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Orange Chiffon Cake

To separate eggs, place 3 small bowls side by side. Crack the first egg and pull the shell halves apart. Pass the yolk back and forth, letting the white fall into the first bowl. Put the yolk in the second bowl. Transfer the white to the third bowl and repeat with the remaining eggs. (Always begin with an empty bowl, as a speck of yolk will prevent the whites from fully expanding.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 6 whole eggs, separated, plus 2 whites
  • 2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Directions:

Mix the batter
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of parchment paper or onto a plate. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, the 6 egg yolks, the orange zest, orange juice and water until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until the batter is smooth.

Beat the egg whites
In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the 8 egg whites and the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold one-half of the whites into the batter until almost blended. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly.

Bake the cake
Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Invert the pan onto a wire rack and let the cake cool completely, about 1 hour. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the pan and the center tube and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve. Makes one 10-inch round cake.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).