Modestly Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Tips: As the name implies, this is a dessert with a modest
chocolate content. A mere three ounces of grated chocolate speckles
a tall and handsome, citrus-perfumed chiffon cake. I prefer to eat
this delicate creation plain, accompanied by tea or milk, though
you can sift a bit of confectioners' sugar over the top just before
You'll need an electric stand mixer or a sturdy hand-held mixer
to make this, in addition to a 10 by 4 inch, two-piece tube pan
(in a two-piece tube pan, the tube and bottom are one piece and
the sides are one piece). Even if the pan has "feet", you'll need
a sturdy, empty bottle from which to suspend the cake to cool it
(I use a clean, empty wine bottle). Yes, it is nervewracking to
turn a freshly-baked, hot cake upside down onto the neck of a bottle,
but I've never yet had one fall out of the pan! The method really
No matter which bowl and beater(s) you choose for beating your
whites, make sure they are perfectly clean and grease-free. Separate
your eggs when they are just out of the fridge, but remember that
the volume of the whites will be far greater when beaten if they're
at room temperature.
Yield: 16 servings
- 6 eggs, graded "large" separated, plus 2 additional egg whites
from eggs graded "large"
- 2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
- 3-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Large pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup light vegetable oil, such as corn or safflower
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Grated zest 2 oranges AND 2 lemons
- 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely grated
At least an hour before you want to bake, remove eggs from the fridge.
Separate them, placing the whites (including the two additional
whites) into the large bowl of an electric mixer and the yolks into
any small bowl. Cover both bowls lightly with plastic wrap and allow
to stand until whites are at room temperature or very slightly warmer.
When ready to bake, adjust oven rack so it is one-third of the
way up from the bottom of the oven. Assemble a two-piece, absolutely
clean, 10 by 4 inch tall tube pan; do not grease or line the pan.
Have ready a clean, empty, sturdy glass bottle with a relatively
tall neck; an empty wine or liqueur bottle (750 ml size) will do
just fine. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Into a large bowl, sift the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar (reserve
remainder), baking powder, and salt. All at once, add the water,
oil, egg yolks, and vanilla. With sturdy, hand-held mixer or whisk,
beat at low speed to moisten dry ingredients, then increase speed
to medium and beat until batter is smooth (batter will be on the
thin side). With a spoon or spatula, stir in the citrus rind until
evenly distributed. Set aside.
With whisk beater fitted to electric stand mixer, beat whites
at high speed until foamy and slightly increased in volume. Sprinkle
on cream of tartar. Beat in at low speed, then increase speed to
high again and beat until traces of beater marks are visible in
whites. Add reserved 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar in 6 additions,
beating in each addition at low speed until incorporated, then returning
speed to high for 10 to 15 seconds. Beat this meringue until it
is just before stiff peak stage. Remove bowl from mixer.
Pour about one-sixth of yolk batter into meringue. Using a large
sptula, fold in not too thoroughly. Continue to add egg yolk batter
to meringue in about 5 more additions, folding each in not too thoroughly.
With last addition of batter, add grated chocolate. Fold this mixture
until all batter is incorporated into meringue (check the bottom
of the bowl to be sure, as sometimes the yolk batter likes to hide
down there) and chocolate flecks are evenly distributed. Pour into
tube pan and gently and quickly spread level.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 52 minutes. Cake should rise
slightly above edge of pan and may develop deep cracks in top surface;
top will not brown deeply. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted
into center emerges with only a few moist crumbs still clinging
to it; do not overbake. Remove to cooling rack.
Working quickly and WEARING POT HOLDERS, take a deep breath, then
turn the cake upside down so that the neck of the sturdy bottle
fits into the tube of the pan. The cake pan may be tilted on the
neck of the bottle-OK. The top of the cake should be at least 10
inches or so off your worksurface. Allow cake to cool undisturbed.
When cake is at room temperature, carefully remove from bottle
and turn right side up. Very gently loosen from sides and tube of
pan, then carefully push up through sides of pan; the cake will
emerge right side up and still attached to the tube portion of the
pan. Gently loosen cake from bottom of tube portion, then turn upside
down onto large serving plate. Cake may be served immediately or
stored airtight at room temperature for up to three days (freeze
for longer storage). To cut, use a large, very sharp, serrated knife
and a sawing motion to cut cake into slices.
© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information
to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you
may not: distribute the text to others without the express written
permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information
on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or
re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information
for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer
for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this
server from your own documents.