I make this cake all the time, it’s light and has a velvety texture, it is similar to angel food cake, baked in an ungreased tube pan and laden with whipped egg whites, the difference here is that this cake contains oil (yes oil not butter) and egg yolks. Chiffon cake was big in the 1950’s and makes a very elegant dessert served with your choice of fruit or berries and some whipped cream it is absolutely delicious. The cake is lightly scented with lemon, rises high above the pan and is light as a feather. I have tried many recipes, but when I came upon this one from the great James McNair I found a keeper. It’s the only recipe I use and it turns out perfectly every time. Wrap what you don’t use well and keep in a cool dry place, the cake stays fresh for several days. You can also wrap well and freeze, it defrosts beautifully. Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s!!
From James McNair’s Cakes
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup egg yolks (from 6-7 large eggs) at room temperature and lightly beaten
3/4 cup water
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup egg whites (from approximately 10 eggs) at room temperature
1 tsp cream of tartar
Make sure your rack is in the middle of oven and pre heat to 325 degrees. Have a 10 inch angel food cake pan with removable bottom ready. You do not need to grease or flour the pan.
Place the flour, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, baking powder and salt in strainer or sifter and sift into a large metal bowl. Add the water, egg yolks, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until very smooth approximately 1 minute. Set aside.
In the metal bowl of a stand mixer with a wire whip beat the egg whites on low speed until frothy, add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium and beat until very soft billowy mounds form, with mixer running slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar a tbs at a time and beat until very stiff but not dry (about 6 minutes) It’s important that the egg whites be beaten until stiff.
Transfer about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter and stir gently to incorporate and lighten the batter. Add the remaining egg whites and using a large balloon whisk or rubber spatula gently fold into the batter until incorporated.
Gently scrape the batter into the cake pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your fingertip in the thickest part of the cake and a wooden skewer comes out clean. Baking time is about 1 hour. NOTE: You don’t want to open the oven door until the prescribed baking time is just about up, the cake could fall if you do this, so leave it for at least 55 minutes before you test the cake for doneness.
Remove pan from the oven and let it cool upside down you can use a bottle for this, the cake should be elevated. The cake rises quite high so it’s important not to let the upside down cake rest on the surface of the counter. Let cool completely at least 1 1/2 hours.
To remove cake from pan, place pan upright on work surface and using a thin blade knife carefully insert on the side of the pan careful not to cut the cake and holding the pan in place work your way around the cake, then do the same in the center around the tube. Carefully lift the bottom of the pan and with the cake sideways tap the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake, if necessary run the thin blade of the knife around the bottom to loosen. Invert onto cooling rack and transfer to serving plate.
Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb
2 stalks rhubarb cleaned and chopped
2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut in half
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs cointreau or your favorite fruity liquor
pinch of salt
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, line sheet pan with parchment. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar,salt and cointreau to a bowl, toss to combine and turn out onto sheet pan.Lay berries and their juices in a single layer and bake until berries and rhubarb are soft about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Set aside
Serve cake with the strawberries and rhubarb and a generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Delicious!
Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb