When I discovered this style of chiffon cake filled with cream that is very popular in Japan, I know I’m gonna love it and I think you will too. For good reasons. This Royal Milk Tea Chiffon Cake is baked in a loaf pan and then filled with tea-infused cream in the middle. With this design, we get to eat chiffon cake with cream without the fuss of frosting the whole cake since the cream is piped right into the middle of the cake. It has a rustic appeal which I absolutely love. To me, rustic = comfort = no stress.
Most chiffon cakes are oil-based and has a light taste and texture. This recipe however, is a butter-based chiffon cake that uses melted butter in place of vegetable oil. The idea is inspired by a famous Kyoto based pastry chef Yoko Tsuda 津田陽子. She uses a method that produces chiffon cakes with a wonderful butter aroma yet is able to retain its fluffiness. If you are interested in her recipes and able to read Japanese, you may want to check out her book.
While I love the original plain chiffon loaf cake filled with snowy vanilla creme chantilly, I am also very fond of tea-flavoured ones. Hence, this recipe that I’m sharing is of a Royal Milk Tea flavour. The wonderful tea aroma is achieved by infusing Darjeeling tea leaves in both the cake and the cream. The cake turns out to be super delicious and very enjoyable!
What is Royal Milk Tea? ロイヤルミルクティー
It it originated in Japan in 1965 as part of Lipton’s “royal recipe” series. The popularity grew over time and has since been a beloved drink by people all over the world. The drink is made with black tea, usually Assam or Darjeeling and is cooked the same way as chai tea by delicately brewing it on the stovetop. For this cake I’m using Darjeeling tea leaves from Scoop Wholefoods.
Butter-Based Chiffon Cake Method
This recipe uses method inspired by Yoko Tsuda that replaces vegetable oil with melted butter for a chiffon cake with an inviting butter aroma. The cake remains light and soft even after refrigeration. This texture is possible through mixing equal amount of butter/milk mixture and emulsify with the rest of the ingredients.
Tips to a Successful Chiffon Loaf Cake
Meringue – The consistency of the meringue greatly affects the final product. For this recipe, ideally we want the meringue to reach firm peaks. When you lift up the beater, the meringue should hold firm with a slight beak. See below image as an indicator. You can also check out this post for more detailed instructions to make the meringue.
Flour – Always use cake flour for delicate bakes like chiffon cakes. To achieve a fine cake texture, I strongly recommend to sift the flour twice. When comes to mixing flour into the wet mixture for chiffon cakes, it is advisable to use the whisk instead of spatula. You do not have to worry about over-mixing since cake flour has a relatively low protein level and there really isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe. In fact, it is optimum to whisk the flour batter to a smooth and shiny stage.
Cake pan – For this recipe, I used a 9cm x 18cm rectangular pound cake pan from Daiso. They also sell pre-cut baking paper that fits this pan size which is super convenient. Alternatively, you can also use paper pound cake mold of similar size.
This cake is best serve in slices as it is, perhaps with a dusting of snow sugar. You really don’t need anything else except for a drink to go with it.
Happy Baking Bakers!
Royal Milk Tea Chiffon Cake with Cream
For Royal Milk Tea Chiffon Cake
- 5 grams darjeeling loose tea leaves
- 60 grams milk
- 32 grams unsalted butter
- 40 grams cake flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 42 grams caster sugar
For Royal Milk Tea Creme Chantilly
- 8 grams darjeeling loose tea leaves
- 50 grams heavy cream min. 35% fat
- 60 grams heavy cream min. 35% fat
- 6 grams caster sugar
For Royal Milk Tea Chiffon Cake
- Line a 9cm x 18cm rectangular loaf pan with pre-cut baking paper. Do not grease the paper. Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Combine 5g darjeeling tea leaves and 60g milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Steep for 5 minutes. Strain out 32g of milk tea. If you can't get 32g after straining, just add more milk to make it up.
- In another small saucepan, combine 32g butter and 32g milk tea. Heat over low heat to melt the butter. Remove from heat once all the butter melted. Set aside to cool.
- Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt twice. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add in the yolks and whisk until pale in colour. Add in butter/milk tea mixture and whisk until emulsify. Add in sifted dry ingredients. Using the balloon whisk, mix the batter until all the flour has been incorporated. Continue whisking until the batter is smooth and shiny. Set aside.
- Add the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl. Using the handheld mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add in 1/3 of the sugar and whisk until no large bubbles. Add in 1/2 of the remaining sugar and whisk to soft peaks. Finally add in all the remaining sugar and whisk to firm peaks.
- Scoop out 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk batter. Mix well with the whisk. Add in all of the remaining meringue and fold with the whisk. Once all the meringue has been incorporated, use a rubber spatula and scoop the base and sides of the bowl and fold over the batter. Make sure the batter is properly mix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan from a height. This is to eliminate large air bubbles that may have been trapped in the batter. Using a chopstick, swirl around the batter. Finally, tap the pan on the table once or twice to tap out any trapped air bubbles.
- Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for about 22 to 25mins. Once done, remove from the oven and tap the pan on the table once. Leave to cool completely in the pan. Inverting the pan is not necessary here.
For Royal Milk Tea Cream
- Combine 8g darjeeling tea leaves and 50g heavy cream in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 5mins. Strain into a mixing bowl.
- Add 60g of heavy cream to the tea infused cream. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can prepare this before baking the cake. You want the cream to be very cold.
- Add 6g sugar to the cold cream and whip to soft peaks. The cream should have the texture of soft serve ice cream. Do not to overwhip.
- Place the whipped cream into a piping bag.
Assembling The Cake
- Using a chopstick, poke through from one end of the cake and make a tunnel by swirling the chopstick around. Repeat from the other end of the cake.
- Cut a small hole from the piping bag and pipe the cream into both ends of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour before serving. Best consume within 2 days.
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