The sakura cherry blossom season has probably ended in most parts of Japan by now. Though there are no cherry blossoms with gorgeous shades of pink in Singapore, a few local restaurants and cafes had introduced beautiful sakura creations during the cherry blossom season, such as sakura swiss rolls, sakura cheesecakes, sakura mochi, sakura parfait, sakura latte, etc. Even special edition KitKats with sakura flavour were sold in selected supermarkets too.
I love using seasonal ingredients for baking. After seeing many pictures of sakura chiffon cakes uploaded by many IGers, I also join in the fun since there are some leftover pickled sakura flowers and essence. Chiffon cake is known for its soft, fluffy and springy texture. With the addition of sakura essence and pickled sakura flowers, the chiffon cake has a mild flora fragrance and looks rather pretty with the pinkish sakura flowers on top. It is a pity that I am left with a few pickled sakura flowers. The chiffon cake could have looked prettier if there are more sakura flowers.
- 6 – 10 pickled sakura flowers
- 3 egg yolks
- 20g caster sugar
- 45g vegetable oil
- 45g fresh milk
- 65g cake flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon sakura concentrated essence
- Pink colouring
- 5 egg whites
- 50g caster sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Soak the pickled sakura flowers in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Remove them from water and pat dry with a paper towel. Then line the dried flowers at the base of a 18cm tube pan (ungreased) and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 160C.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar using an electric mixer until it is thick and pale colour.
4. Add oil gradually and whisk until combined.
5. Add milk, sakura essence and pink colouring and mix well. Sift in flour and salt and mix until just combined. Set aside.
6. In another medium bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until it becomes foamy.
7. Add sugar gradually and whisk until the egg whites reach firm peak stage.
8. Use a spatula and gently fold the egg whites (from Part B) into the egg yolk batter (from Part A) in 3 batches.
9. Pour the batter slowly into the tube pan, so that the big air bubbles burst while the batter flows into the tube pan.
10. Tap the tube pan lightly on the counter top. This will help to get rid of any air bubbles that are trapped in the cake batter.
11. Bake at 160C for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 140C and bake for 30 minutes.
12. Remove the tube pan from the oven and invert it immediately on a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely before unmoulding.
13. To unmould the cake, use bare-hand method, or use a thin spatula or knife and run around the inside of the pan as well as the base.