Monday, August 21, 2006

Chiffon Cake

My mother mentioned that she had a taste for a Chiffon Cake her mother made. I have a recipe that was printed by my grandfather, but I couldn't make it all out. Mom provided a similar recipe, from McCall's, May 1987 for "Chiffon Birthday Cake". McCall's indicates that this is "one of the biggest and certainly one of the best tasting cakes ever tested" in their kitchen.
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup salad oil (I used vegetable as my grandmother did and it seemed fine)
5 large egg yolks
7 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir flour with sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Add water, extracts, oil and egg yolks; stir just until smooth.
2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff. Gradually add batter to beaten whites, mixing just until combined. Pour into ungreased 10-inch tube pan; bake 65 minutes.
3. When cake is done, let it cool in the pan, upside down, on a cake rack. (I used the old invert it over a glass bottle method and it popped within minutes, sliding down the bottle and breaking. Hence the thick chocolate frosting.)
When perfectly cooled, loosen cake from side and tube with a spatula. If cake doesn't drop out of pan easily, give it a good whack on the bottom. (This instruction strikes me as odd for a recipe.) It won't hurt the cake a bit. Miraculous? Yes, Indeed!
4. To serve, sprinkle top with confectioners sugar or sweetened whipped cream.

It was very tasty. My Mom said it did taste like the cake she remembered. Honestly, while I like it, I don't think it was one of the best-tasting I've ever had. The best cake I've had is that jelly cake recipe I still can't find.

I spent most of the weekend on some freelance projects and have to get back to reading some mysteries to prepare for a conference I'm attending at the end of September. My husband and I did manage to go to some antique stores (our date night), where I found 20 vintage cookbook pamphlets, from "300 ways to serve eggs" to "Creole Cooking" with a non-PC picture on it. Most were $1 or $2. I'm finally going to start keeping a database of my cookbooks as I now can't remember what I have when I'm at the antique stores. Plus they are spilling out of several areas of the house now...

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