You know I love baking. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to share baked goods with loved ones and it always brings a smile to my face when the aroma of those delicious products fill the kitchen. What is more delightful is the chance to meet a renowned chef and to brush shoulders with him.
Last Saturday, I was privileged to be invited to attend the launch of famed pâtissier Chef Yamashita’s third recipe book – “Tanoshii Ke–Ki” – at Bosch Experience Centre and learn how to bake a Yuzu Chiffon Cake from the great baking master himself.
Chef Yamashita is such an affable chef and also a funny one. He put all of us at ease as he spoke in Japanese the steps to making the Yuzu Chiffon Cake. Of course, we were able to understand his instructions as he had a translator working alongside him.
A few pointers to note as he showed us the steps:
:: Sift the flour once or twice to aerate it.
:: When preparing the egg yolk batter, you need to add the olive oil really gradually, just like how you make home-made mayonnaise. Do not rush this step to prevent splitting.
:: When the batter is ready, pour it a portion at a time, using a bench scraper if you have. This is to prevent air bubbles to be introduced.
Don’t know what I’m talking about since you don’t have the recipe? No worries! Chef Yamashita has kindly agreed to share it with you!
In Bosch Experience Centre where this event was held, we could see for ourselves how machines can help to make life easier for us. Say, the MaxxiMUM kitchen machine, for example, it could beat the egg whites on all sides of the bowl and its SensorControl could automatically detect the ideal stiffness of the egg whites. Cool eh? And the oven? It’s even smarter with all the different kinds of settings that are available including steaming! You can take a trip down to experience all these cool kitchen gadgets when you are free.
I tell you, the Yuzu Chiffon is simply tantalising. Soft and not overly sweet and more importantly, you could really taste the yuzu. You have to try baking it!
We were also treated to his lovely Sakura roll cake and Castella cake, a popular Japanese honey spongecake which was originally introduced by the Portuguese merchants to Nagasaki area in the 16th century.
Flipping through Chef Yamashita’s third book, I realised they are easy to bake Japanese-inspired French confections. They range from his signature sponge, chiffon and mousse cakes to egg-free treats so that everyone can recreate these easy-to-follow cake recipes in their own homes. I’m really excited and tempted to bake all of them!
For a start, why don’t you try your hands on this Yuzu Chiffon Cake?
120g pastry flour
3g baking powder
Egg yolk batter
4 egg yolks
40g castor sugar
45g olive oil
85g honey yuzu tea syrup
5 egg whites
50g castor sugar
Chantilly cream (optional)
400g whipping cream
20g castor sugar
- Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare a 17-cm chiffon cake tin.
- Sift together pastry flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Prepare egg yolk batter. In a large bowl ,beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture is thick and creamy. Add olive oil gradually while mixing util mixture is smooth. Add milk and mix well. Add honey yuzu tea and mix again. Set aside.
- Prepare meringue. Using an electric mixer and a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk egg whites gently until foamy. Gradually add sugar and whisk util firm peaks form.
- Spoon one-third of meringue egg yolk batter and mix gently with a rubber spatula. Add flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add remaining meringue and mix well.
- Pour batter into chiffon cake tin. Tap tin gently on counter top to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out clean. remove from oven and invert mould on a wire rack. Let cake cool completely before unmoulding.
- Tap sides of mould to release cake.
- Prepare Chantilly cream. Using an electric mixer, whisk whipping cream and sugar at high speed util medium soft peaks form.
- Decorate cake with Chantilly carea,, fresh fruit, chocolate balls, dollops of honey yuzu tea syrup and biscuits crumbs if desired.
- Refriegerate for 30 minutes before serving. Consume within a day.
Chef Yamashita Masataka trained at the Tsuji Culinary Institute, a well-known and respected culinary institute in Osaka, Japan. He gained experience working at various patisseries around Japan for a decade before starting his own patisserie in Nara, which quickly became one of the top patisseries there. Eight years later, yearning for new challenges and a change of scenery, che Yamashita moved to Singapore where he took charge of the kitchen at Patisserie Glace, turning it into a haven for delightful cakes and pastries. Chef Yamashita soon saw an opportunity to revive his patisserie from Japan and re-established Flor Patisserie at Duxton Hill, Sigapore. Today, chef Yamashita runs his own highly successful Japanese artisan patisserie at Tanjong Pagar Plaza, aptly named Chef Yamashita. He is also appointed as brand ambassador for Bosch Home Appliances.