Home › Chiffon Cake Recipes
Basically this recipe is very similar to sponge cake recipe. The only difference is vegetable oil added to the mixture of egg yolks and sugar. Later experiments on this recipe may replace vegetable oil with butter or other shortening.
As well as sponge cake chiffon cake uses the leavening power of egg whites. Most of versions of this recipe also use baking powder to aid easier cake raising. However, it can also be made without baking powder or soda if the amount of vegetable oil is reduced . The technology is also similar: egg whites are beaten together till stiff peaks and the combined with the mixture of other liquid ingredients. Flour is folded in gradually, without beating.
Chiffon cake forms a perfect basis for a multi-layered cake. Soft and moist texture allows it to be stored longer than sponge cake. It is also a good type of pastry to be used for ice-cream cakes.
Food historians say that chiffon cake was invented in 1927 by Harry Baker, a California insurance salesman turned caterer. Baker kept the recipe his secret for about 20 years, selling hundreds of chiffon cakes to Hollywood's Brown Derby Restaurant, and to celebrities for their parties. Chiffon cakes were more moist than sponge cakes, yet baked up high and tender; also, the recipe could be easily adapted to hundreds of flavors.
Baker kept the recipe secret for 20 years until he sold it to General Mills. At this point the name was changed to "chiffon cake" and a set of 14 recipes and variations was released to the public in a Betty Crocker pamphlet published in 1948.
In May of 1948, the recipe was published in Better Homes and Gardens, and the once-secret recipe spread like wildfire. General Mills declared the cake “the first new cake in a hundred years”. American housewives were smitten. A boxed mix version soon hit the shelves.
Chiffon cakes, tall and resplendent in their rainbow of pastel colors, became “terribly fashionable”, according to cookbook author Jean Anderson, in the 1950s and '60s-- not only because of their taste, texture, and good looks, but also because of their simplicity. The only two tricks to a great chiffon cake, Anderson says, are to use cake flour instead of all-purpose, and to be sure to beat the egg whites until stiff.
Sources: La Porte County Public Library System, Wikipedia
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