First of all, I know it sounds weird. Very weird to use Torch Ginger in a chiffon cake.
Few weeks back, I was in Taiwan, and I had my taste of ginger flower in a chiffon cake in Neiwan, Hsinchu. The flower I tasted was Hedychium coronarium known as 野姜花, and it's a type of ginger not found here. Maybe not that I know of, maybe some people do plant them in Malaysia, but I've just never seen it myself.
When I came back, I was wondering if I could use the local Torch Ginger to make a chiffon cake.
Will it be too weird?
Torch Ginger is commonly used in Assam Laksa, Assam Pedas and in Kerabu, a local salad. Mostly paired with seafood because the aroma of the flower bud will be able to counter the fishy smell of seafood. And it's also a common ingredient in Indonesian cooking, like in Sambal Bongkot Bali.
I have never seen anyone using this in a dessert, maybe there is, but I've never seen one.
I made it twice. First time, I assumed the cake won't be that tall, so I made a 5 egg recipe in the 21 cm pan, but it wasn't a good idea. The batter was too much for the pan to handle. So, I made it again, with 4 eggs in the recipe, retaining everything else. The texture is slightly different. 5 eggs is more tender and more fragile, while the 4 egg recipe is more sturdy, but yet, still tender.
No one in my house complained of the taste or smell. The kids, the picky ones just ate it, loving it.
The smell of the flower in the cake just makes it different.
Torch Ginger Chiffon Cake
Recipe by WendyinKK
4 large egg yolks (Grade A, 65-67 gm shells on)
100gm superfine flour
1 heaped Tbsp minced torch ginger bud (tender parts only)
4 large egg whites (Grade A, 65-67 gm shells on)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar or 1/2 tsp vinegar
1. Preheat oven at 160(fan)/180C.
Prepare yolk batter
2. In one bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar for a minute then add in oil and milk. Stir well.
3. Sift in superfine flour and mix until smooth
4. Add in torch ginger bud and mix.
5. Beat egg white with salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks, add in sugar gradually and beat until stiff.
6. Put 1/4 of the meringue into the yolk batter and mix with a balloon whisk until smooth. Scrape the bottom of the yolk bowl with a spatula.
7. Add in another 1/4 of the meringue and mix with a balloon whisk until no whites are seen.
8. Pour the yolk batter into the meringue bowl and scrape the yolk batter bowl clean.
9. With a balloon whisk, mix until everything is smooth and homogenous, won't take long.
10. Pour the batter into a clean ungreased 20/21 cm tube pan.
11. Level the batter by shaking the pan left and right.
12. Bake for 45 minutes*- or until done.
13. Remove from oven immediately and turn pan upside down, resting the tube on a overturned glass jar.
14. Let the cake cool down totally, slice and serve.
15. Keep cake in an airtight container to prevent drying out.
*My cake started to slightly reduce height by 44 minutes, which is an indication of doneness.