Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

This past weekend I stayed in the dorms for Shabbat with a couple of girls who decided to stay in. Instead of buying food for Shabbat, I decided that I was going to cook food. Could one have Shabbat any other way? I don't think so. So just for the three of us, I made everything from challah (mommy's obviously) to dessert. Everything in between was the no-brainer, it was the dessert part that, as usual, threw me for a loop. What to make? I knew that this week, I really wanted to make a chocolate cake and after going through all my books, I finally settled on a Chiffon Cake from the Cake Bible. But then chiffon cake made me think of all the other flavors, vanilla, orange, lemon... When I asked the girls to pick a flavor, they chose chocolate. So chocolate it was. (Fortunately, I also had the extra egg whites sitting around the fridge.) For those who arent familiar with it, chiffon cake is a cake invented by Harry Baker that is similiar to angel food cake but uses the yolks as well as whites, and also contains oil. The oil was his secret ingredient that added moisture to this spongy cake. Making it is easy- blend all of the ingredients, save for the whites, beat the whites, fold in and bake. Like angel food cake, this is foam cake gets cooled upside down to set its structure. Unfortunately, my pan is only one piece, so parts of the cake did get stuck to the pan. For my next chiffon cake (orange, anyone?) I'll bake it in a springform pan with a flower pin in the center, as per Rose's latest technique. The girls loved the cake, but barely made a dent in it, as we were only three people. After Shabbat, the other girls took care of it, leaving just a trail of crumbs behind. You might want to dust with powdered sugar to hide its imperfections, for contrast, or just because; suit yourself.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake
adapted from the Cake Bible

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp Dutch process cocoa
3/4 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups cake or all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar- set aside two tbsp for the egg whites
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
6 large eggs, separated, plus 4 additional whites
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat your oven to 325.
Place the cocoa powder and boiling water in a bowl,
stir to make a smooth mixture. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend.
To the dry ingredients, add the yolks, oil, vanilla and cocoa mixture.
Blend until smooth. Set aside.
In a grease free metal bowl, place all of the egg whites. Beat until foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
Add in the remaining 2 tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Add one cup of egg whites to the chocolate mixture,
and whisk in. This lightens the mixture a bit, making it easier to blend in the rest of the whites.
Add in the rest of the whites,
and gently fold in until no streaks remain.
Pour the batter into a 10 inch tube pan. Run a small knife through the batter to prevent air pockets.
Bake for around an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and carefully cool atop a water bottle or a wine bottle. I know this looks weird, but it has to cool upside down to set its structure.
Once it has completely cooled, you can carefully turn it out onto a serving plate. Enjoy!

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