Set aside the boxed cakes this holiday season and really dress up the dessert table with an elegant Chiffon cake. Chiffon cake is part of the egg foam cake family, similar to an Angel Food Cake or Genoise Cake.
Like the rest of egg foams, a chiffon is a light and airy cake. It acquires its airy texture and volume from beaten egg whites. Unlike the other members of the egg foam cake family, the chiffon sets itself apart because of one ingredient, oil. Chiffon cakes are typically made with a bit of vegetable oil, this makes them very moist and prevents them from drying out as much as other cakes do. A chiffon cake is a perfect blank slate for many other desserts.
Since the addition of the vegetable oil makes the chiffon a bit more sturdy of a cake, it can be filled with frostings and fillings. Or, the cake can also be baked into sheet cakes and/or cupcakes. The versatility of the chiffon allows it to become many other desserts. If you are assigned to bring a dessert somewhere this holiday season the chiffon is a perfect choice. This delectable and versatile cake will have everyone asking for seconds.
6 egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
4 egg yolks
½ cup canola oil
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Line two 8 inch pans with parchment paper.
2. Warm the eggs by letting them sit in a bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes. When warm, crack the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.
3. Beat whites until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add ½ cup sugar while continuing to beat until the whites are very stiff.
4. Mix together egg yolks, oil, water and vanilla in a small bowl.
5. Sift together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
6. Add the yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Carefully fold in the beaten egg whites until well combined.
7. Divide the batter evenly into the two pans. Bake for around 1 hour, until the center springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool, then unmold.
Recipe courtesy of pastry chef Greg “Mr. Cake” Case, 2012.