Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil Chiffon Cake

This cake was delicious, and probably the best use of Meyer lemons this year. I love chiffon cakes, as the crumb is so fluffy and moist. The recipe is from The Kitchn. Note that I only needed 5 Meyer lemons to yield ¾ cup of juice (whereas the recipe below calls for the juice of 6 Meyer lemons, topped up with water to yield ¾ cup). Keep this in mind of you have large lemons! Otherwise, you could potentially make this with regular Eureka lemons, but you might have to increase the sugar a bit.

For the cake
2 ¼ cups (279 g.) cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6 Meyer lemons (1 lb.)
¼ cup water or enough water needed to add to the lemon juice to get to ¾ cup total
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
7 large egg yolks
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
10 large egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar

For the lemon glaze
2 cups (250 g.) confectioners' sugar
4 Tbsp. lactose-free milk, as needed to get the desired consistency
zest of 1 Meyer lemon

For the cake
Preheat the oven to 325 °F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Zest the Meyer lemons. Squeeze the juice and strain into a glass measuring cup. You should have about ½ cup (see note above). Add enough water to make ¾ cup and mix the zest into the juice. Set aside.

Pour the sugar into the food processor and process for about 30 seconds until it is light and fine. Scoop about ½ cup of the processed sugar into a small container and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or if you are using a handheld mixer, in a mixing bowl), combine the remaining 1 cup sugar and the egg yolks and mix at medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is thick, light in color and texture, and creates ribbons in the bowl when the whisk is lifted. Add the oil and vanilla bean paste and mix until well combined.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and half the juice mixture, and mix to combine. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the juice mixture and mix to combine, and then the remaining flour, mixing to combine. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl, scraping the bottom, and set aside. Clean the stand mixer bowl and whisk (or detach the handheld mixer blades and clean them and the bowl) with hot soap and water and dry very well, making sure there's not even a speck of grease on anything.

Return the bowl and whisk attachment to the stand mixer (or reassemble the handheld mixer and set up the mixing bowl), add the egg whites, and mix at medium speed until they are foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and mix at medium speed until the mixture forms soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar, a little at a time, and beat the whites until they hold stiff and glossy peaks.

Stir 1/3 of the whites gently into the batter to lighten it. Fold in half of the remaining whites until there are a few streaks remaining. Fold in the last of the egg whites just until mixed.

Carefully spoon the batter into an ungreased 10- by 4-inch tube, with feet and an ungreased removable bottom. The batter should come about ¾ of the way up the sides. (My pan doesn’t have feet, so I put it upside down on a wine bottle to let it cool – works like a charm.)

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
With oven mitts, invert the pan immediately onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.

When ready to serve, turn the cake upright on the rack, and run a thin flexible knife or offset spatula around the outer and inner edges of the pan. Turn the cake out of the pan: Place a serving plate on top of the pan and, pressing the plate firmly with one hand, invert the whole thing with the other, allowing the cake to release onto the plate.

For the glaze
In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, milk, and lemon zest until blended. Drizzle liberally over the cake, letting it drip.

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