Friday, April 11, 2014

Auntie Nel's Pineapple Chiffon Cake

This is a favorite in my husband's family.  Auntie Nel, who lives in Chino Hills, CA, can whip it up in no time like magic. She sent us a whole cake last year and it disappeared from the kitchen counter so fast I knew I had to learn to make it myself.  I asked her for the recipe and she gladly sent it in the mail saying it's easier for her to write than "type" it in a facebook message :)

After a few attempts, I am now ready to share it with you.  I tweaked Auntie Nel's original recipe a little bit by changing the quantity of some of the ingredients i.e. less eggs, less oil, a little bit more sugar.  Notice the pineapple extract stain on the recipe? ;-)

You can enjoy this cake as is (like i did in the photo below), drizzle with a glaze or put fillings and frostings for special occasions. It is usually served flat side up.

Auntie Nel's Pineapple Chiffon Cake

Tools you'll need:
Electric Mixer
Tube Pan (ungreased)
Wire wisk/spatula

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar (divided into two)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

8 egg whites
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2/3 cup pineapple juice (i use Dole 6-oz can; reserve extra juice for the glaze)
1/2 teaspoon pineapple extract or flavoring (optional; can also be increased to 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon lemon rind (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 portion of the sugar, baking powder and salt.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, egg yolks, pineapple juice, pineapple flavoring or extract and lemon rind until blended.

  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture.  Mix manually until smooth.  Set aside.

  5. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar.  Gradually add the remaining half portion of sugar until stiff peaks form (see photo). 

  6. Add your whipped mixture to the batter mixture and fold gently until blended.  Be careful not to deflate the batter.

  7. Transfer into an ungreased tube pan.  Cut through batter with a knife or spatula to remove air pockets.

  8. Bake on the lowest rack for 55-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Also, cake springs back when lightly touched.  Note:  Do not open oven to check cake before the 50-minute mark.

  9. Immediately turn cake upside down and balance it on top of any flat-bottom cup or a bottle/jar with a flat lid. This way, cake will not shrink while it cools.

  10. Cool completely for at least an hour.

  11. Run a knife around the side and center tube of pan to release cake.  Transfer to a serving platter or cake stand.  

For the glaze, you will need:
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 to 3 tablespoons pineapple juice (i use leftover juice from the 6-oz can)

Combine the confectioner's sugar, butter and enough juice to achieve a glaze consistency.  Drizzle over the cake, allowing it to drape down the sides.

Enjoy... and don't forget to share! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

sweets for my sweet tooth: yema balls

This is another of my holiday cravings: yema!  Yema is a custard candy made simply from egg yolks and condensed milk.  I love mine with a nutty taste so i always jazz it up with a few tablespoons of chopped peanuts.  It is usually shaped in a pyramid and wrapped in colorful cellophane but i don't have the patience to do that so i just shape them into balls.  whatever shape it is, it's the taste that matters.

The yema i grew up knowing is brown in color and a bit crusty on the outside and soft in the inside.  It has a distinct nutty and milky taste i can never reproduce in my experiments.  could it be the use of fresh cow's milk back in the days? or maybe adding corn syrup?  I've searched high and low online for the recipe but failed. I kinda have this feeling that those who know it would rather keep it a secret. hmmm...

So after trying so many recipes, i've finally settled on this one.  Try it and let me know what you think. 


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 can condensed milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts (i use dry roasted)

Note: This makes about 20 yema balls. i always double/triple the recipe when bringing it to potluck parties.


1.  Heat a saucepan and drop butter until melted under medium heat.

2.  Pour the condensed milk and stir until combined (about 2 minutes).

3.  Add the egg yolks and stir continuously for about 2 minutes.

4.  Add the vanilla and chopped peanuts.

5.  Stir continuously under medium heat until mixture becomes thick (about 20 minutes).  Lower the heat during the last 5 minutes.

6.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

7.  Scoop using 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon and shape into balls using your palm.

8.  To serve, one option is to wrap it in colorful cellophanes. I use colors depending on the occasion.  Green and red for Christmas, orange and black for halloween, etc.  If you don't have colorful cellophanes (i got mine from the Philippines), you can use cocktail sticks or mini-cupcake papers.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

chocolate crinkles

Woke up to a rainy Saturday morning, 3 days before Christmas, too lazy to go out.  My idle mind suddenly had this "evil" thought of baking something sinfully sweet and delicious not only to satisfy my craving but also to share with friends as a holiday giveaway. I thought i'd give chocolate crinkles a try.  I've never done it before and have been thinking about it quite a lot lately for my next baking project.

Chocolate crinkles are delicious, soft fudge-like cookies generously coated with confectioners (powdered) sugar.  My guess is that it is named "crinkles" because the powdered sugar crinkles or cracks, revealing a little of the chocolate underneath.  They are best eaten fresh from the oven or on the day they are baked.  You can also store them in an airtight container and will stay fresh for about 3 days.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted


1.  In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute. Stir the chocolates until completely melted. If not, run the microwave again for about 30 seconds, stir until shiny and smooth. Set aside.

If you don't have a microwave, you can use a double boiler or any metal/glass bowl that fits over a saucepan.  Fill the saucepan with water over low heat until it just begins to simmer.  Turn off the stove and place the chocolates on the top bowl and stir continuously until completely melted.  Set aside.

2.  In a mixing bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.

3.  Cream the softened butter in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer.

4.  Add the granulated sugar and continue mixing for about 2 minutes.

5.  Add the cocoa powder and melted chocolate.  Mix for about a minute.

6.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until light and fluffy.

7.  Add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and mix again until all the ingredients are combined.

8.  Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  You can also leave it overnight in the fridge if you plan to bake it the next day.

9.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper.

10.  Place the sifted confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl.

11.  Scoop the chilled mixture using 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon and form into 1 inch balls using your palm.

12.  Roll the chocolate balls over confectioners sugar until fully covered.

13.  Arrange on a baking tray, each ball should be about 2-3 inches apart.  You should have about 12-15 balls on a baking tray.

14.  Bake for 10 minutes.

15.  Remove from oven and allow to cool then transfer to wire rack to cool.

16.  Arrange in a serving platter, serve and enjoy!

And here's my holiday treat to all of you.  Merry Christmas!!!

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