A Cake To Honor Mom

May 1, 2015

Chiffon cakes were popular in the fifties and sixties. There is no butter in them; oil gives the cake moistness instead. Egg whites and baking powder provide the leavening. Chiffon cakes differ from sponge cakes in that a sponge cake has no oil or butter and relies on egg yolks for moistness and egg whites for lightening and leavening. Both these cakes are part of a cluster of cakes known as foam cakes because of the beaten egg whites that are folded into the batter Chiffon cakes are delicious and need no other embellishment but for a special occasion, like Mothers Day, it is nice filled with lemon curd. To make the assembly easy, make the curd a couple of days ahead of time.

Chiffon Cake with Lemon Curd

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 350F

10 inch ungreased tube pan

Lemon Curd

Makes 1 3/4 cups

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (about 4 lemons or 6 large limes)
1 tablespoon grated lemon or lime zest
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4-teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
1/2 cup whipping cream

Combine the lemon or lime juice, zest, sugar, butter and salt in the top of a double boiler. Cook stirring constantly over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar no longer feels gritty in the bottom of the pan. Slowly pour in the eggs, continually stirring with a spoon or whisk and cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Transfer the curd to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

For the cake

2 -1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 -1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1/2-cup vegetable oil

5 eggs, separated
3/4-cup water at room temperature
1-tablespoon vanilla extract or orange liqueur
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
Mix sugar baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in center of bowl and add the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla, and orange zest. Beat until smooth with a whisk or hand held mixer.

Whip the whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture

Pour into pan and bake 55 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. The cake should should look golden brown and be firm to the touch.

Immediately remove cake from over and prop upside down placing the open funnel part of the tube pan over a wine bottle. This allows the cake to cool without collapsing. When cool to the touch, run a butter knife around the inside edges of the pan and remove the cake from the pan and set aside.

When ready to fill the cake, whip the cream until it is stiff, then fold it into the lemon curd.

To fill the cake, split it horizontally into 2 layers with a serrated knife, and spread some of the curd equally between the layers.

Dust the top of the cake with confectioners sugar and cut with a serrated knife to serve.

Recipe from Ciao Italia Classics by Mary Ann Esposito

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