- 1 h 15 min
Imagine the lightness of a cloud. Chiffon cake will give you just this feeling: a soft, extremely light and delicate cake that melts in your mouth. The characteristic feature of this particular American dessert is its irresistible lightness and softness. You can enjoy it as is, like in this version, flavored with vanilla and lemon and sprinkled only with powdered sugar. But chiffon cake is also the ideal base for cakes of all kinds, filled as you like or covered with frosting. The great softness comes from adding cream of tartar to the whipped egg whites and from using a chiffon cake pan that allows air to escape and homogeneous cooling of the cake without it sagging. Served alone or with velvety creams, chiffon cake is a truly heavenly experience for the palate!
To prepare the chiffon cake, start by sifting the flour in a bowl together with the baking powder 1. Then add the superfine baker’s sugar 2 and salt 3. Stir with a spoon to mix them well.
In another bowl, separate the yolks from the egg whites of 6 large eggs 4, weighing about 14 oz in total (390-400 g), and keep the egg whites aside. Add water at room temperature 5 and the sunflower seed oil 6 to the yolks.
Then grate the rind of an untreated lemon 7 and cut a vanilla bean to extract the seeds with the tip of a small knife and add them to the egg yolk mixture 8. Whisk the mixture until you get a homogeneous cream, there will be no need to whip it. Then mix it with the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and baking powder), adding all at once 9.
Whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy 10. Leave this mixture aside for a moment and pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer 11 (a hand mixer can be used as well), and then beat the egg whites. When they are white and frothy, pour in the cream of tartar 12 and keep mixing for a few minutes.
Once the egg whites have been beaten 13, add a part to the mixture kept aside 14 and stir quickly with a spatula to dilute the mixture. Then add the remaining egg whites a little at a time, continuously stirring with a spatula 15 from top to bottom so as not to deflate the egg whites.
Now that the cake dough is ready, pour it gently into the chiffon cake pan: we used a standard tube pan with an 8 1/2" (22 cm) diameter bottom, 10" (26 cm) surface diameter and 4" (10 cm) height (it should not be buttered and floured) 16, trying to distribute it evenly 17. Then bake the chiffon cake in a static oven preheated to 325° F (160° C) for about 60 minutes (for a ventilated oven 300° F (150° C) for 45-50 minutes), placing the cake on the lower oven rack. Once baked, take it out of the oven 18.
Then turn the pan upside down and rest it on the special feet of the pan 19 so that the cake gets air, cools down and separates at the edges by itself. When the chiffon cake has completely cooled, remove the top of the pan using a thin, sharp knife 20. Your chiffon cake is ready to be sprinkled with powdered sugar to taste 21!
You can store the chiffon cake under a glass cloche for 2-3 days.
Freezing is not recommended.
Chiffon cake is delicious with powdered sugar alone, but is also a great base for filled cakes and birthday cakes. If desired, you can add raisins or chocolate chips to the dough and flavor with orange.