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Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cake - Berry Week #1

Monday, March 7, 2011

A bluish purple cake is such a pain the neck to produce without food colouring added. Natural pigments like anthocyanins found in fruits and vegetables seem to not remain prettily purple after baking. So, I tried to play around with its colour. The colour of the pigment can be easily altered by either adding an acid or an alkali. Acids like lemon juice, vinegar and alkali like baking soda.

I also found that South American blueberries tend to have a redder hue, compared to the ones planted in US. When I cooked the blueberry paste, I found that it turned magentaish, something like the colour of Barney the Dinosaur because I made it with SA blueberries, grown in Chile. I tried another batch with Argentinean blueberries and they too, turned to the colour of Barney. When I made my Blueberry Ripple Yogurt Ice Cream last time with American blueberries, the colour was more bluish. Which was why I realised the colour difference. Your opinion may differ from mine, this is purely my own opinion. So, in order to turn it to become more purplish, I added some baking soda bit by bit to turn it into the colour I want. Don't get it too blue as when it gets made into a batter, it turns bluer. Which might explain why some blueberry bakes turn greyish. Too alkaline already. I guess that is more rampant with northern blueberries. To counter that, add in some lemon juice.

Actually at first I didn't think of turning this into a lemon flavoured chiffon. But when I mixed the blueberry paste with the yolk batter, it turned blue!!! Oh.. now I'm starting to worry that it'll turn grey instead when baked. And that was why I added in some lemon juice and zest in the end to counter it. This chiffon cake was bluer when fresh out from the oven, I peeked at the crack. But as it cooled down, it turned to be a soft lilac coloured chiffon. Oh well, better than a grey chiffon. Hahaha!


The pictures do not look sharp with high noise due to my hubby adjusting the ISO to the highest and I didn't know.
I only knew he clicked on the settings after I complained that all my pictures weren't sharp with weird light exposures and they all gave me a hard time editing and he checked the settings. A lot of up coming post with high noise problems were all taken during this period of time.


Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cake
Recipe source: Wendyywy

Blueberry paste
125gm blueberries
50gm water

Cook blueberries in the water over low heat until it turns mushy. Puree the cooked berries together with the liquid. Set aside to cool down.
The cake
4 egg yolks
70gm corn oil
50gm sugar
135gm blueberry paste
125gm cake flour
½ tsp baking powder
1tsp (packed) lemon zest
½ Tbsp lemon juice
(some baking soda for colour adjustment)

4 egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
90gm sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160(fan)/180C. Prepare a clean 22/25cm tube pan. Do not grease it.
2. Combine the yolk, sugar and oil and mix. Mix in the blueberry paste.
3. Sift flour and baking powder. Mix into (2)
4. Mix in lemon zest. Use lemon juice to adjust colour. If it turns too pink, add some baking soda. It the batter is too blue for you, use more lemon juice. It's hard to say how much as natural pigments varies in different berries.
5. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Put in lemon juice and beat until soft peaks.
6. Gradually put in sugar and beat until stiff peaks.
7. Put 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter. Fold. Repeat with another 1/4 of the egg whites.
8. Pour batter into the egg whites and fold.
9. Pour folded batter into prepared tube pan and lightly shake it left and right to level it.
10. Bake for 40 minutes or until done.
11. Invert immediately upon removal from oven and let it cool down totally before removing from the mould and slicing to serve.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers March 2011 Fruity March

32 lovely notes:

edith March 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM  

Wendy, I only wish my chiffon is as nice and tall as yours.

Jenn@ChasingFoodDreams March 7, 2011 at 11:40 AM  

yeah.. always wanted to try and make a chiffon cake but always scare it rise... hahaha.

With your recipe, I got faith to try this now! :)

Honey Bee Sweets March 7, 2011 at 12:09 PM  

Along as I was reading through your post, heehee! I feel ur "pain" my friend. Nevertheless your chiffon still turned out very tall and fluffy...so don't worry too much about the pigmentation lah, lol!

busygran March 7, 2011 at 12:20 PM  

Lovely soft chiffon! And what a lovely shade too!
Looking at your chiffon, I think I shall start making mine soon since it's a healthier option of cakes.

The Sweetylicious March 7, 2011 at 12:22 PM  

the chiffon is so tall and lovely! look so soft and fluffy. the colour is so beautiful and natural! (:

Melinda,  March 7, 2011 at 12:33 PM  

Since you mentioned that do not grease the tube pan, do I just leave it as it is to pour the batter in or need to line it with baking paper?

Pete March 7, 2011 at 12:53 PM  

Luckilly add lemon....if not become Navi Avatar Cake....LOL!

Looks very fluffy!

cina.fong March 7, 2011 at 1:59 PM  

Hey Wendy, its been quite a while since i last visited. Your expertise is rather commendable I must say, that chiffon looks good.

hanushi March 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM  

I like your perservance to get your desired colour. :) Nice and tall chiffon. :)

j3ss kitch3n March 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM  

the color is beautiful! the texture is divine as well! must be real delicious!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more March 7, 2011 at 3:37 PM  

Edith,
Oh.. I never have any trouble with Chiffon cakes. Maybe my sugar and flour content is higher.


