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Author Notes: Chiffon cakes are airy and pillowy in texture with the richness of butter cake and lightness of sponge cake. They are baked in a tube pan and, once cooked, hung upside down over a bottle to cool. (I made mine in a bundt and it turned out but I think it would have been worth it to dig the tube pan out of my dad’s basement, to get more rise out of it.)
This recipe for the cake comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible. —Samantha Angela
Makes 1 cakes
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup water, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 7 egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 325*F. Grab a 10-inch tube pan with a detachable bottom (I used a bundt pan and it worked out okay) but do not grease it as the batter needs to climb up the sides. I suggest you test some bottles when the tube pan is empty to make sure you have one on hand that fits the hole, as you'll need to "hang" the cake when it's cooled.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the 300g of sugar and the lemon zest. With your fingertips, work the zest and sugar together until the sugar is grainy and very aromatic. Add the cake flour, baking soda, and salt to the bowl.
- If using a stand mixer, use the beater attachment and beat on low until the ingredients are well incorporated. You can also do this by hand with a whisk.
- Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the oil, egg yolks, water, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix for about one minute on medium speed until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
- In a second large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Do it slowly though, it’s not a race. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat on medium speed until they reach soft peak stage. You will know your egg whites have reached this stage when the beaters start to leave a trail or when the peaks fall over when the beaters are raised. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and continue to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks when the beaters are raised.
- Using a balloon whisk, add 1/3 of the egg whites to your cake batter and gently stir them until they are incorporated. Add the remaining egg whites to the batter and very gently fold them into the batter until they are incorporated and no traces of egg whites remain.
- Pour the batter into the ungreased pan and run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent air pockets.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed in the center.
- Once cooked, take the cake out of the oven and immediately turn it upside down over a bottle* or similar to it until it is completely cool, 3 hours up to overnight.
- Using an up and down motion, use a palette knife to loosen the sides of the cake away from the tin. Pull out the cake and use the palette knife around the bottom of the cake to release it from the base. Turn it over so that the base becomes the top and sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar to serve. Serve with Limoncello Yoghurt Custard.
Limoncello Yoghurt Custard
- 2 cups plain yoghurt
- 4 egg yolks, reserved from the cake recipe
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 ounce Limoncello
- In a small saucepan dissolve the cornflour with a tablespoon of the yoghurt, stirring until smooth.
- Stir in the egg yolks, sugar, Limoncello, and remainder of the yoghurt.
- Bring to medium heat, stirring until it gets thick. Remove the custard from the heat and refrigerate to cool. Serve with the Lemon Chiffon Cake