Baking coverage of our family reunion continues this evening with this INCREDIBLE lemon chiffon cake. Having decided that I would be making one rich chocolate dessert, I needed to find a light, non-chocolate dessert to complement it. This was easier than it sounds, thanks to the amazing blog 17 and Baking. It is by a girl who is 17, and yes, she bakes. And takes beautiful photographs. She makes me feel very under-accomplished, sort of like Michael Phelps does.
In any case, this ended up being my grandmother's birthday cake- hence, the extraordinarily wit-less title of this post. I really like baking with lemon, but I had recently been burned by a lemon pound cake that went all wrong, so I hadn't used any in over two months. Luckily, this cake was well worth the venture. It was unbelievably light, delicious, and simple to make to boot. I was in the minority, but I liked it even better than the chocolate cake (though they went well together, tanks to the citrus in the chocolate cake.) Plus, it allowed me to zest lemons, one of my favorite activities. I'm definitely going to make it again, and maybe I'll try some of the variations she mentions at the bottom of the page. Here's the recipe; this one is a definite recommend!
Lemon Chiffon Cake
Makes one 7″ cake
From Martha Stewart Living
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp grated lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the three egg yolks, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and water. Stir in the dry ingredients.
In an electric mixer, beat the three egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high until soft peaks form, 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the tablespoon of sugar, beating on high for about 3 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Stir 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the batter, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold the remaining 2/3 into the batter. Pour into an ungreased 7″ tube pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Bake 45 minutes or until a skewer poked into the cake comes out clean and the top is golden.
Cool the cake upside down by inverting the pan onto a bottle. Let cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours, before running a knife between cake and pan and inverting onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve. You can also split the layers horizontally and fill with lemon curd, or pour a glaze over the cake. It’s also delicious with fresh fruit or ice cream.