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I made an orange chiffon cake for a friend’s birthday this week. A couple of people asked for the recipe, so here is is.
Orange Chiffon Cake

The basic recipe was from Epicurious. In most ways, I thought it was fantastic. Very spongy and light. Chalk that up to the nine egg whites and cake flour. I barely made the egg-white quota, having nicked three yolks when separating them. It never hurts to have back-up eggs when you’re trying to amass so many.

I didn’t use the whipped-cream frosting recipe from Epicurious, nor did I cut the cake in half. Instead, I made a simple glaze with butter, powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. I think it was 2/3 a stick of butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar (really), and then a couple of tablespoons of juice, added slowly until the glaze came to drizzling consistency. Zest was about 2 tsp, but you could use more. (See the lemon chiffon recipe below; that’s the frosting model I used.)

My intention was to keep the cake really light (which worked), but I can see that slicing the cake horizontally and having some filling midway would make the dessert punchier. My husband went back for seconds, cut off the frosted bits to eat, and left the delicate center aside. So, if you’re the sort of person who loves frosting, maybe you’d want to cut the cake across the middle and use a thicker topping.

If I were to make this again, I think I’d stick with the glaze but try an orange marmalade in the center. That would increase the intensity a bit without making it all too heavy. I also thought the cake itself could use a dash of orange extract. Not because it wasn’t delicious but because some of the people who ate it couldn’t tell that the cake was supposed to be orange. This could have been the fruit I used, but a little extract wouldn’t hurt.

I’ve got a lemon chiffon recipe that I like that requires fewer egg whites and regular all-purpose flour. It’s more dense and less spongy as a result, but it’s also more flavorful because the lemon juice is more intense than the orange. I don’t think you could just use orange juice instead of the lemon and have it taste as strong, but it might be interesting to try swapping the other way, using lemon in the lighter, spongy recipe to see how that works.

Meanwhile, I have a couple of leftover cake slices and plan to make trifle with them tomorrow. Layer of pudding, layer of cake, layer on the cherry compote and repeat.


From → Desserts, Food

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