Chiffon cake, widely known as kue bolu in Indonesia, is a very elegant cake. A perfect chiffon cake should be very light, yet moist (not dry!), and if you push it down with your finger, the cake should bounce back to its original shape. If your idea of a perfect chiffon cake is like mine, then this recipe will give you such a cake.
Since we are going to bake a matcha marble chiffon cake, you will need to procure some matcha (Japanese green tea powder).
There are two kinds of matcha, culinary grade, and ceremony grade. You don’t need to buy ceremony grade for cooking/baking purposes, though you may want to invest in ceremony grade if you love drinking good quality matcha.
Having said that, you still need to invest in good quality matcha, even for the culinary grade. Cheap matcha will produce a sickly green color, and your cake will not be as delicious.
Good quality matcha will have a very bright green color, almost like the color of fresh leaves. Also, good quality matcha will have a very pleasant fresh tea smell, which most bad quality matcha lacks. Some good brands that I have personally use:
Another crucial thing to have to bake this chiffon cake is using the correct chiffon cake pan.
A chiffon cake pan looks exactly like an angel food cake pan, but you must get the aluminum version, and definitely avoid the non-stick version. A chiffon cake needs all the help to cling to the pan while it rises majestically in the oven, and it will fail miserably if you use a non-stick pan.
For this recipe, I use a 7-inch chiffon cake pan, which is basically a half-size regular angel food cake pan.
Alternatively, most people have had success when using an 8”x3” round cake pan, so if you have this pan at home (make sure it is aluminum and not the non-stick version), you can save money and no need to buy the 7-inch angel food cake pan.
To create the marble pattern, you simply need to pour the plain batter and the matcha batter alternately into the chiffon pan.
A lot of recipes call for using a spoon/chopstick at the very end to give the batter a good swirl and believe me, I used to do this too, but this is so unnecessary.
Simply pour about 1⁄5 of the plain batter into the pan, follow with about 1⁄5 of the matcha batter, then another 1⁄5 of the plain on, another 1⁄5 of the matcha, until you use up both kind of batter. You won’t need to swirl the batter at the end, and you definitely will still get the marble pattern.
Basically, almost all chiffon cake will crack, though we use to always hide this cracked part by turning the cake upside down. Lately, a lot of bakers figure out a way to create a controlled cracking pattern, so the cracks look designed, and not by accident.
The one I create is the simplest cracking pattern, by running a sharp knife to create regularly spaced thin slits on top of the cake at the early stage of the baking once the top part looks set. This step is totally optional, and if you don’t mind the haphazard cracks that will form naturally, you can skip this step altogether.