Here, Taste This : Lemon Chiffon Cake

Spring is taking sweet forever to get to Minnesota this year.

To wit:
Last Saturday, we hit 56 degrees - for the first time since November 22.
The Twins home opener on Monday showcased a wind chill of 15.
For the entire month of March, only three days enjoyed above-average temps.
I still have snow drifts in my yard taller than my dog. And she's a border collie.

So basically, we are Canada without Tim Horton's.

Always winter. Never spring.

Unless you make this cake. Which I did, for Easter, because I needed some hope in my kitchen to celebrate the Hope in my heart.

Lemon Chiffon Cake is spring in the form of a baked good - light, sunny, moist, tangy, sweet, rich. Enough contradiction to make your head spin coupled with brightness that's irresistible.

It brought spring to my mouth.

Baby steps, Minnesota. We'll get there. Until then, we have cake.



LEMON CHIFFON CAKE

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
7 egg yolks
7 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 235.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and add oil, egg yolks, water, lemon peel and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg white and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form.
4. Add about a cup of egg whites to cake batter and fold together to incorporate. Continue gently folding in the egg whites until the two mixtures are just blended.
5. Pour into an ungreased tube pan, 10x4 inches.
6. Bake about 75 minutes or until top springs back when lightly pressed. Invert cake pan and let it hang until the cake is completely cool. Remove from pan and frost with Lemon Butter Frosting.

Tips:
1. This is Baking 301. There are many intimidating tasks here, but fear not. Online tutorials are here to help. If this is your first time separating eggs, check out this slideshow and video at the Food Network. If you are trying to determine if your egg whites are stiff or not (#TWSS), Better Homes and Garden has a great explainer. Or, for a little bit of everything - egg separation, egg white whipping, egg white folding - I love this blog post at The Joy of Cooking. And of course, I am always here for you. I'd be happy to answer questions in the comments.
2. A tube pan is also called an angel food cake pan, and it is a requirement for Lemon Chiffon Cake. Without that removable bottom, I'm not sure how you'd get the cake out of the pan. (See also: Do not make this in a bundt pan unless you plan to eat the whole cake by yourself, with a fork, standing over your kitchen sink. Because it will never come out.)
3. My tube pan has these awesome little stands on it so I can tip it upside down on my counter while it cools without smooshing any of the cake. If you don't have stands on your tube pan, thread the middle tube through a bottle of wine instead and let it hang there as it cools. (The things we do for cake.)

LEMON BUTTER FROSTING

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:
1. Beat the softened butter and gradually add the powdered sugar.
2. Add in the lemon peel and the lemon juice until the frosting is fully and of spreading consistency.

Tips:
1. I like my frosting thick, so this recipe works for me. But honestly, it's not the best icing for a delicate cake. So feel free to add more lemon juice and/or warm water, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the frosting to more of a glaze.
2. The cake must be completely cool before you try to frost it. But you knew that, right?
3. I garnished the cake with paper-thin slices of lemon to make it look pretty. If you have Meyer lemons available to you, use those as garnishes. They are sweet enough to eat.

5 comments:

  1. Oh my mercy. Lemony things are my favorite.

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  2. My salivary glands started tingling just looking at this! Yum!

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  3. SWEET MERCY. I want to marry this cake. My whole family lures lemony things. Bookmarking now!

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  4. Oh my goodness...I love all things lemon. Beautiful cake! I am going to have to try this to spruce up our "spring" over here as well. 6 inches of snow outside :(

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