What is your favourite kind of cake? I like mine light as a feather, fluffy, soft, not too sweet and moist. Basically, I love the texture of boxed mixes without all the funny tasting chemicals. Actually, I didn't know that boxed mixes had a funny taste until I went to a birthday party where they served my favourite (or so I thought) Betty Crocker rainbow mix with canned frosting. Many scratch cakes later, I was still not able to get that light texture. I tried creaming, reverse creaming, recipes with both whole eggs and egg whites, different quantities of milk until it hit me that maybe all this time I've just been baking the wrong cake. I've been avoiding sponges and chiffons ever since my horrible angel food cake experience where the cake was raw yet dry.. hmm.. weird, but it happened. I still wasn't sure about the folding egg white thing so off to youtube for a refresher on folding! I stumbled on an episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats and decided to give his recipe a try after many failed attempts with CI's chiffon cake recipe. The CI versions were such failures I didn't even bother to take a picture of the gooey, wet, mess (yes, I'm still talking about a cake)
Alton's recipe had the perfect texture, but needs a little more sweetness. I can't imagine how many more butter cake recipes and tweaking I would've made if I didn't give the chiffon a try! To be honest, now I kind of miss the butter flavour. I'll have to try this recipe with melted butter and more sugar next time (it better work!). The non frosting eater in me decided to go healthy with decorating this cake and found whatever surviving (nonscriveled) blueberries in my fridge..haha.
I don't have a tube pan so I halved the recipe and baked in a springform.
Chiffon Cake recipe by Alton Brown
*this is important or you'll end up with a salty cake! I used 1/2 tsp of salt. Anymore and this probably won't be something you'll want to eat. Next time I would up the sugar too!
I actually used Alton's recipe, but with CI's procedure for making this cake. This was to prevent overmixing on my part. First I mixed all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet (except for egg whites) in another bowl and then combined wet and dry. Next I whipped the egg whites + cream of tartar to stiff peaks and folded them into the mixture. I find it harder to incorporated flour into a ribboned egg + sugar mixture and also harder to fold egg whites when there's sugar beaten in them. I'm definitely making this recipe again following Alton's instructions to see if there's a difference. Alton also uses a handmixer, which I never use for cakes because they've always turned them tough and chewy. Maybe it's my Sunbeam.. I guess I do need a new kitchen aid hand mixer!