Daily Archives: November 21, 2006

quickie cake: citrus chiffon cake with citrus syrup

citrus chiffon cake with citrus syrup, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

Cakes to me, have always been an intricate and time consuming labor of love: first you make the cake, then you make the layers, the frosting, and then decorate. It’s no wonder they are so often associated with special occasions: birthday cakes, wedding cakes, etc.! In fact, one day I’m going to make one of those cakes I love and post it here (a lovely cardamom chiffon cake with rosewater frosting).

You see, those cakes are wonderful and inspiring to eat, but not so accessible. But then one day someone got me a bundt/flower cake pan and voila!: I discovered the “easy quick cakes.” These, I define as cakes that can be made out of one pan, in one layer, without so much as a lick of frosting. If you have a pretty pan, it’s even easier to make sure these cakes are attractive as well as tasty.

Today was an easy quickie cake day: I had to take refreshments to class–I realized this with only a couple hours to spare. Of course I had the option to go to the store and buy something, but oddly enough, baking something at home would be more convenient for me in this case. I had some work to do and if I timed it all correctly, I could get that work done while the item baked in the oven.

So I had to pick an item that would have very little prep before and afterwards. Cookies, though usually ideal, were out of the question: too much hurrying back and forth from the oven, at well-timed 10-15 minute intervals. It would not give me time to get that chunk of work done.

What else was left? A cake! I pulled out my flower shaped “bundt pan” (it’s not really a bundt pan because it doesn’t have that hole in the middle) and browsed for recipes. A quick search on epicurious brought me to the recipe for a citrus chiffon cake with citrus syrup.

The cake was a dream to make, very simple…and the whipped egg whites truly looked like a dream:

egg whites for chiffon cake

The zest is a must, even though it’s the most time consuming step (not so time consuming if you have a microplane zester). What you end up with is a light cake–it is a bit dry on its own though, so you want to boil some of that citrus syrup up while the cake is in the oven (or in my case, while the cake cooled). (I’m wondering right now what would happen if I were to add some sour cream to this cake to “moisten” it up). Last steps? Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and serve with the syrup! I let the students pour the syrup on themselves (but insisted on it, obsessively, knowing how dry the cake could be). The syrup made the thing perfect.

Easy cake! Recipe follows after the jump…

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