Crazy Rich Asians · Kwan

Ah Ching’s Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Author: Kwan, Kevin
Book: Crazy Rich Asians
Difficulty rating: Little Women
Deliciousness rating: Exceeds Expectations

The fourth course of our Crazy Rich Asians Dinner.

Feature - Chocolate Chiffon Cake
     Nick stood at one end of the desserts, wondering what to have first: the goren pisang with ice cream, the blancmange with mango sauce, or the chocolate chiffon cake…. [Nick] offered some cake to Rachel. “You’ve got to try this–it’s one of our cook Ah Ching’s greatest hits.”
     …. She tasted the cake, her eyes widening instantly. It was the perfect combination of chocolate and cream, with an airy melt-in-your mouth lightness. “Hmmm. I like that it isn’t too sweet.”

     “That’s why I can never eat other chocolate cakes. They’re always too sweet, too dense, or have too much frosting,” Nick said. (Kwan 152)



  • Egg yolk batter
    • 6 large egg yolks, strained
    • 20g sugar
    • 80g vegetable oil
    • 120g milk
    • 140g Eclipse couverture 55% dark chocolate
    • 30g Eclipse cocoa powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 70g cake flour
  • Egg white batter
    • 6 egg whites, strained
    • 100g sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees F.
  2. Make egg yolk batter. Melt dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Add in warmed milk and combine well. Set aside to cool a little.
  4. Whisk egg yolk and 20g sugar. Add vegetable oil and stir.
  5. Add cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Mix well.
  6. Sift cake flour (my mother always sifts 3 times for cake, but she is also a bit of a perfectionist) and baking soda. Add and mix well.
  7. Make egg white batter. Beat egg whites till foamy. Add 100g sugar gradually in 3 parts. Beat till you get soft peaks.
  8. Stir 1/3 of the egg white batter into the egg yolk batter with a whisk. Stir well.
  9. Fold in the remaining egg white batter with a rubber spatula. Combine well.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  11. Invert the cake pan to cool. Only remove cake from pan once it’s completely cooled.
  12. Dust with powdered sugar.

Did it measure up?

Miko: I haven’t tried a huge number of chiffon cakes — I get the impression that it’s more commonly served in Asia than in the U.S. — so I might not be the best judge about whether this one is particularly good or not. But I LOVED this cake. I could have eaten the whole damn thing because it was so light and lovely. It was definitely not too sweet or dense, and there wasn’t a bit of frosting on it. So it definitely fits the bill.

Jenne: I’m not really a cake person (I know, how did I get involved in this project??), so this was fairly unremarkable to me.  I was sad that we forgot to make the whipped cream, since I’d really prefer to eat that without the cake! I also thought maybe it didn’t rise quite as much as it could have…not sure why.

Kwan, Kevin. Crazy Rich Asians. New York: Doubleday, 2013.

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