Everything about this cake is gentle: the preparation, the flavor, the feeling while you are enjoying it...that's why we call it the Gently Spiced Chiffon Cake.
I am obsessed with lemon chiffon cakes. However, lemons are a little out of season this time of year, so I thought I would take my favorite chiffon recipe and give it a whirl with blood oranges. They are so flavorful and colorful and they made this chiffon cake something new and magical.
- 2 or 3 blood oranges
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons blood orange juice, strained
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon Jack's Blend
Zest the oranges and then halve them. Juice and strain until you have 1/2 cup of fresh blood orange juice.
Sift together dry ingredients onto a plate.
Whisk together oil, water, egg yolks, and orange juice in a bowl. Gingerly fold dry ingredients into wet mixture in the bowl. Fold until smooth, but don't over-blend.
Using your mixer with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks have formed. Make certain the the mixing bowl is truly clean as any grease can keep the whites from reaching the right texture. If you are whipping by hand, using a copper bowl can make this go faster.
With a rubber spatula, fold in about one half of the egg whites into the batter, easily folding the mixture until combined. Add in the rest of the egg white mixture and fold again. Be mindful to not stir aggressively, just fold over and over until mostly, if not fully, incorporated. This keeps the cake light.
Pour batter into your tube pan. No need to grease, but make sure that this is not a Bundt pan, rather a tube pan whose bottom can be removed.
Bake in a preheated 325ºF oven for 45-55 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool for about an hour in the pan and upside down on a wire rack. If your tube pan will allow it, set the tube over a bottle neck.
Once cooled, gently tap the sides of the pan against a solid surface until the sides release. Remove the cake, still on the tube/bottom, from the outer portion of the pan. Remove the cake from the tube portion. If it needs a little help coming free, an icing spatula is perfect.
Make the icing by whisking the ingredients together until smooth and drizzle over the top. Don't feel that you have to use all of the icing. I use just enough to make the cake attractive and serve the rest on the side. The blood orange juice makes for a lovely rose colored icing. You can substitute with vanilla extract (1 teaspoon) or any other citrus (same as the recipe amount) if you want to keep the color more neutral.
I will say that this might be replacing the madelines that I make for tea time. Yes, I have tea time and it's the best time of the day.
What we used: Jack's Blend