It was a week of intense sorrow for many Singaporeans. While joining many in mourning and paying tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I was glad to be able to contribute in another small way. Jo’s brother is the kind-hearted florist who was giving away white roses, gerberas, orchids and carnations to the public who was going to pay respect to Mr Lee. They needed extra pair of hands and I was blessed to be able to offer my assistance. I heard that they have been so busy that other than having to stand for hours, there wasn’t time for them to take any break. Hence I thought of baking them a cake, so that they could take a bite while they could. Woke up earlier that Friday and baked this Choya Umeshu Chiffon before heading down to Raffles Place where the florist shop is located.
Indeed we were so busy that there wasn’t time to take any break and the cake was left untouched till the end of the day. Jo’s SIL messaged her after that, saying that the cake was yummy. I was happy, not because of the compliment. but was filled with admiration and respect for Jo’s brother and SIL for their good cause. Thousands of flowers were given out. Each stalk was individually de-thorned, trimmed, and wrapped. The work was immense as there was an overwhelming crowd that did not seem to stop. However, think of the money they have lost, and yet, they did not mind.
Below is the recipe for the cake. The umeshu taste will not be that strong when used in baking, but would leave a tinge of the plum wine. For those who have the wine at home, you may like to give the recipe a try too?
110g cake flour
120g caster sugar (separate into 60g and 60g)
1/4 tsp baking powder
60ml ume wine
2 ume plum fruits (use more if you prefer)
1/4 cup oil (60ml)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1. Remove the seeds from the plum fruits and cut them into small bits. Cover the bits with cake flour and shake off the excess flour. This is to prevent the fruit bits from sinking to the bottom of the chiffon when baking.
2. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Sift cake flour and baking powder together.
3. Add 1/2 of the sugar (60g) to the egg yolks and beat till creamy and fluffy.
4. Add 1/3 of the ume wine and mix well, followed by 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold well. Continue with another 1/3 of the ume wine and 1/3 of the flour mixture. Repeat until the ume wine and flour are all used up.
5. Add in vanilla essence and salad oil, and gently mix well. Add in the floured ume bits and gently fold.
6. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add in the remaining sugar, and continue to beat until firm peaks are formed.
7. Take 1/3 of the egg white and add to the batter. Gently fold in to mix well. Pour the batter into the remaining egg white and gently fold in to mix well.
8. Pour the batter into chiffon cake mould. Gently knock the sides of the mould to release air bubbles trapped inside.
9. Bake in pre-heated oven at 150 deg cel for about 60 minutes. Remove from oven, invert the mould and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Once cooled, remove from mould.
I am using a 17cm mould and personally I prefer to let the chiffon cooled for an hour before unmoulding. I also prefer to unmould the cake using hands and not knife.
Again, let me express my gratitude (and on behalf of thousands of people who came to take the flowers) to Mr Uncle (hahaha…. he doesn’t want to be named but was addressed as “Uncle” in one of the social media reports) and Mr Uncle’s lovely wife. Thank you so much!