Chefs' Recipes

Pauline Kwong’s chiffon cake with citrus and ginger

Chef Kylie Kwong still enjoys her mum's chiffon cake topped with seasonal citrus fruit, making room for a slice every time she brings it into Billy Kwong.
Pauline Kwong's chiffon cake with citrus and gingerBen Dearnley
6 - 8

“When I was growing up, my mum, Pauline, loved to entertain – she’d happily cook these amazing 20-course Chinese banquets, which would always finish with a Western dessert,” says Kylie Kwong. “Butterfly cakes or a pavlova might be on the menu, but frequently it would be this chiffon cake, served with whatever fruit was in season, one of her favourites being passionfruit. She still makes this cake and brings it to Billy Kwong as a treat. I’m no sweet tooth, but I absolutely love it, and our staff love it just as much.”

You’ll need a 22cm angel food cake tin.


Citrus and ginger syrup



1.Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer to soft peaks (2-3 minutes), then slowly add half the sugar and whisk to firm peaks.
2.Whisk together yolks and remaining sugar in a separate bowl, then whisk in oil and 120ml cold water. Add flour and a pinch of salt and whisk to combine. Fold in half the eggwhite to loosen, then fold in remaining eggwhite. Pour batter into a 22cm angel food cake tin (do not oil or grease the tin) and bake until cake is puffed, golden and springs back when lightly pressed (30-35 minutes). Invert tin onto a piece of baking paper and cool – the cake should slowly drop out of the tin as it cools (if it doesn’t, run a small sharp knife around the sides of the tin and gently ease the cake out).
3.Meanwhile, for the citrus and ginger syrup, segment the grapefruit and orange over a bowl to catch the juices. Stir reserved juices and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar, then add ginger and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until ginger is translucent and a light syrup forms (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, add citrus segments and refrigerate until chilled.
4.Dust chiffon cake with icing sugar, spoon over citrus and ginger syrup and serve with whipped cream.

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