Chiffon cupcakes
Posted: 24 May 2013 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m thinking of trying the Orange Glow Chiffon Cupcakes in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes this weekend. The recipes calls for either bleached AP flour or cake flour. What would the difference be using the two different flours, and which gives the best result? My intuition sort of tells me that the higher gluten content of bleached AP flour might help the chiffon cupcakes rise higher since they don’t have the support of a tube pan.

Also, do these cupcakes come out of the pan cleanly and easily? I don’t have the silicone muffin pans, just regular metal ones. I’d like them to come out in one piece and look neat enough on the sides that I won’t need to put them in cupcake liners. My plan is to stack them in cellophane goodie bags and give them away. So it’s important that it looks presentable naked.

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Posted: 25 May 2013 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve baked these a number of times, but not sure how much help I’ll be. 

re: clean sides, I’ve always baked them in cupcake liner papers, and that’s probably what I would recommend doing.  I imagine that if you baked them in a bare pan, you would need to follow classic chiffon procedure, which is to leave the sides of the pan ungreased (you can grease/parchment the bottom), cool upside down and then cut the cakes out of the pan with a sharp knife.  Rose and Woody wrote a blog post on the best way to cut a chiffon out of the pan for clean sides, you could check that if you decide to go that route.

re: flour, this type of cake has more eggs than flour, so the choice of flour is a little less important than for a butter cake.  I would think than any flour in the 8-10% protein range would be fine, with the lower end producing a finer, more tender and fragile crumb while the upper end of the range would produce a little more bounce and spring, a little less tenderness. 

Chiffon cupcakes do shrink a bit, and they usually bake up flat.  They are delicious smile

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Posted: 25 May 2013 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks Julie! Rose’s recipe actually instructs to use silicone muffin pans or regular metal ones (greased and floured) and then to pry them out by scraping with a metal spatula. I’m just worried that I might not be able to cut the cakes out the pan cleanly—although I’ve baked chiffon many times in a tube pan and always had success in that! I think I will try the bleached flour, since I do want more bounce and spring. And I also need to use up my bleached flour.

I’m really excited to try this recipe, because I’m pretty sure those “paper-wrapped cakes” sold in Chinese bakeries are actually chiffon cupcakes. They are usually baked in very deep cups and come out wrapped in parchment and puffy on the top. It tastes like chiffon to me, and I love dipping it in milk tea. And speaking of tea, I’m thinking of making a somewhat large batch of these cupcakes and in three flavors—jasmine green tea, Earl Grey tea, and lemon tea. Might as well put the tea in the cake, if they will be used as tea cakes!

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Posted: 26 May 2013 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sounds delicious, perhaps you’ll post results/pics?

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Posted: 26 May 2013 11:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here’s how they turned out. I used Gold Medal bleached AP flour. They were pretty springy, but a bit dense for my liking. I think I will try cake flour next time. What is your preference?

The cupcakes were very easy to remove. Clean sides, but they are somewhat unevenly shaped.

And speaking of flour, Rose’s chiffon layer cake is basically the Orange Glow Chiffon recipe but with unbleached flour. I’d like to try that sometime, but the only unbleached flour I have right now is King Arthur. Does that work well for the chiffon layer cake, or would the cake be too tough since King Arthur has higher protein content than most other AP flours.

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Posted: 27 May 2013 01:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I can’t speak to the Orange Glow, but using the same technique as the Orange Glow Chiffon Layer Cake in RHC, I converted the Lemon Chiffon from RHC and used it as cupcakes and they were fine.  I use Robin Hood flour and I don’t know the exact protein content because they use such small portion sizes and round off…but they turned out well.  I didn’t fill the tins really full because I wanted a flat cupcake that was contained in the cupcake wrapper.  I have also used made it as a layer cake and it did have a slight dip but it may have been due to my poor inversion technique and bumping the flour nail.

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Posted: 27 May 2013 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Those look great!  Looks like they unmolded perfectly.  Love your presentation idea, too, would be happy to take any extras off your hands smile

re: using King Arthur unbleached in the chiffon layer, I would probably try to get a softer flour (like the Gold Medal unbleached).  That said, I remember wondering if I would still like the chiffon layer as much with the stronger unbleached flour in the RHC layer version, and I was surprised to find that I did.

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Posted: 27 May 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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What’s the protein percentage (approximate) of Gold Medal? Is it like ~10%? Or what would be the ideal percentage for the Chiffon Layer? What do you think about using King Arthur flour but diluting it with some cornstarch until it’s at the ideal percentage of protein? The thing with King Arthur is that the protein percentage is in a very consistent range, so it would be easy to make a softer AP flour by mixing with some cornstarch. I wonder if this could work for the chiffon.

And another thing I noticed today with the chiffon cupcakes…the crusts turned kind of sticky and slimy. And come to think of it, I’ve always had this problem even when making chiffons in a tube pan. I always cool them completely before putting away in a container, and the next day, the crust becomes kind of sticky and slimy. You can touch with your finger, and the crust will peel right off.

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Posted: 28 May 2013 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Gold Medal unbleached has a protein content of about 10.5%, while KAF unbleached is 11.7%.  I think it would be fine to blend in some cornstarch to lower the protein content.

That sticky crust is characteristic of all sponge cakes, I don’t know any way to avoid it other than to switch to a butter cake.  It isn’t noticeable when frosted or when a traditional tube chiffon is placed top-down on a plate for slicing and serving.  In that instance, I count on it to take the place of anchoring the cake down to the plate with frosting.

re: what is the ideal protein content?  For chiffon, I have only tried cake flour (8%) and 10.5% unbleached flour, but liked both.  Frequently I find that when I use a 9% protein unbleached flour I like the results (pizza, quickbread, pie crust, etc.), but as this flour is only available to me by mail order, I usually settle for the 10.5% as next best.  And I do a fair amount of recipe development, so I really need to work with a widely available flour.  But if it were me baking only to suit myself, I would dream of having an organic, 9% protein unbleached flour that would have a little higher extraction than classic white pastry flour and have tight limits on variance, all in stock at my local grocer.

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