Jenn,
Huh? Isn't rising good?


Bee,
My real reason for making this cake is to experiment a purple cake. Which is why I die die want a nicely coloured cake.


busygran,
yawoh... it's much healthier, but then, can easily overeat.


Sweetylicious,
Thankyou.


Melinda,
Clean, ungreased, unlined pan. If not your cake won't hold when overturned.


Pete,
apatu?


cinafong,
Thankyou. Takes some thoughts to make things work. Nerve wrecking at times, hahah!!


hanushi,
Thankyou. To get a purple cake was my ultimate aim for tyring this out.


J3ss,
The blueberry flavour wasn't all that prominent, I'm more for the colour instead. kekeke.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) March 7, 2011 at 3:51 PM  

i can imagine the nice aroma from this chiffon, look pretty and nice.

hana March 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM  

eh! apesal aku tgk gambo2 ko makin lawo eh?? terpegun aku.....

CaThY March 7, 2011 at 6:02 PM  

Nicely sliced chiffon, so soft & fluffy ;)

ICook4Fun March 7, 2011 at 9:54 PM  

Bice looking chffon. I like the light greyish blue color of it. What not to like about chiffon cake. I am always a fan of it especially the pandan one but I never try it with blue berries. I don't make it too often because Carlos is not a fan of it.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more March 7, 2011 at 9:58 PM  

Sonia,
There was only fragrance from the lemon.
Blueberries don't smell much.


hana,
adake makin lawo?
kakaka


Cathy,
Thanks


Gert,
The lighting problem la, made it looked greyish. It was more lilacky that what was in the pic. My hubby lor suka suka go and tekan the ISO, I also got so blur blur why all my pics so ugly oredi.

Min March 7, 2011 at 10:07 PM  

Wendy, I like the soft lilac colour, and it's soft and fluffy!

lena March 7, 2011 at 10:14 PM  

the colour looks okay to me..if i were to guess the chiffon flavour like in kitchen snippet's chiffon earlier, i probably would have guessed blueberry or ribena too.

Happy Homebaker March 7, 2011 at 10:32 PM  

Your chiffon cake looks so so good! It is so 绵密, I doubt I will be able to achieve that. and I like the colour of your blueberry cake, it is lovely :)

Jenn@ChasingFoodDreams,  March 7, 2011 at 10:32 PM  

oops, I mean I scare my chiffon cannot rise.. :)

Cheah March 7, 2011 at 10:38 PM  

Lovely chiffon cake! I like the colour and the texture too.

Quay Po Cooks March 7, 2011 at 11:33 PM  

First time seeing purple color chiffon cake. It has been a long while since I ate a piece of chiffon cake and almost forgot how it taste. Your photos look good to me.

Bakertan March 8, 2011 at 12:10 AM  

hey wendy,

nice tall bluish chiffon cake you have.

Thanks for sharing the insights on acidity and colour. I wonder if adding too much soda will affect the leavening and in turn affect the height of the cake, since baking soda can be quite a powerful leavener.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more March 8, 2011 at 1:06 AM  

Min,
thanks


lena,
Yeah, the final colour is ok to me, as long as it's not grey! haha
If I want to do something like Gert, I'll make sure it's not an easy guess, like Gert's. kekeke. Baru syok.


HHB,
Why are you always so hard on yourself. Your chiffons all look good to me.


Jenn,
Haha, ok.


Cheah,
Thanks


Jes,
thanks


Quay Po,
Now you surprise me. I tot chiffons are one of the most common cakes around town? Why so long never eat one?
The photos were suck a PITA to edit. The colour's all off and it took me so much effort to reach the real colour I saw. And the detail wasn't good due to the high noise and me later using noise reduction to edit and bla bla bla. Sigh, start to hate taking pics.


Bakertan,
The baking soda will react immediately with the acid from the blueberry and lemon. It will not delay its reaction until it reaches the oven.
So,it's pretty much ok. I adjusted the colour with just specks of baking soda until I get what I want. The height of the cake was my usual height for a 4 egg recipe.
Don't worry, the batter's colour will tell u when to stop adjusting.

pigpigscorner March 8, 2011 at 4:34 AM  

Lol the colour looks really good actually. Better than grey ahaha. Reminds me of yam cake somehow.

Jess @ Bakericious March 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM  

I have a lot of blueberries in the freezer, so tempting to try, love the color of the cake but I have phobia on chiffon, still cannot master it well :(.

Jeannie March 9, 2011 at 9:37 PM  

So much experimenting and still out so good looking. Not bad at all! lovely color in fact

Tabitha August 23, 2011 at 1:30 AM  

A lot of chiffon cake recipes I follow call for caster sugar, when you say sugar in your recipes do you mean caster sugar or just regular, granulated sugar?

Thanks!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more August 23, 2011 at 9:59 AM  

Tabitha,
Whenever you bake, it's always caster sugar.
Regular granulated sugar is never suitable for baking unless for Castella cake and that will be specified in the recipe.

Nicole Wong,  August 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM  

Hi Wendy. Wonder whether blueberry can b changed to strawberry? Will it still be ok?

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more August 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM  

Nicole,
The colour will be dull pink, almost dirty pink.
If you don't mind that.

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