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Happy Mothers Day-Chiffon Cake With Roasted Strawberries And Rhubarb

Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake

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!!

Chiffon Cake

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

Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb

40 Comments Post a comment
  1. This looks so yummy, love the roasted strawberries!

    May 11, 2013
    • Thanks so much Pamela, me too, the strawberries and rhubarb are so good.

      May 11, 2013
  2. That cake sounds as light as a soufflé – it sounds delicious. I adore the strawberry/rhubarb combination and I bet it compliments the lightness of the cake beautifully. I like the idea of roasting the strawberries too. All in all, sounds divine 🙂

    May 11, 2013
    • Thank you it really is at light as a souffle, I can’t wait until tomorrow to have a piece. Happy Mothers Day I hope you have a wonderful day!

      May 11, 2013
  3. Happy Mother’s Day to you too, Suzanne. This cake looks gorgeous. I’ve made your yellow cake recipe that’s on Food 52 and here on your blog many times now, and is a favorite. I’m sure this will be too!!

    May 11, 2013
    • Thanks Susan, it’s a wonderful cake, so light and flavorful. Happy Mothers Day!

      May 11, 2013
  4. Thank you Suzanne! I don’t even need to have this sitting on my table…your gift of this post is very appreciated. Beautiful cake. 🙂

    May 11, 2013
  5. Yum! My sister in law has decided to go gluten free, so no rich cakes for dessert tomorrow. I’ll have to live vicariously through your chiffon cake. PS–rhubarb is at the markets now! Grand Army Plaza if you got up early enough (I didn’t) or Union Square.

    May 11, 2013
  6. I have often thought about how it would be to make this cake gluten free with a combination of different GF flours. Thanks so much, I went to Ft Greene farmers market today and nary a stalk, I will have to see if I can get to Union Sq next week, thanks for the heads up!

    May 11, 2013
  7. Gosh, you’ve got me licking my lips! The cake is amazing. So, too, is the rhubarb and strawberries together. And a dollop of cream. I’ll be dreaming of this cake tonight 🙂

    May 11, 2013
    • Thank you so much, I won’t be having it until tomorrow, it was pretty hard not to cut a slice but I forced myself to wait until tomorrow. You are so kind.

      May 11, 2013
  8. How beautiful. My mom would love this.

    I’d never heard of roasting strawberries before, but it’s such a great idea!

    May 11, 2013
    • Thanks so much, roasting the strawberries and rhubarb is wonderful, brings it seems like the flavor intensifies. Have a great day!

      May 12, 2013
  9. This looks soft and yummy and beautiful! Happy Mother’s Day!

    May 12, 2013
  10. I love Chiffon Cake, and would have it with anything, especially with Roasted Strawberries And Rhubarb. Have a great Mother’s Day!

    May 12, 2013
  11. This cake sounds amazing! It looks incredible!

    May 12, 2013
    • Thank you so much, it was really good, nice and light and the berries were so delicious.

      May 12, 2013
  12. Mmmm this cake and those berries, this is genius my friend 🙂
    So light and perfect!

    Choc Chip Uru

    May 12, 2013
    • Thank you I hope your Mom had a nice day, do you celebrate Mothers Day in Austrialia?

      May 12, 2013
  13. What a gorgeous cake & aren’t strawberries and rhubarb a perfect flavour combination?!

    May 12, 2013
    • Thank you, oh yes the strawberries and rhubarb are just perfect together and the cake was really delicious, so light.

      May 13, 2013
  14. This looks fantastic Suzanne! That cake looks so light and fluffy and I love it anytime strawberries and rhubarb are combined!

    May 13, 2013
    • Oh me too, strawberries and rhubarb were meant to be together. It was a really nice dessert. Thank you very much.

      May 13, 2013
  15. Beautiful and yummy cake: I love angel food cake, so I bet this one is going to be delicious!

    May 13, 2013
    • Thanks so much, if you like angel food you will love chiffon cake, it has a much finer crumb and is a bit richer but the same light spongy consistency. It’s one of my all time favorites.

      May 13, 2013
  16. Looks fabulous Suzanne, I love the height of the cake and the texture! It looks so delicate, yet rich. I absolutely love cakes. You know I have a friend that doesn’t like cake…I think that is insane, I think I could eat cake daily!! You are so amazing at cakes.

    May 14, 2013
    • I could eat cake for breakfast, I especially like a cake like this with no frosting, plain and unadulterated. Thank you so much, I can’t imagine not liking cake. I have a friend who really dislike pie, can’t figure that out either.

      May 14, 2013
  17. That cake looks so light and delicious. I can’t wait to try it!

    May 19, 2013
    • I love chiffon cake, it’s so light and I love the texture. I would love to hear what you think if you make. Thank you so much.

      May 19, 2013
  18. Chiffon cake was known as “The Cake of the Century” and served at the Brown Derby for years where the recipe was kept secret. I’m glad we can finally enjoy it!!! Yours looks lovely!!!

    May 23, 2013
    • I never knew that, thank you so much. It is one of my favorite cakes, so light and really delicious.

      May 23, 2013
  19. Thank you so much!

    June 7, 2013

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