I was hoping chiffon was going to be kinder to me than genoise, and luckily my wishes were granted.
These soft, airy cakes are absolutely delicious and totally new to me.
I used a recipe from the Monday Morning Cooking Club because it kept coming up time and time again during my research. The story is really touching as well – you can watch the video and get the recipe here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o57wWW8PsUI
Cakes using the chiffon method are leavened with air from whipped egg whites as well as a chemical agent such as baking powder or cream of tartar.
This was the first time I’d come across a recipe with cream of tartar and had to do some research (as well as go out and buy some).
- Interestingly, it’s a by-product of the winemaking process as the powder forms inside wine barrels during fermentation.
- It’s mostly used as an whipped eggwhite stabiliser so you may also see it in mergingue or pavlova recipes.
- It’s an acid and often it’s found as the major component in baking powder or combined with baking soda to react when moisture is added.
- Sometimes it’s added to candies or frostings to give them a creamier texture because it can help prevent the crystalisation of cooked sugar.
Back to chiffon cakes, the trick to maintaining their rise is letting them cool upside down. This means they won’t collapse and by not greasing the tin, the cake will stick to the edges as it cools.
Ideally you need to have a chiffon cake tin, but after searching high and low I had to settle on a deep ring cake tin with a removable base.
I hung it over neck of a wine bottle to cool before moving it from the tin – you need to cut it out with a knife or spatula.
Note – the recipe doesn’t specify a cooking temperature or time so I did 180 for 40 minutes and think it probably was 5 minutes too much.