Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Maple-Nut Chiffon Cake

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.


Selba said...

What a wonderful chiffon cake! I want to try the frosting.

Mary Bergfeld said...

It's one of my favorites. I have a weakness for maple flavored anything. This is a really nice cake.

recipes2share said...

This looks light-as-a-feather fantastic!

NKP said...

Sounds dreamy! I don't know if I have maple extract or if I have seen it.. I might have to do a little searching.
I seem to remember talk of chiffon cake in How To Cook A Wolf.

Lynda said...

Mary , I want to try this cake but cakes aren't always my success stories and after reading the history I am not sure how easy this cake is to make. Out of 5, what score would you give it for easiness!

Looks so yummy, when can I come over for lunch!

Martha said...

I remember chiffon cakes -- but haven't given them a thought in years! Yes, the frosting looks like it is to die for!

Hootin Anni said...

I am literally drooling. Y'know, this combination is a favorite of mine...maple and nuts!!! I'm definitely grabbing this.

I'm wondering if it would be good with a chocolate drizzle icing. I love maple walnut chocolate cream candies.

I may try the cake and use fudge frosting. Oh be still my heart!!!!

Cathy said...

I haven't made a chiffon cake in years but remember how much I liked them. Its a lovely cake summertime cake with fresh fruit. My old Better Homes & Gardens cookbook from the early '60's has some wonderful recipes. It was so popular back then.

Mariana said...

Oooooh I was so excited when you visited me and so thrilled with your kind remarks. It made me feel my efforts were appreciated so thank you.

I've never heard of a cake like this before Mary. It sounds so homely and yet looks so professional. I just may get brave enough to give this one a go!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Lynda, chiffon cakes are a bit of a ta-do. The best thing to compare them to is an angel food cake. If you can handle the egg whites in an angel food cake, the chiffon cake will be no problem. I'd rank this a 5 for easiness. The eggwhites can be tricky.

Pam said...

I don't think I have ever had a chiffon cake. This looks beautiful, moist and delicious.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Oh how you've brought back memories. I remember my mom making chiffon cakes when I was a kid. Very interesting history. Your cake looks beautiful and it deserve to be spotlighted.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Anni, if you plan to drizzle with chocolate use vanilla rather than maple extract in the cake.

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

I remember my grandmother baking chiffon cakes. I must dig into her old recipes.

Jennifer said...

Anything maple I love!!! Beautiful!!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Jennifer, welcome to One Perfect Bite. I hope you'll visit often. I'll keep maple in mind. I'm thinking maple ice cream or ....

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the history behind it. It looks so fluffy!

Laura said...

This recipe makes me realize that while I have certainly heard of chiffon cakes, I don't think I have ever had a proper one. I'm intrigued. My mom would love this recipe.

Lynda said...

Wow, what a beautiful cake! I remember my Mother and her friends talking about chiffon cakes. Your sounds so delicious!

Karen said...

Now I know why my sisters and I, growing up in the 50's *always* had a chiffon cake for our birthdays! I guess they were the in thing then. This recipe sounds great with the maple :)

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful combo! I love maple nut cakes. Your food is just always so tempting. :)

Ann said...

Wow.. its fatastic combination, and looks delicious

Donna-FFW said...

This sounds absolutely decadent. I cant even begin to imagine how delicious it must be..

Lori said...

I have made chiffon several times, I just love it. I do like its texture and it isnt overbearingly sweet. I ove your version. The flavors sound wonderful. Do you know how many recipes of yours I have bookmarked or cut and pasted? I just keep coming back for more.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Lori, that's praise from Caesar! I'm really thrilled to hear that.

test it comm said...

That cake looks so good! I like the maple in it!

Creative Classroom Core said...

maple-nut is one of my favourite flavor combinations. I bet this was great!
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

My grandmother baked these cakes at Woolworth's in Flint, MI. The story I heard was that she introduced that cake to the local Woolworth's, but from the history you found, that's probably not true. Anyway, my mom has an old picture of my grandmother in front of the Woolworth's window showcase displaying the maple walnut chiffon cakes.

Aunt Leslie said...

I've made this cake for years - a family fav. My nephew is graduating in two days from the University of Ottawa and he was really clear that this is his preference for a celebration cake. It's awesome!

Related Posts with Thumbnails