Hojicha Chiffon Cake

1 cake
2 hr

Chiffon cake is an airy and springy cake that is incredibly easy to eat as it's so light! It involves separating eggs first, then using the egg whites to create a meringue that will be incorporated into the egg yolk and flour mixture to achieve the light and fluffy texture. Chiffon cakes are generally baked in a tube-shaped pan that is not non-stick. This allows the cake to cook evenly, and gives a surface for the cake to cling to as it rises (so that it does not sink back on itself later).


After discovering Hojicha powder (Hojicha is a roasted green tea), I am addicted to baking with it and felt it would go wonderfully as a chiffon cake. I have also added whipped cream and tapioca pearls to this cake, but that is totally optional. Chiffon cake is delightful on it's own without any toppings.

Recipe details

  • 1  cake
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 90 Minutes Total time: 2 hr
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Ingredients

For the chiffon cake

  • 100g (2/3 cup) cake flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 eggs (separated into whites and yolks)
  • 70g sugar (divided into 20g and 50g)
  • 130ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) milk 
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 tbsp hojicha powder
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice

For the hojicha cream (optional)

  • 400ml (13 1/2 fl oz) whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp hojicha powder
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar

Boba topping (optional)

  • ¾ cup tapioca pearls
  • 8 cups of water
  • Optional 1 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

For the chiffon cake

In a small pot over low-medium heat, add the milk and hojicha powder and mix until the powder is completely dissolved. The milk should simmer a bit, but not boil. Remove from pot and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 160C (320 F) and prepare an 8 inch chiffon pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, 20g sugar and oil. Add the hojicha milk and mix until combined.
Sift cake flour, salt and baking powder into mixture and mix until there are no lumps. Set this batter aside.
In a separate bowl (fitted to stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer), beat the egg whites at medium speed until large bubbles begin to form, then add the cream of tartar or lemon juice. Gradually add the sugar as you beat, then increase the speed to high. Continue beating until stiff peaks form (you should be able to invert your bowl without any of the mixture falling out/dripping).
Using a rubber spatula, add about 1/3 of your egg white meringue mixture to your batter and fold to mix. Continue until all of the white has been mixed through, then continue with another third of the batter. Repeat until the egg white meringue and batter has been mixed.
Pour the batter into your ungreased chiffon pan and tap the cake pan on the counter top a few times, this will help to pop large bubbles inside the cake batter.
Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. At this point, check to see if baked by running a skewer through the cake to see if it is clean. You can also check if the cake “bounces back” when lightly touched. If not, put back in oven and check again in about 5 minutes. (I like to bake it on the low-middle rack and it usually takes about 45-50 minutes in total for the cake to bake, but you may need to adjust for your own oven, this can take some experimenting).
Remove from oven when fully baked and allow to cool. The cake should be cooled upside down to prevent shrinking (I will place it on top of a glass) for at least one hour before you try to remove it from the pan.
To remove from the chiffon pan, I use an offset spatula to gently run it along the edges of the cake to release it.

Boba

Follow the water:pearls ratio and cooking directions as instructed by the packaging for the pearls you buy. For me, that was ¾ cup to 8 cups of water.
Bring water in a large pot to a boil. Once boiling, add the pearls. Once they float to the top, reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, remove from heat and leave in the pot for another 30 minutes.
Remove boba from pot and rinse with cold water to remove the starch layer. Put in bowl and add brown sugar if you want.

For the cream

In a large bowl, combine whipping cream, hojicha powder and powdered sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until soft-medium peaks, so that it is still a bit “flowy”.
Cover chiffon cake with whipped cream and boba. Enjoy!

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