Orange Chiffon Cake

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's summer and we have an abundance of fruits on the counter: oranges, apples, peaches, plums, grapes, blueberries and cherries. Wow!

Time to get creative, coz surely, we can't consume it all. FIFO dictates that the oranges needed to be 'processed' first. Hmmm ... oranges and chocolate chips, perhaps? Naah.. something light, an afternoon treat.

And so the quest for sponge or chiffon cake commenced. And I settled on this one, surely cutting down the sugar and adding my super bran blend. We could hardly wait until after dinner, the citrusy aroma was wafting all over the house. With a dusting of icing sugar on top and vanilla ice cream, it was so very very satisfying.

This recipe was adapted from Joy of Baking, my go-to blog for classic baked goods. Thanks, Stephanie.

7 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2-1/4 cups (225 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 cup oat bran flax mix
3/4 cups (150 grams) white sugar, blitzed till fine
1/4 cup (50 grams) white sugar, blitzed till fine
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (about 3 oranges) grated orange zest
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable, corn, canola, or safflower oil
3/4 cup (180 ml) orange juice (I had leftover San Pellegrino Aranciata)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and have ready a 10 inch (25 cm) two piece ungreased tube pan.
2. In a large bowl, place the flour, the oat bran, flax, the larger amount of sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
3. Mix well until combined.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks, oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
5. Beat until smooth (about one minute). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

6. In a separate bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.
7. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
8. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar until stiff peaks form.
9. Gently fold the egg whites (in three additions) into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).

10. Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan and bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (When lightly pressed, the cake will spring back).
11. Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert (turn upside down) the pan and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter.
12. Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan.

Dust the top with confectioners sugar, drizzle ganache or orange glaze over it. Serve with softly whipped cream, yogurt and honey, ice cream or fresh fruit.

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