These mini mandarin orange chiffon cakes are great Chinese New Year gifts as mandarin oranges are traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune. I was inspired by Susanne Ng’s blog and her cute chiffon cake creations and tested her mandarin orange chiffon cakes. It took some practices and experimenting. I tried using the glass bowls as suggested by Susanne but the smallest I could find were 10cm bowls which turned out too big. Thanks to Taobao (which you can find almost anything! haha) I found these silicone moulds to make these chiffon cakes.
Taobao link to the silicone mould : http://m.tb.cn/h.WG8xiIt
I also adapted Susanne’s recipe and the following yields approximately 10 mini mandarins. As my mould could only fit 8, I poured the extra batter into cupcake liners and baked them as cupcakes for myself to enjoy.
Egg yolk batter
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 grams caster sugar
- 50ml fresh orange juice (you can also use the store bought ones if you like)
- 25 grams of vegetable oil or corn oil (do not use olive oil as the taste is too strong)
- Zest of an orange
- 45 grams of cake flour
- 5 grams of cornstarch
- 2-3 drops of orange colouring (I use Americolor – the ‘orange’ colour)
Meringue (i.e. the egg white batter)
- 3 egg whites (you can also use 2 egg whites if you don’t know what to do with the extra unused egg yolk. I find 3 gives it a more airy texture)
- 30 grams caster sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar (or lemon juice)
- 3-4 white chocolate buttons
- ¼ tsp matcha powder
A. Egg Yolk Batter (you should make this before the meringue)
- Preheat oven to 160C.
- Sift the cake flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar. I used a hand whisk given it’s only 2 egg yolks. You don’t have to beat it for too long. Just beat until it’s pale (around 1 minute).
- Add oil, orange juice and the orange zest to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until well combined. Mix in the orange food colouring until it’s well blended.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk lightly. Do not overbeat! Set aside the egg yolk mixture.
- Use a hand mixer (you can use a hand whisk but just requires some elbow grease) to beat the egg whites. As it starts to froth up, add the cream of tartar and 1/3 of the caster sugar.
- Continue to beat the egg whites until it forms soft white peaks and during this process add the remaining sugar in 2 separate batches.
C. Combining the egg yolk and meringue
- Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk and mix until well combined. I like to use a whisk for this so that you can incorporate more air into the mixture.
- Once combined, fold in the remaining egg white into the egg yolk mixture with a spatula. Make sure you fold it in gently to avoid deflating the batter.
- Place a towel on the counter top. Tap the bowl against the towel a few times to pop any air bubbles in the cake.
- Slowly fill the moulds 3/4 full with the batter. If you find it messy to pour the batter directly from the bowl, you can use a soft flask (like this one I use. A measuring cup should also do the job).
- Bake the batter at 160C for 10minutes then reduce the heat to 140C and bake for another 18minutes. When you insert a tooth pick into the centre of the cake, it should come out clean. If not, bake for another minute or two.
- Remove the chiffon cake from the oven and gently tap it onto the counter a few times. Let cool. Given these cakes are very small, there is no need to invert the pan for cooling. When cooled completely, slowly and gently remove the cake from the moulds and put them into cupcake liners.
- Use the tip of an orange squeezer to make an indentation on the top of the orange chiffon cake.
- Use a toothpick or a small paintbrush (that you use for cake decorating) to dab a bit of the matcha white chocolate (see below) on the tops of each chiffon cake to give them that mandarin orange look.
D. Cake decoration (can make it when the cake is baking)
- Melt the white chocolate in either the microwave or a double boiler.
- Add the matcha powder to the melted chocolate and mix. If you want a darker green can add a bit more matcha powder.
Storage – These cakes can be stored in air tight containers and at room temperature for 3 days.