There's a place on memory lane where retro recipes are safely stored. They're carefully filed away, waiting for another generation to "discover" them. Today's recipe, an outstanding chiffon cake, is one of them. The chiffon cake has quite a history. It became an overnight phenomena in the late 1940's. It had been created prior to the great depression by Harry Baker, an insurance agent who became a caterer. He kept the secret of his remarkably airy cake for two decades before selling the formula to General Mills. His secret recipe used vegetable oil instead of conventional shortening. General Mills released the recipe for chiffon cake to Better Homes and Gardens magazine where it was advertised as the first really new cake in a hundred years. The magazine sponsored on-going contests that caused the mania for chiffon cake to last for at least two decades. Chiffon cakes were a wonder to home bakers. They combined the richness of butter cakes with the light spring of an angel food or sponge cakes. The cakes were unusually moist, but they were not that all easy to make. Not everyone mastered the beating of egg whites that was required to produce the towering cake. As the bundt cake became popular, fascination with the chiffon cake waned and busy women turned to desserts that were easier to prepare. I came across a blogging event called Everything Old is New Again sponsored by the Domestic Muse. I decided to pull this glorious maple-nut chiffon cake from storage for the challenge. I had forgotten just how good this actually is. I hope you'll be able to make it for your friends and family.
Maple-Nut Chiffon Cake
2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1 cup (8) egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts
Golden Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup light cream
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
1) Set oven at 325 degrees F.
2) Sift flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl; stir in brown sugar. Make a well in dry ingredients. Add vegetable oil, egg yolks, water and flavoring. Beat until satin smooth.
3) Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in large mixing bowl. Beat until they form very stiff peaks (stiffer than for meringue or angel cake). Pour egg-yolk batter in thin stream over entire surface of egg whites, gently cutting and folding down, across bottom, up the side and over, just until blended. Fold in nuts.
4) Bake in ungreased 10-inch tube pan in slow oven at 325 degrees F for 55 minutes; increase heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert pan; let cool thoroughly.
Gold Butter Frosting:
5) Melt butter in saucepan; keep over low heat until golden brown, watching carefully so it does not scorch. Remove from heat, stir in confectioners' sugar. Blend in light cream and maple flavoring. Place pan in ice water and beat until of spreading consistency (add more cream if needed).
6) Frost top and sides of cake. Decorate with chopped walnuts. Yield: 1 10-inch cake.