America’s greatest achievement (for some) was when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. From my pastry kitchen in Dallas, Texas, I say America’s greatest achievement was when Harry Baker invented the “chiffon”cake.
America beat France but no one was cheering; the chiffon cake is just as versatile as a génoise, except more moist and easier to make.
(Did the fellow get a medal or something?)
Recipe from Stephen Schmidt for Cook’s Illustrated, adapted slightly.
INGREDIENTS: 12 servings (1 large bundt cake or 24 mini-bundt cakes)
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 1/3 cups of cake flour
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 7 eggs at room temperature (separate 5 eggs while still cold)
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 3/4 cup of fresh (and strained) orange juice
- 1 cup of chopped cranberries
- 2 tbsp of orange zest
- 1 tsp of orange blossom water or vanilla
- 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 325F. Place flour, sugar, salt, baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk to combine well. Whisk the 5 egg yolks, oil, orange juice, zest and orange blossom water to combine until the batter is perfectly smooth. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites in a mixer; when frothy, drop in the cream of tartar; beat the whites until stiff and thick but still shiny, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer. Fold the whites into the batter gently with a large spatula or balloon whisk until no visible white blobs remain.
- Pour cake into the pan of your choice; most recipes do not grease and flour the pan but I always do or use parchment paper, because I hate to see the cakes stick to the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or up to 45 minutes depending on the pan size. Test with a toothpick and if dry it is done. Cool and serve.
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