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Sunny Chiffon Cake with Lemon Glaze

in Diana's Recipe Book

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Servings: 12
This lovely chiffon cake flavored with lemon and a little vanilla makes a wonderful dessert for celebrating the beginning of Spring, or makes a refreshing after dinner treat after a warm summer's day. It would also be especially nice served on Mother's Day or Father's Day as a special homemade dessert for Mom or Dad, or why not serve it at brunch or at an afternoon tea. Your Mom and Dad, or if serving for guests, will adore you for making them this light and delicious cake.

For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated or superfine sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil* (see note below)
7 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
7 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar OR 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

For the Lemon Glaze:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick/2 oz./56g) unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons water (if needed to thin out the glaze)

For Garnish: (optional)
Lemon slices and mint sprigs

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C. Line the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan with parchment paper, baking paper or waxed paper. Set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of an electric mixer. Add water, oil, beaten egg yolks, vanilla extract, and lemon peel. Attach wire whip to mixer. Turn mixer to medium and beat 1 minute, scrape bowl, continue to mix on medium speed and beat another 15 seconds.

Pour mixture into another bowl. Clean mixer bowl and wire whip (make sure that there is no grease in the mixer bowl or on the wire whip or your egg whites will not whip correctly). Place egg whites and cream of tartar (or lemon juice) in clean mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn mixer to medium-high speed and whip 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until egg whites are stiff but not dry. Remove bowl from mixer. Gradually add flour mixture to egg whites. Fold in gently with spatula, just until blended.

Pour batter into lined baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven, and invert (while still in pan) onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely in pan upside down for 1 to 1 and a half hours. Turn pan right-side up and take a thin knife and slide it around the cake to detach it from the pan, pressing the knife against the pan to avoid tearing the cake. Using the same technique, detach the cake from the center tube. Pull the tube upward to remove the cake from the pan sides. Slide the knife under the cake to detach it from the bottom. Invert, and allow the cake to drop onto your hand, a rack, or a serving platter. Invert again, right side up, on a rack to cool completely before glazing the cake.

For the Glaze:
Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Return the pan to heat and cook over barely simmering water for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla extract. Add 2-4 tablespoons of water to glaze, if needed, to thin it out. Beat mixture with hand mixer or an electric stand mixer until cool. Drizzle or spread over cake. Let glaze set on cake before serving. If desired, decorate cake with fresh lemon slices and mint sprigs.

Makes 12 servings.

I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the Provence area of France when making this cake. It is a good oil for baking desserts, but you can use regular vegetable oil if you don't have extra virgin olive oil from France.

Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall © 2002

Source: Diana Baker Woodall
Date: January 6, 2002

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