texture of the cakes, and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Tooth pick test for doneness. Remove from the oven, and cool on racks straight up.
(These are completely cooled cupcakes. Notice that they collapse a little. I cannot imagine using normal cupcake liners for baking these. By the way, they are too pale because I lowered the temperature to 325 F halfway through baking... Yeah, why did I do that? I remember the last time I baked them at 350 F all the way through, they came out a little too brown on the bottom.)
8. Measure the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the mixing bowl, mix on high speed until medium peak form.
9. Fit the piping bag with a narrow tip, and fill it with whipped cream. Pipe the cream into center of the cupcakes after they are completely cooled or refregerated. Dust with powdered sugar.
(The finished products.)
(Cut one up to show the filling inside.)
I like them not too sweet, light and delicate. They go very well with a cup of hot coffee and a notebook computer! :-)
* 1 cup of sugar makes the cakes not too sweet. If you prefer sweeter cakes, you may want to use up to 1 1/2 cup sugar instead, but in that case, you should add the extra amount of sugar to the dry ingredients, and beat well with the egg yolk mixture.