I’ve never been a fan of coffee, and I don’t think I ever will be. My parents though, are quite a fan; mom loves her Kopi gao siew dai (Hokkien dialect for “Coffee – thick, less milk”) and dad adores his good ol’ regular Kopi. Mom used to try introducing her preferred Kopi style to the man but it had always ended up with a monotonously cold comment that goes, “aiya, too mafan” (too troublesome). I guessed she had given up trying by now. While coffee isn’t my thing, it would be great if the folks enjoy it. Plus, since it’s a half and half flavoured ogura, I supposed the coffee flavour wouldn’t be too overpowering; there’s a chance I might like it too!
Many would usually invert the cake pan right after removing it from the oven so that the dome-shaped surface would flatten out into a nice flat surface due to the cake’s self-weight. If you’ve read about my issue with the cake “skin” getting stuck on any surfaces that I inverted the cake onto, resulting in ripped-off “skin”, I decided to invert the cake pan while holding the pan with both hands (wear your oven mits!) and let it cool for about 5 minutes before unmoulding.
The sides of the cake will start to detach slightly from the cake pan but it should not slip out of the pan; so do not worry about the cake falling out. After which, jiggle the cake pan slightly and use your palm to gently pull the cake away from the sides of the cake pan. At this point, the cake surface should not be sticky or wet. Invert it again onto clean surface and gently (but quickly) knock out the cake. Remove the bottom lining and flip it back right-side up immediately to prevent indentations forming on the soft cake. Let it cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife. Using a serrated (saw-toothed) knife gives a cleaner cut on very soft cakes like this.
Also, as you can see from the photos, I did a simple design by cutting through the surface of the batter with a satay stick. Doing this causes the cake to bloom with a nice pattern while baking, but cracked slightly after baking and shriveled along the pattern after completely cooled, turning the pattern into a wrinkly mess. Similar to concrete shrinkage cracking, the loss of moisture causes the cake to shrink along the path of less resistance. I’ll skip this design bit on the next try and see how it goes.
For this cake, I also felt that I had under-beaten the meringue as the tip of the peaks were still quite droopy although it did not drop when the mixing bowl was overturned. Hence, the consistency of the batter turned out quite flowable, liquidy and did not rise that much. I intended to do a duo-layer cake, however due to the consistency, the upper coffee layer flowed right to the bottom of the cake pan instead. The use of Top Flour could have also contributed to an overall less “voluminous” batter as it tends to have a “weaker” structural holding strength compared to other superfine flours like Cake Flour.
Overall, the cake has a very soft and fine texture and seems like a pretty healthy cake!
Partially adapted from MiMi Bakery House
Ingredients (For a 7x7in square cake pan – I used an 8in fixed-base round pan):
5 egg yolks
a pinch of salt
60g milk (I used low-fat fresh milk)
50g canola oil
70g top flour
1 12ml sachet Nescafe 3-in-1 coffee mix dissolved in 20ml water
1/2tsp coffee emulco
5 egg whites
80g castor sugar
1/4tsp cream of tartar
- Grease the interior of the cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pre-heat oven at 160C.
- Add oil, milk, salt, egg yolks and whole egg into a mixing bowl. Mix well. (I used the electric mixer with balloon whisk attachment on low speed until a smooth mixture is formed).
- Fold in the sieved flour until well blended. (I like to strain the batter through a mesh sieve to remove tiny bits of lumps and egg protein)
- Whisk egg whites until foamy. Add in cream of tartar. Gradually add in the sugar. Using high speed, continue beating until firm peaks are formed.
- Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter till well combined. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites into the batter.
- Divide the batter into half. One portion of original and the other to mix with the coffee.
- Pour the batter into the pan and gently tap the tin to remove trapped bubbles.
- Steam-bake in a preheated oven of 160C for about 60 mins. (I placed the cake pan in a larger cake pan filled with boiling hot water up to about an inch).
- Remove from oven and invert the cake. Allow it to cool for a few minutes. Gently remove cake from tin and let it cool right-side up on the cooling rack. (I dropped it at a height on the countertop immediately after removing from the oven to avoid sudden shrinkage, and followed the unmouding procedures written under my personal note above.)
- Slice the cake after it had cooled completely.
- Store the cake in the refrigerator.