Monday, June 24, 2013

Lemon Chiffon Cake

It feels good to be baking. It’s the summer and we're currently at 90 degrees and muggy weather here. Usually that means grilling outside and eating ice cream, never running the oven. But I was in the mood for something that screams summer to me. Citrus and cake. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to celebrate it a couple of times but I never had a cake. I felt the need to have cake.

Lemon Chiffon Cake


Enter the lemon chiffon cake. I found the recipe here.

Recipes always call for stuff I don't have, like buttermilk and cream cheese. Or cake flour. That’s the worst. Who keeps cake flour laying around? This recipe was pretty good about not needing a lot of random things. And luckily I happened to have cream of tartar on hand to be whipped with the egg whites.

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Make sure you whip the egg whites and the cream of tartar long enough. And fold it into the batter right away. If you spend time photographing it, your egg white peaks might turn into puddles and you'll have to whip them again.

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I took several liberties with the frosting. And what I put down is approximation so play around with it a little. The original recipe calls for cream cheese in the frosting. That might be tasty. I didn't have any cream cheese and really, I don't like cream cheese frosting, so I took it out. I went for soft, light frosting, almost like a glaze, but thick enough that it stays on the cake.

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It was pretty easy to make and took only a few minutes of prep time. Nice and lemony, the perfect summer treat. The whipping of egg whites was definitely worth it. So was running the oven in the afternoon.

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Lemon Chiffon Cake with tangy lemon frosting, adapted from Taste of Home.

Ingredients:
One cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Frosting:
4 tablespoons butter, left out the night before
4 tablespoons milk
3 teaspoons lemon juice
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, water, oil, lemon peel and vanilla; add to dry ingredients. Beat until well blended. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form; fold into batter.

Gently spoon into an eight inch cake pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a small bowl, beat the butter, milk and lemon juice until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Run a knife around side and center tube of cake pan. Remove cake to a serving plate; frost. Store in the refrigerator.