Picking up momentum from the recent Bake Along - Chiffon Cakes, I baked another one last weekend. The motivation? To clear up some pantry items. I find that I over stock on baking supplies (too optimistic) and at times my ingredients expired before I could use them. Case in point, half a bag of Horlicks that hardened to stone. Haiz...
I have a packet of ground hazelnuts in my fridge, only a little bit of which was used during a bake which I can't even remember when. I definitely do not want this to go to waste because it is not a cheap ingredient. That's when Sonia's lovely Nutty Chocolate Chiffon Cake came to mind.
Sonia's recipe uses whole hazelnuts which are roasted and then finely ground. This is definitely the ideal ingredient because freshly roasted hazelnuts are not only very fragrant but very tasty too. But since I wanted to use my ground hazelnuts, I toasted them in a pan until light and fragrant. Of course they were not as fragrant as toasted whole nuts.
When I prepared the egg yolk batter, I found that the batter was thick and heavy. The density is due to the ground hazelnuts. And when I folded the meringue into it, I was a little bit concerned. The batter was obviously not as light as other chiffon cakes that I have baked. I was worried that due to the "heaviness" of the batter, the cake wouldn't rise. But seriously, this is my sifu's recipe. I shouldn't be so sceptical.
As usual when baking chiffon cakes, I like to run to the oven every now and then to check if the cake was rising. Actually I should bake chiffon cakes more often because that's the only time when I would be running around in the house. Good exercise, really! To my relief the cake kept rising and rising and rising. In spite of the density of the batter, it gracefully rose in the pan as if it were as light as feather.
The smell coming from the oven was so good! Fragrant hazelnut aroma with light hint of chocolate. Once the cake was baked and fully cooled, I used my usual method to unmould it. I still dare not use the bare hand method for fear of destroying the cake. But I will attempt this method when I bake a chiffon which I don't need to photograph. Even if it breaks, it's no big deal :)
I was very happy with this latest chiffon bake. Once I have used up my ground hazelnuts and other UFOs in the fridge, I will buy whole hazelnuts to bake this recipe again. Thank you Sonia for sharing this nutty bake!
Hazelnut Chiffon Cake
Recipe source : Adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover
- 5 egg yolks
- 60g caster sugar
- 50ml grapeseed
- 120ml milk
- 90g superfine flour
- 20g rice flour
- 60g ground hazelnut, toasted till fragrant and set aside to cool
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (this is not necessary but I added because I was afraid my hazelnuts would not be fragrant enough)
- 5 egg white (A size)
- 60g caster sugar
- enough cocoa powder (I think I must have used 3 teaspoons or more)
1. In a mixing bowl, add self raising flour, rice flour and toasted ground hazelnuts and use a whisk to mix them evenly. Set aside.
2. Add sugar into egg yolks and lightly whisk the egg yolks and sugar till light.
3. Add in grapeseed oil and mix well. Then add in milk, stir well to combine. Add in flour mixture, stir to well combine.
4. Beat egg whites till foamy, gradually add in sugar in and continue to beat until stiff peaks.
5. Take 1/3 of meringue and use a hand whisk to mix well and lighten the egg yolk batter.
6. Now change hand whisk to a silicone spatula, fold in 1/3 of meringue, gently fold with egg yolk batter till slightly combined. Fold in the balance meringue and gently fold till well combined. (I used my hand as usual)
7. Pour 1/3 cake batter into chiffon pan, sift a thin layer of cocoa powder on it. Repeat the rest of layers.
8. Bake at pre-heated oven at 160c for 45mins at lower rack or until cooked.
9. Once done, turn your chiffon tin upside down and cool completely before remove from the chiffon pan.