Monday, February 6, 2012

元宵节快乐!Red Date Chiffon Cake (红枣戚风蛋糕)

Time sure past real fast! Lunar New Year has finally come to an end. I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful 元宵节 or also known as "Chap Goh Meh" (15th night). A nice ending to a wonderful NY celebration to all. ;)

Want to share with you all a nice chiffon recipe that I tried out recently. Its Red Date Chiffon, 红枣戚风蛋糕. I first saw it at 孟老師烘焙園地, and I knew I had to try this. ^_^ With similar idea, I modified the recipe so that I have a stronger red date scent in the cake without having to do a prolong soaking process. I made the cake twice and finally settled on a recipe that will work well and with a evident red date taste.
Notice the red date pieces on top kind of make the cake sunk down a little. But those pieces plays a big part in enhancing the red date taste. :) In my first attempt, I didn't place any sweetened red date chunks over the top and I added less red date puree, so the chiffon tasted a little more like plain vanilla. Anyway, here is the improved recipe:

Ingredients for Red Date Chiffon Cake (红枣戚风蛋糕) (fills a 20-21cm tube pan)
60g dried red dates (mine were not pitted, but if yours is, that will be great)
4 large egg yolks (~80g)
26g caster sugar
70ml vegetable oil
40g honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
40ml fresh milk
100g superfine cake flour (cake flour is ok too)

5 large egg whites (~180g)
40g caster sugar
10g cornflour

  1. To prepare the red dates, score each of the date with a sharp knife. Then place the red dates along with some water just enough to cover in a heat proof saucepan. Place over the fire and let boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Let the dates simmer for at least 15 mins and keeping an eye over making sure its not dried up or burnt out.
  2. When the dates are soft and water has reduced to a thick syrup. Remove and let cool.
  3. When cooled, pit the dates if needed. Take about 3 tbsp worth and slices them into big chunks and place in the honey. Heat the honey mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds and let stand till needed.
  4. For the rest of the red dates, blend them till puree and set aside for use later.
  5. In a large mixing bow, add egg yolks 26g caster sugar, vegetable oil, honey and combine well. Then mix in the the red date puree, milk and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  6. Gently spoon out those date chunks in the honey and place them evenly at the base of the tube cake pan.
  7. Finally sift in the cake flour and stir till well mixed in. Preheat the oven to 175C.
  8. In a separate mixer bowl, beat the egg white till foamy. Then gradually add in the caster sugar and beat till soft peaks. Add in the cornflour and continue to beat till stiff peaks.
  9. In 3 separate portions, add the white to the yolk mixture and stir in gently. Then pour the batter into the prepared tube pan and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes till tester comes out clean.
What I like about this cake is its healthy and the mildly sweet taste, totally not sinful to munch up two slices or more, heehee. Plus I received pretty good reviews from my family, so I guess it's a pretty successful attempt. :)
The cake was soft and fluffy with bits and chunks of red date in it. A wonderful treat after a meal along side with some tea. Hope you will try this out. Maybe consider serving it during CNY...well next year. :) Well red dates does feels like an auspicious ingredient right, I think. :))

I am happy to submit this recipe to Aspiring Bakers #15: Auspicious Dishes for CNY (January 2012) which is hosted by Wen's Delight.
Okay all, have a good week ahead!


Daphne said...

This look so special, nice texture chiffon cake, well done!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

This is truly my first time seeing this, special! Hmm.... any chances of a geizhi one coming up?
I think AB added that cake is not accepted, besides cookies, but I dunno la, maybe they'll change their mind.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Daphne! Hope your CNY celebration was a great one too. :)

Wendy, I thought I saw "dishes/deserts" so I just submit. Bo chap, lol! Yeah this recipe was from a Tawianese blog, quite different. 😊

Joyce said...

This indeed is so unique.. who would think of incorporating red dates to cakes !... but it certainly looks good..

Dumpling Love said...

This is so interesting! I've seen red bean chiffon cakes floating around, but never red dates. I love red dates so definitely going to try this one day. Thanks for sharing!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

A very special chiffon indeed, maybe next one you can try with dried longan, hehehe..Happy Belated Chap Goh Mei!

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...


hanushi said...

interesting and lovely! :)

Wen said...

Thanks for your support to AB#15. The roundup is posted, do check out!

ReeseKitchen said...

Hey friend, there's and award specially for you! Hop to my blog and grab it!!
Btw, this chiffon cake is very special!! May try one day!!

lena said...

this would be nice chiffon during dates! auspicious!! pretty unique to make some red dates puree to it!

My Little Space said...

Hi Bee, Happy Belated 'Yuen Xiao Jie' to you & your family. Whoa, it's already the end of new year. See, how time flies! Hope you're all well. And your cake looks really tempting with those preserved dates. I didn't buy any this year. The kids already grown up not eating much tidbits.
Hope you're having a lovely evening, dear.

爱丝特 said...

我也看到这个食谱,原食谱好像很麻烦,所以最后打消了念头。这个好这个好,我想要做,谢谢分享哦 ^_^

Anonymous said...

I love dates and your chiffon cake looks lovely!

Zoe said...

This is a great chiffon cake with lots of "nostalgic" flavours! The red dates are very well incorporated in every slice of this fluffy cake. You are so brilliant baking this cake!

Seeing your recent comments, I'm thrilled knowing that you have a couple of DH books... Hope that you can cook or bake one or more DH recipes and blog hop with me! It will be fantastic to have you participating this event :D

edith said...

You are so good with Chiffon. All looks really yummilious!

Jo said...

As usual your chiffons all turn out look so pretty. And this is the 1st time I have heard of a red date one too! Hmm wonder what it taste like??

Quay Po Cooks said...

First time see red dates in cakes! Gotto to try it. I am not good at making chiffon cake, maybe I will try putting red dates in butter cakes:D

Angie's Recipes said...

So soft and spongy. I love the natural sweetness of Chinese dates.

edith said...

can't recall whether I inform you about this. if have not, please hop over