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Sunday, August 24, 2014

honey lemon brown sugar chiffon cake.

It just struck me as I was typing out the recipe that, as obvious and silly as it sounds, the language of baking is such a familiar tongue to me. After close to 6 years of baking I've forgotten how strange and foreign recipes were like when I just started. Right now I think nothing of a laundry list of ingredients in unusual and exacting quantities - in fact if the recipe was too simple I'd be suspicious - but perhaps to the uninitiated, recipes that demand ingredients to be measured out to the gram might be off-putting and well, plain OCD. If I were to recall the feeling I felt as an amateur, perhaps it would be something similar to how I, an ultimate failure at all things technology, felt when trying to fiddle around with the settings of this blog - utterly helpless and immediately wanting to drop the task and bury my head in the fluffiest pillow available. Yep that sounds about right.

Anyway, I wanted to make chiffon cake sandwiches like last time because they're just so cute but the plan was disrupted as the cake didn't rise high enough. I could still cut a slit down the middle but the pocket would be extremely small and wouldn't be able to contain much cream. But these are good enough as they are so I didn't regret not being able to carry out my sandwich plan. Imagine soft, spongy and moist pillows of cake thoroughly imbued with the floral scent of honey and a refreshing lemony hint. The brown sugar I used is a type of Japanese brown sugar that is more bitter than sweet so the cake wasn't too saccharine overall. I only wish that I had foreseen the possibility of them sinking to the bottom and prevented them from causing all those unsightly mini craters at the bottom.

All the flavours work extremely well together and the texture is just mind-blowing (it's moister and denser than most chiffon cakes but that's a good thing because the flavour is compressed such that every bite you take is an explosion of flavours!). This is definitely one of the more memorable cakes I've ever made.

Honey Lemon Brown Sugar Chiffon Cake
recipe adapted from here

For the cake:
3 egg yolks
4 tbsp honey
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp water + 2 tsp lemon juice
85g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
4 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup kurozatou (japanese brown sugar), in small chunks

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare a 7 inch tube pan.

Whisk the egg yolks with honey until homogenous. Gradually drizzle in oil while still whisking, until completely incorporated. Add water and lemon juice and mix until combined. Sift in cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix until no traces of flour remain.

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy then gradually add the sugar while whisking constantly. Continue whisking until egg whites reach stiff peaks.

Whisk 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture until homogenous. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the rest of the meringue and fold gently until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the cake completely upside down before slicing.


  1. Can I substitute the lemon for lime?

    1. The cake would probably have a different flavour but I'm sure it will still taste great if you do:)