The thought of attempting to make chiffon cake (again) shudders me. I’ve failed three times in the past. After the third failed attempt, I decided to hide the chiffon pan in the darkest corner of the storeroom so that I won’t be reminded of it ever. And I have to keep telling myself, NO, I don’t like chiffon cakes. Obviously in denial. And it didn’t help that my mother, who is a traditional cake lover, asked me countless times when am I ever going to bake her that pandan chiffon cake.
Ok, so this post isn’t about pandan chiffon cake. This post is about black sesame chiffon cake. The thing is, I’d seen this black cake from books and various blogs quite some time ago. I’ve struggled (many times in fact) whether or not to pull out that hidden chiffon pan to bake it. The color of the cake is just so alluring! So I finally decided to give this cake a try after acquiring a wonderful jar of black tahini a.k.a black sesame paste. As you can see from the photos, this time, my chiffon actually rise beautifully!
There could be 1001 reasons on why I failed the cakes previously. But personally, I think that the one very important step to take note is the meringue. The meringue has to be whisked to a tight, firm and glossy stage. NO loose meringue or over-beaten-sponge-like meringue. So pay special attention to this step!
This cake is so perfect! The texture is cottony soft, with just the right moistness and very flavorful. Just what I expected it to be. The addition of toasted black sesame seeds also adds a nice bite to it. I also paired them with my homemade Lemon & Kaffir Lime Curd (recipe for the curd coming up soon). I really love the contrasting color of black and yellow. The ultra smooth curd also lends a refreshing citrusy flavor to the full bodied toasted black sesame flavor. Do note that I added slightly more black tahini than what the original recipe called for and reduced the water to balance up the moisture. I also baked them in a smaller chiffon pan as that is what I have. I always prefer to bake smaller cakes. But this cake is so good that I really wished it was bigger. I guess now I am confident enough to get that bigger chiffon pan.
Note : The measurements I’ve given in this recipe are based on my smaller version as seen in these photos.
Recipe slightly adapted from Okashi, sweet treats made with love by Keiko Ishida
** Updates 6th July 2015
After receiving some comments from readers on the omission of pastry flour in the steps and the size of the pan from the recipe printed on the image above, I have corrected the recipe in text below. My apologies.
Black Sesame Chiffon Cake
40g pastry flour or cake flour, sifted
3 egg yolks
11g brown sugar
15g black tahini or black sesame paste
22g canola oil or any flavourless oil
11g toasted black sesame seeds
100g egg whites (about 3 eggs)
50g caster sugar
6g cornflour (I used arrowroot flour)
6-inch chiffon tube pan
A bottle or funnel
Preheat oven to 160C.
Combine egg yolks, brown sugar and black tahini or black sesame paste in a bowl and mix well. Add water and canola oil and blend well. Add flour and fold until batter becomes sticky. Fold in black sesame seeds.
To make the meringue, combine caster sugar and cornflour. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add half of the sugar and flour mixture and continue beating for a few minutes, then add remaining sugar and flour mixture and beat until egg whites are glossy and reach stiff peaks.
Add one-third of the meringue into egg yolk mixture and fold lightly, then add remaining meringue and fold to incorporate completely. Do not over-mix as the sesame paste in the mixture will cause the volume of the chiffon cake to deflate and thus making it heavy.
Pour batter into an ungreased 6-inch chiffon cake tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes. When the cake is done, remove from oven and turn it over. Use a bottle or funnel to elevate the cake. Leave to cool completely.
The cake keeps well at room temperature for up to 3 days. Serve with lightly whipped cream or lemon curd like I do.