Just remember that everything I will say here is based on my observations alone. I am not a food chemistry expert and have limited knowledge on how ingredients work together in cooking/baking. Also, I will not be writing the recipe again so please refer to my original post here if you need to.
Unfortunately, cake flour is not very common in Australian supermarkets. In fact, I have only ever found one brand, sold in boxes of just 1 kg and it is so much more expensive compared to plain flour.
|The box does not even specifically say "Cake Flour" but I know that it is one because it says "soft, low protein" which is exactly what cake flour is.|
I baked an ube cake using 1 3/4 cups plain flour last Easter and it turned out very, very light and soft. I do love super soft cakes. However, because it seemed so delicate, I had to be extra careful in handling it. Also, I observed that the cake had the tendency to sink a little bit more than usual. (Remember, I do not use a tube pan for this cake, only a regular round pan. The cake always sinks just a little bit). In terms of taste though, the cake was as delicious as ever.
For the cake above, I tried something else. I used a combination of plain flour and cornstarch. The usual substitution for cake flour is this - for every cup of plain flour, replace two tablespoons with cornstarch. In essence, this means 1 cup of cake flour equals 7/8 cup plain flour plus 1/8 cup cornstarch.
For the chiffon cake recipe, 2 1/4 cups cake flour translates to:
1 3/4 cup + 3 1/3 Tablespoons plain flour PLUS
1/4 cup + 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
The result? I could hardly tell the difference from the cakes that used cake flour. Cakes with cake flour do have a finer crumb but personally, I don't think it even matters because the cake with the plain flour and cornstarch is still as soft, with great texture and taste. I'm pretty sure no one else will even notice or care.
My recommendation then is to go with the plain flour/cornstarch combination if you cannot find cake flour. Both ingredients are easy to find and will come out much cheaper than cake flour (at least here in Australia!).
Milk. Someone had told me before that the cake batter prior to folding in the eggwhites was too thick and hard to mix. For this problem, a little bit more milk would do the trick. I've tried increasing it from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup and it was fine.
Ube. As much as possible, use only fresh grated ube, frozen grated ube or powdered ube for this cake. A reader had commented once that she used the bottled jam and her cake turned out great just the same. If you have no other option, then I would just suggest you find a good quality brand. Some brands taste nothing like ube. They look purple but taste like crap. Also, you might want to lessen the sugar a bit as the jam is already sweet. Experiment if you must.
Ube flavouring. If you cannot find this, just omit it altogether or use vanilla extract to replace. You might want to increase the violet gel paste by a bit to achieve the vibrant purple colour as the use of ube flavouring does add to the overall colour.
Whipped cream frosting
Some found the whipped cream frosting too soft for piping. While the recipe generally worked for me, this same thing has happened to me a few times too, prompting me to change the method with which I made my frosting.
Firstly, be sure your whipping cream as well as your mixing bowl and beaters are all well chilled. And the cream cheese shouldn't be too soft. In this other method, you will be beating the cream cheese and the whipping cream separately.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Set aside.
In your chilled bowl and using clean beaters, beat the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until the mixture is stiff. Gently fold in the cream cheese then beat again at high speed for a few seconds or just until everything is well combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
Your frosting should be firm and perfect for piping those rosettes.
If you follow everything I've suggested, I see no reason for you not to make a perfect ube macapuno cake. Really, I have done this cake a million times. You can certainly make the same beautiful cake as pictured above as well.
Till next. Happy baking!