Monday, August 22, 2011

Bundt Cake #17 of Bundt Cake Season 3: "Pretty in Pink" Chiffon Cake

I'm changine the publishing date for this, the final BCS3 cake, so that it falls with the rest of the cakes from this season (like I did with the 2nd to last cake). Even though that technically throws off the order of when I wrote the posts, I think it just makes the most sense to have all the BCS3 cakes together.

I extended Bundt Cake Season 3 into June, which is well past when it normally should have ended (remember part of the reason Bundt Cake Season is a season is so that one isn't baking--especially cakes that take a long time--during the warm months of the year), because I wanted to make this cake and I needed strawberries to be in season.

I never would have thought to "bundt" this recipe, if The Food Librarian hadn't mentioned in one of her posts that when she looks at cake recipes, she asks herself if she could bundt it. That totally opened up bundt cake possibilities in my mind. Especially since this cake is supposed to be made in a tube pan, I figured a bundt pan would be a perfectly reasonable substitute. Then, I just had to wait until June, for New England's short-lived strawberry season.

This cake was delicious! I think I may be making one late bundt cake for many years to come, so that I can make this during future strawberry seasons. It's a strawberry-lemon chiffon cake (my first chiffon cake), which means it's the sort of cake you have to be careful doesn't fall on you. I don't know if my cake rose as much as it was supposed to, but the texture was light and airy, so I think it turned out well. And the flavor was amazing! Exactly what you want on an early summer day, when strawberries are in season. Oh, and did I mention it has a delightful strawberry sauce?

On quick note on making the cake. I think in an earlier post that called for separated eggs I was all, "people say that room-temperature eggs are hard to separate, but I didn't have any problems." Yeah, not this time. I lost two eggs. And this cake calls for seven egg whites! So, it pained me to waste two eggs. Speaking of which, this recipe only calls for 2 egg yolks, so I ended up tossing 5 yolks, which was incredibly difficult for a woman raised to abhor wasting food. So, if anyone has a recipe that calls for just egg yolks, please let me know! And next time I make this cake, I'm going to follow the advice this cookbook has in their angel food cake recipe, which recommends separating the eggs while they're cold, and then letting the whites come up to room temperature (because they whip up better at room temperature).

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large egg yolks
7 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup strained pureed fresh (or frozen) strawberries*
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel

* They recommend using a strainer to drain any excess liquid so you have a thick, smooth sauce, but I don't think I needed to do this.

Strawberry Sauce Ingredients:
(This sauce is really just sugared strawberries with lemon juice. But it's A) delicious and B) and key part of the cake.)
2 cups sliced fresh (or frozen) strawberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
sugar to taste


I reversed the second and third steps so that I could beat the egg whites in my stand mixer, and then I transferred them to another bowl. Then I mixed the other ingredients in the stand mixer. But I'll give you the directions as they appear in the book, and you can figure out what method you prefer.

Preheat the oven to 325. Oil and lightly dust the cake pan with flour (I used baking spray, instead.)

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil and egg yolks--but don't mix yet.

In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft and foamy. Add the cream of tartar and confectioner's sugar and continue to beat until stiff by not dry. (I think I had a small issue here, so I'd recommend waiting until the egg whites are closer to stiff--not just "foamy"--before adding the sugar and cream of tartar.) Without washing the beaters, beat the flour and oil mixture at low speed. Gradually add the pureed strawberries, lemon juice, and lemon peel, beating until just blended.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold a small portion of the egg white mixture into the batter. Then in five or six additions, fold the batter into the egg whites. The batter will be light and bubbly, with some egg whites showing. (I think I may have over-mixed the batter & egg whites, so be careful of that.)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 and continue to bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake is well risen and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Allow the sauce to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

When the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and cool it upright in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack. When the cake is cool to the touch, gently lift it onto a serving plate and cool completely.

Cut the cake into wedges with a serrated knife and serve each piece topped with a generous 1/4 of strawberry sauce, and, if you like, whipped cream. (You can see that I skipped the whipped cream. It really wasn't necessary.)

I want a slice right now!

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