When we think about baking cakes, we usually use either plain flour or cake flour. We usually try to avoid higher-gluten flour. However that is not to say the rule cannot be broken.
There is a signature recipe for a Vanilla Chiffon Cake which does exactly that, using bread flour in the recipe! That recipe is from the very well known Japanese pastry chef, Koyama Susumu. I decided to try it but adapted it to an orange-flavour cake instead since navel oranges are in season at the moment.
The result is fantastic. The cake has a slightly thicker crust and significantly quite a few larger air holes, but still very soft. It also felt more spongy and cottony in texture which I like as well. So, who says bread flour cannot be used to make cake?
Makes one large tube cake (large angel-food tube pan with base measurement of 21cm across the base and 24cm across the top)
4 egg yolks
45g caster sugar
100g canola oil
100g orange juice
finely grated zest from 2 oranges
55g bread flour
55g cake flour
3g (1 teaspoon) baking powder
6 egg whites
1g (scant 1/4 teaspoon) salt
70g caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Have a 24cm angel-food-cake tube pan ready, but do not grease or line the pan. Sift together both types of flour and baking powder three times; set aside. Heat separately over low heat, in double boiler, the canola oil and orange juice, until hot about 55°C to 60°C, remove from heat; set aside.
2. Beat egg yolks and 45g sugar with a balloon whisk until combined, add warm oil, warm orange juice and zest; beat well to combine. Sift flour mixture in a few batches over the mixture and whisk lightly to combine.
3. Whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks formed. Gradually add 70g sugar, spoonful by spoonful, and continue beating. Beat until the meringue is glossy and thick and just reach the stiff peaks stage.
4. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. When well mixed, fold in the next 1/3 of the meringue until combined. Repeat with the remaining meringue until thoroughly combined.
5. Pour into the angel-food-cake tube pan. Give the pan a light tap on the kitchen bench to get rid of any large bubbles in the batter.
7. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from oven and tap the pan again. Immediately turn the pan upside-down (use cups or drinking glasses to elevate the pan if necessary) and let cool completely this way.
8. When the cake is cold, remove cake from the pan, slice and serve.
Taste: Light, cottony soft orange cake
Consume: Best within 2-3 days
Storage: Cover and keep in the refrigerator
Recipe Reference(s): ‘es-戚風蛋糕’ recipe by 小山進 from his cookbook ‘The Sweet Trick 好吃的西點蛋糕秘訣’