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When it comes to cakes, we Filipinos also have our favorites. And I am pretty sure that on top of our cake favorites list is chiffon cake. It is the kind of cake that is commonly served in every occasion apart from chocolate cake, of course 🙂 . Who does not love this light, spongy, sweet cake anyway?
Chiffon cake is a tender, moist and light cake made by mixing egg yolks with sugar, flour, baking powder, vegetable oil and salt. Egg whites are then beaten with sugar in a separate bowl and then folded into the cake batter before baking.
What is the difference between a chiffon cake and sponge cake?
Chiffon cake uses oil which could be anything from vegetable oil, corn oil or olive oil while sponge cake utilizes little to no butter. Chiffon cake is added with baking powder, which is a leavening agent that helps it to rise while sponge cake does not use baking powder at all. When it comes to the texture, chiffon cake is rich, tender and moist while sponge cake is lighter and airy.
Can I bake chiffon cake in a regular pan?
Yes, you can bake chiffon cake in a regular pan. However, chiffon cakes are ideally baked in tube pans to help the cake rise at the centre and not collapse. I baked mine in a square pan and it worked perfectly well. Line your regular pan with baking paper or grease at the bottom and not the sides.
Why do chiffon cakes fall?
Chiffon cake’s structure relies heavily on the meringue – a mixture of egg whites and granulated sugar beaten together until it increases its volume, and forms into a light airy foam. Chiffon cakes fall when the egg whites are under beaten or over beaten. Make sure to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks appear. Fold it gently into the cake batter with a spatula maintaning the fluffiness and volume of the meringue. When the cake is done, invert it in a cooling rack and allow it to sit there for at least 15 minutes before unmolding.
A few more tips…
- Allow enough space for the cake to rise. I usually leave at least ¼ space in my baking pan as space allowance. We use this same recipe in baking sheet pan cakes and it still works perfectly well. Just give it enough space.
- Use the freshest eggs. The quality of the meringue relies heavily on the freshness of the egg whites. The fresher the whites, the more structure it can give to your meringue.
- Practice, practice practice!
- ¾ cup granulated sugar, sifter
- 12 medium eggs yolks
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup corn oil or olive oil
- ⅔ cup water
- 1¾ cup granulated sugar, sifted
- 12 egg whites
Prepare the cake mixture
- Preheat oven at 160°C. Line three 21x21x7.5 cm square pans with baking paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until well blended.
- Place egg yolks in a large bowl. Beat the egg yolks at medium speed. When it starts to bubble and thicken, gradually add the ¾ cup sugar into the yolks.
- Add the flour mixture gradually into the yolk mixture. Beat at a medium speed until all the dry ingredients is well incorporated. Set aside.
Make the meringue
- In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites at a medium speed. When it starts to bubble and increase its volume, gradually add the 1 ¾ cup sugar.
- Increase at a high speed once the meringue has already doubled its volume.
- The meringue is done when stiff peaks appear once it is lifted.
- Fold the meringue gently into the cake batter with a spatula maintaning the fluffiness and volume of the meringue.
- Bake the chiffon cake for 30-35 minutes or when cake tester comes out clean when inserted at the center of the cake.
- Invert the cake in a cooling rack and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before removing the baking pan.