Vanilla Chiffon Cake
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
Fluffy White Frosting
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Sweetened or unsweetened coconut
Sugared flower petals, if desired * (see below)
1. Place oven rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 325 degrees (F). Whip egg
whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly
add 2/3 cup of the sugar. Beat until whites are satiny and form almost stiff
peaks, about 10 minutes; set bowl aside.
2. Sift together flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt in another
mixing bowl. Make a well in the center; add egg yolks, water, oil and vanilla.
Beat until well blended and smooth. Fold egg whites into the egg-yolk batter in
6 or 7 additions.
3. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, lined on the bottom with
parchment or wax paper. Bake until cake is golden and a cake tester inserted in
the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 5 minutes. Invert cake pan onto the
neck of a bottle. Cool thoroughly, 2 hours or overnight.
4. For the frosting: Place egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup and cream of
tartar in the top of a double boiler or in a mixing bowl set over simmering
water in a saucepan. Beat with hand mixer at high speed about 7 minutes. Remove
double-boiler top or mixing bowl from heat; beat until mixture forms stiff
peaks, 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Frost the cooled cake with the frosting; sprinkle and pat shredded coconut
over the frosting. (The coconut may be sweetened or unsweetened, and may be
toasted, if desired.) Decorate cake with sugared flower petals, if desired.
* To make sugared flower petals: Use bright petals of nasturtiums, marigolds and
pansies. (Edible flowers are available from specialty food stores, in the
produce section. These flowers have not been sprayed with chemicals. Do not use
flowers sold in flats at nurseries or in the floral section of supermarkets;
they may not be safe for consumption.)
Dissolve 5 tablespoons of sugar in 1 tablespoon of hot water and use this
solution to lightly brush on the petals. Sprinkle with sugar. (Do not use too
much liquid on the flowers or they will wilt.)
Adapted from a recipe in The Perfect Cake