So much is happening today! For one, today is my parent's 20th anniversary of being married! Which I think is pretty dang awesome for today's day in age where everyone is getting divorced or separated left and right (or does that only seem to be celebrities?). Today also marks my best friend's 19th birthday! Happy birthday, Z! And I can't forget about the Cake Slice Baker's cake reveal of the month!
August's cake happens to be a chiffon cake. I have never made a chiffon cake or angle food cake, yet I have the pan, odd. I have had the pan for several years with the best intentions of baking with it, but I was just never inspired. So needless to say I was happy when my choice of the maple pecan chiffon cake won. That is until a certain incident happened....
You see this pan was stored in my closet because there was no room in the kitchen. You should also know I am deathly afraid of spiders. My dad says I need to see a psychiatrist. I say he needs to realize that spiders are plotting my death.
Anyways after about 30 minutes of scrubbing that pan clean I got to baking. I thought it was a little weird not to grease the pan, but I must follow those kind of directions. The cake baked up all nice, tall, and fluffy. It looked so beautiful; I was so proud of myself.
Getting the cake out was kind of tricky though because I didn't know how to get the cake out without manhandling it. I finally managed it with only a few finger indentations on the top. But nothing a little frosting can't fix.
Oh my gosh the frosting is so delicious! It's basically the same frosting from my rice krispie cake, but I wasn't as scared about browning the butter this time, so the frosting had this intense nutty flavor! So good. And the cake was so delicious! It had this perfect brown sugar taste. I did omit th pecans because no one in my family is a big fan of the nuts and I knew no one would eat it if it had nuts in it. But no matter, the entire thing was gone within three or four days. So I will most certainly be making this again!
Slightly adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson
Makes 1 10 inch tube pan
2 cups minus 3 1/2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour*
4 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch*
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
6 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1 recipe Brown Butter Icing (below)
*or substitute 2 1/4 cups cake flour
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line the bottom of a footed 10 cup tube pan. Leave the pan ungreased.
Sift together the flour and cornstarch 3 times. Whisk together the sifted cake, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks, oil, maple syrup, water, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until smooth.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to high. Whisk until soft peaks form. turn the mixer speed down to low and gradually pour in the sugar. Turn the mixer back up to high and whip until firm, glossy peaks form.
Fold a third of the whites into the batter using as few strokes as possible. Fold in the rest of the whites until incorporated. Gently pour the batter into the lined (NOT GREASED) pan. Bake until the top springs back when gently touched and the top is a light golden brown, about 50 minutes.
Allow to the cake to cool upside down, so the cake is resting on its feet. If your pan does not have feet, use a wine bottle the support the chimney part of the cake. Once the cake has completely cooled, take a long, thin knife and run it along the edge of the pan. Gently knock to pan against a hard surface until it slide out. Top with the icing and serve. Note: when cutting, use a serrated knife and use a sawing motion so as not the crush the delicate cake.
Brown Butter Icing
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup whipping cream, cold
1/2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Put the sugar in a medium bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Keep heating until the butter turns from a lemony yellow to a dark golden brown. Once the butter has browned and has a nutty smell, add it to the sugar (do this while the butter is hot). Add the cream, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth. As the butter cools the frosting will thicken. Once the frosting has thickened to the desired consistency, spread over the top of the cooled cake.