Friday, January 20
So far winter has been on the mild side. I haven't had the usual angst-ridden longings for sunnier weather. (Watch what happens as a result of writing that down.)
Even though I haven't felt the urge to bury myself under 300 blankets while inhaling Meyer lemons for the next two months, I still crave the warm, summer-drenched ambiance of citrus. Any form of citrus. Yes, even a tangerine-vanilla martini (or two).
Every now and then someone will ask me to make something at the last minute, leaving me bereft of a much-needed trial run; last time I made this cake was one of those rare instances..and it has bothered me ever since. Not because I was worried that it wouldn't taste right. No, I was jealous. Jealous of the people who would be able to sink their forks into this blithe, fluffy perky cake.
At last, I've tied up one of many loose ends!
This cake truly is reminiscent of chiffon. It's light (not lite!), stylish, and simple. And it's the perfect way to ward off any mid-winter blues...even if you're feeling blue about not having the blues. :-D
Lime Chiffon Cake (adapted from Taste of Home)
7 eggs, separated
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 5-6 limes) Note:Grate the limes first, and save the peel
1/2 cup canola oil
Lime peel (just use all of it from the limes used for the juice)
1 teaspoon pure almond extract (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup of butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes) Note:Grate the limes first, and save the peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place the oven rack onto the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly butter and flour a 10-inch Tube pan. [Note: The original recipe said to leave the pan un-greased...but that made me nervous. The 2 times that I made this, I did have a little bit of difficulty removing the cake, but with some gentle prodding, it did fall out eventually...I'm not sure if this had anything to do with the fact that the pan was floured. Where am I going with this? Grease and flour the pan, just to be safe, but don't worry too much if you skip that step.]
Place the egg whites in a large bowl; Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In yet another separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lime juice, oil, lime peel and almond extract.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Beat until well blended.
In a separate large, Clean mixing bowl, combine the cream of tartar and room temperature egg whites. Beat on medium speed just until soft peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Try not to over-mix...a light hand will yield a light cake.
Carefully spoon the batter into the pan. Lift the pan off the counter by an inch or 2 and drop it back onto the counter...this will release any air pockets.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is golden and springs back when lightly touched. [Note: My cake took about 57 minutes to bake.]
As soon as it's out of the oven, invert the pan and allow the cake to cool for at least 2 hours.
Once the cake has cooled completely, run a thin knife around the sides and center, and then invert it again onto a large serving plate. [Note: I had to jiggle the pan around a bit in order to make it release the cake.]
Prepare the glaze: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy (about 3 minutes). Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, followed by the lime juice, peel, and salt. Once everything has been combined, beat on high speed for about 2 minutes. The glaze should be runny, but not "watery." If it looks too thin, add a little more confectioners' sugar. If it's too thick, add a splash of milk or water.
Use a large spoon to pour the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to cascade down the sides.
Makes about 12 servings