Hokkaido Cupcakes

Friday, 28 June 2013

Hokkaido cupcakes are made with milk from Hokkaido, hence the namesake.

I can't be bothered to go to a Japanese supermart that sells Hokkaido milk. My Hokkaido cupcakes are made with milk which is –  to quote what the carton says to the (capital) letter –  "From AUSTRALIAN DAIRY COWS". So the milk's from Australia? Hell no. The cows are from Australia but they live in Indonesia. They probably moved from Down Under frozen . . . or maybe chilled. Anyone knows how sperm is transported long distance?

Hokkaido cupcakes are small chiffon cakes that are so soft they're creased and slightly collapsed after they cool down. Perhaps taking a cue from plastic surgery, the cakes are then injected with a filler/filling to plump up and smooth out the wrinkles. Unlike pillow-faced Madonna, Hokkaido cupcakes take to the puffy look quite well.

Whilst sifting through recipes for the cake part of Hokkaido cupcakes, I was quite tempted to try Nasi Lemak Lover's. But I finally decided her cupcakes, which had no hint of wrinkles or a sunken top,  weren't as fluffy as they should be. I then looked at 周老師's recipe. I thought her cupcakes were too wrinkled and too sunken. Hmm . . . . 

In the end, I went for something between the two popular recipes. How did I control how much the cakes sank? By changing the amount of milk and egg white in the batter. More egg white and milk make softer, more wrinkled cakes that sink when they cool down. Less would give you sturdier, less fluffy cakes.

Spongy and soft, the cakes are quite bland. It's the creamy filling  that provides flavour and a luscious, unctuous texture.

The filling is a mix of custard and stiffly whipped cream. If you think making custard from scratch with 1.egg yolks and milk is too much trouble, there're three options:

1. You could use traditional custard powder, which must be heated on the stove with some milk.

2. You could also use instant custard powder which just needs to be mixed with hot water.

How about adding instant custard powder to stiffly whipped cream, as Nasi Lemak Lover does here?

You could do that, of course. I could too but I wouldn't.

Instant custard powder is a modified starch that thickens hot liquids. It doesn't thicken cold whipped cream, which doesn't need thickening anyway. You can also find milk protein, cream powder, sugar, artificial vanilla and artificial food colouring in instant custard powder. Do you want all these things in your whipped cream? I just add a bit of sugar and vanilla extract to mine, thank you very much.

3. If putting the kettle on is too much work, instant pudding powder would make you jump with joy. It doesn't require heating or anything hot. All it needs is cold milk to thicken into a pudding. To make Hokkaido cupcake filling, the pudding should be whisked with stiffly whipped cream before it's set.

Some bloggers, including 周老師, use instant pudding powder but they call it custard powder. If you follow their recipe, make sure you use the right stuff.

I opt for no custard/pudding, so my cupcakes are filled with only whipped cream. Cream is like shoes, you know? You could never have too much cream or too many shoes.

Good Hokkaido cupcakes should be lighter and fluffier than chiffon cakes and Ogura cakes but they're easy to make compared to the big brothers. You don't have to worry about the little ones sinking (a little bit).

Light and fluffy cakes that stand tall and proud can be a bit tricky. Light and fluffy cakes that are allowed obliged to sink a bit are dead easy. If you love fluffy cakes and you haven't had much luck with chiffon and Ogura cakes, I'd recommend Hokkaido cupcakes.

If you've already mastered chiffon and Ogura cakes, I'd still recommend Hokkaido cupcakes because the little darlings are so pretty, especially when they look like they're wearing a red tutu.

I know what cake I'll be baking this Christmas. Come to think of it, I'm sure some red and white cupcakes on 9 August (Little Red Dot's National Day, for those who don't know) would be quite appropriate. And red is the colour for Chinese New Year, birthdays and weddings if you're into Chinese traditions. Yup, the liners' colour can make or break the cupcakes . . . . Oh dear, am I a cake geek?



HOKKAIDO CUPCAKES (北海道杯子蛋糕)
(Recipe for 9 cupcakes)
Cake
45 g  egg yolks
20 g castor sugar
35 g corn oil
45 g full-fat milk
60 g cake flour

135 g egg whites
40 g castor sugar
Filling
200 g fresh dairy cream, with 35% fat, thoroughly chilled
2 tbsp castor sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Garnish
icing sugar
strawberries

Preheat oven to 165°C. Place bowl for whisking cream in fridge.

To make cupcakes, whisk egg yolks and 20 g castor sugar till pale and thick. Add corn oil. Whisk thoroughly. Add milk. Whisk thoroughly. Sift cake flour into mixture. Whisk till just mixed. Set mixture aside. Wash and dry whisk thoroughly.

Separately whisk egg whites till thick. Gradually add 40 g castor sugar, still whisking. Continue to whisk till firm peak stage. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture in 2 batches, mixing till almost even after each addition. Scrape down thoroughly, including bottom of bowl, and fold till just evenly mixed. Divide batter equally between 9 paper (not cardboard) moulds measuring 7 x 4 cm (top D x H). Bake in middle of oven till golden brown and tops spring back slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool down.

To make filling, remove bowl from fridge. Place cream and sugar in bowl. Whisk till cream is just stiff. Add vanilla extract. Mix evenly.

To assemble, transfer whipped cream into piping bag fitted with nozzle. Insert nozzle into centre of cakes. Squeeze just enough cream to slightly puff up cakes. Rotate cakes as you pipe so that filling is nicely centred. Chill till ready to serve.

To serve, dust cupcakes with icing sugar and garnish with slivers of strawberry.

65 comments:

DAVIDPD said...

Thank You! These are pretty similar to CupCakes, a discontinued product from Hostess Brands here in the United States. They were chocolate flavored and had a cute, little, white swirl on top.

kt said...

Whoa . . . that eez . . . niiice!

Christine Jong said...

what if it cracks on the top like huat kueh?too hot?shud i take it out of the oven?

kt said...

The oven is too hot or something is measured wrongly. The cracks shouldn't be very noticeable after the cakes cool down and sink a bit.

Christine Jong said...

hi,finished them all。Taste just great just the look cnt compared to yours。will try again today。 thanks alot kt

Elysia said...

Hi how long do I hav 2 bake it?

kt said...

About 25 minutes.

Elysia Oh said...

Thanks!

Addle said...

Mmm...looks delicious! I'll try it someday. Thanks!

Elysia Oh said...

I tried yesterday...it taste delicious. But I feel I hav over bake it as the top was not as soft n bouncy as yrs :-)

Elysia Oh said...

When it's ard 8mins thru the baking..it raised up n crack. I lower the temperature n continue baking..is it correct?

Elysia Oh said...

The same happens to my soufflé cheese cake. I always hav cracks....any way to prevent it? Is my oven too hot, it is a build in over.

Addle said...

Looks delicious!!!

kt said...

If you set your house on fire and then call the fire brigade, is "it" correct?

Jenny Lo said...

This is amazing!!! keep going :D

Sharon said...

Nice.. But my cake sank too much.. How to prevent it?

kt said...

Learn how to follow instructions, and then follow the instructions.

Chris Mok said...

may I know the brands of the electronic mixer you use ?

Grace said...

May I know why my filling turn watery very quickly though I had frozen the bowl?

kt said...

Watery as in curdled? Or watery as in melted? Was the cream stiff before it became watery?

Elsie Fung said...

I want to thank ü for the above - mentioned recipe and video. I made those today and I wanted to tell ü that your recipe for those Hokkaido cup cakes really Won't shrink much. *^^* taste super fluffy and soft.

Yulina said...

Hi, I have tried making this cupcake just now. My filling too become watery very quickly as in melted. I was wondering if I choose the correct whipping cream as I couldn't find cream box that stated 35%... Can I know what should I concern those printed on the cream box? Thanks!

kt said...

What's "really quickly"? 1 minute? 1 hour?

Grace said...

the cream was stiff before it turns watery quickly as in melted in the next 5 minutes while filling the cupcakes. I used the thickened cream from Diary farm. Thanks!

kt said...

The cream should be refrigerated except when you are whisking or piping it.

Wan said...

Hi, May I ask why we shouldn't use cardboard moulds? Wanted to use them as I have those at home. Thanks.

kt said...

The cakes aren't fluffy on top if you use cardboard moulds and bake at 165°C. If you want to use your cardboard moulds for this recipe, I suggest you bake at a higher temperature, like maybe 185°C.

vickyyao said...

hello may i know what the brand eletric mixer you use ?

jas said...

hi is it okay if I use normal or low fat milk instead?

Joanne Chua said...

Hi KT, did this yesterday. Hahaha... it rose up like a souffle only to deflate when cooled. As for the filling, I had overfed the first couple of cakes with cream. Ahh...nevermind, will try these cuties again.

Susanna said...

Hi,
Love ur Hokkaido cupcakes and their unique red paper casing. This is the first time I've seen these type of paper cupcake baking cups! Love the shape and colour!
Can u please advise where I can purchase these?

Thanks,
Susanna

Pandamaniac said...

Hi KT. I couldn't find any paper baking cups, but have some foil cups at home. Do I need to alter the oven temperature or baking time? The cupcakes look so god, can't wait to try!

kt said...

Bought the paper cups at Phoon Huat. Cheers.

kt said...

Sorry, I don't know.

Sherene said...

Hi
This recipe is great. Tried yesterday and was wiped out by my 2 little ones. They have never like most filling of cupcakes but this is fabulous. Texture of cake is great, filling is wonderful & presentation is so beautiful. Thks for sharing the recipe.

kt said...

Kids, and mothers-in-law, tell it like it is. If they say it's good, then it's really good.

Sarah said...

Hi KT,
I'm baking them now and about to start on the filling. The recipe mentions vanilla extract. How much exactly as I don't see it in the ingredients list.
Cheers, Sarah

kt said...

1/4 tsp. Sorry!

Sarah said...

Great, thanks for getting back so quickly :)

Sarah said...

Hi KT,
Sorry me again. Had a little disaster with the whipping cream. I used Emborg but before it even stiffened, it curdled! May I ask which brand you use for yours?
Cheers, Sarah

kt said...

Bulla or Dairy Farmers.

nicolevian said...

Hi I would like to say 'thank you' as this is the best cupcakes I've ever baked. I've not been baking for quite some time. Today I wanted to try out your recipe and to my surprise it was effortlessly delicious. The cupcakes soft like a cotton and almost melted in my mouth. It was so light and fluffy. I've baked the same cupcakes using the recipe from nasilemaklover.blogspot.sg but the result is nt as gd as your recipe. Once again, thanks for sharing this recipe with me. :) I will bake some more this weekend!

kt said...

You are welcome, nicolevian. Er, did you give me a star? (It's just above the comments section, on the right.)

nicolevian said...

Yes, kt! I just gave u a star ytd. It shld be 5 stars actually... ;)

JOSE said...

Hi
thank you so much for such great recipe. Love it so much. The texture so fluffy, sweetness so perfect and lots of my friends love it so much. I would like to know if there's healthier substitute for the whipping cream? :p

icamarshal said...

hi :)
i just found your blog, i start to love baking & your video help me much..
thanks for sharing :)

Candy said...

Hi kt may I know what brand of mixer you are using ... Trying to buy one like yours

Jewel Lai said...

Hi KT,
The cupcakes came out perfectly fluffy but not much shrank!
This is the best recipe i had tried so far compare to others 2 recipes!
Bravo!


But the filling I was still using Ochikeron recipe (whipping cream) cause I dont know 35% cream can be buy from where?? Any brand or photo for recommended?
Thank you!

kt said...

Check the label for fat content. If the cream has about 35% fat, it's good for making whipped cream.

kt said...

Any major international brand for small kitchen appliances would have the kind of whisk I use.

Simonneho said...

KT, my cake not only turn out success, it was very success and very yummy!
Thanks again for sharing the recipe can't wait for your next recipe!

Eva Ng said...

Hi KT , 45g egg yolks and 135g egg whites is how many egg nedded ?

Irene said...

Hi, i couldnt find the mixer (single whisk) anywhere. Can you advise on the brand? Many thanks!

jolyn said...

Hi,
Tried the recipe, its great! Just that the filling cant enter the cake properly, cream oozes out once the nozzle was placed in the cake. Not sure whats the reason.
=(

Me said...

Can use Philips brand but not recommended. Get warm easily, still prefers normal double beaters.

Jeslyn said...

Most amazing cupcake recipe ever! Have stopped baking for some time and this recipe gives me motivation to start baking again!
Would you happen to have recipe for salted caramel cupcake? :) I love your recipes!

Izara said...

can I use vegetable oil instead of corn oil??

Kim Giap Gan said...

Thank you KT! Your recipe is divine. It works!

Can you help me analyze why my Japanese friend's soonge cake recipe does not work? The ingredients are 50g plain flour, 30g corn flour, 5 eggs (separated), 80g castor sugar.

Thank you once again :))

KT said...

A list of ingredients isn't a recipe. Without the method, type of mould and oven temperature, it is meaningless.

Jenny said...

Hello,can i use plain flour instead of cake flour?

nat said...

can i use baking powder too?

KT said...

What the fuck for?

GT said...

woww rude much

Lei Ai said...

Amazing! As they say the proof is in the pudding! Thanks so much for your instructions. I shall be baking these again for my son's 4th birthday. Just need to find sturdier cupcake cases.

Jayesha said...

I used your recipe and it turned out amazing, I took the liberty to make chocolate ones for the second batch, and used peach...also added a bit of cocoa in the cream..absolutely love your recipes and your straight-forwardness! Thank you for sharing this :)

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