A Chiffon cake is also called a "rag cake" - The French word "chiffon" means "rag" - 'Chiffon' fabric is sheer silk or rayon - and a 'Chiffon' cake is light and fluffy like the fabric chiffon.
Chiffon cakes are made with oil, egg yolks, egg whites, sugar, flour, lemon juice and baking powder.
Chiffon cake owes its unique texture to the use of vegetable oil instead of butter, and the effect of the oil on the foam structure of the beaten egg whites used in this cake.
Butter was expensive during the depression, so a cake that was made with a less expensive vegetable oil or melted margarine would have been popular.
CHIFFON CAKE RECIPE
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with fruit.
· 2¼ cups sifted cake flour, sift before measuring
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
· 1/2 cup vegetable oil
· 5 egg yolks
· 3/4 cup cold water
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
· 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
· 5 egg whites
· 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
· 6 tablespoons sugar
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Sift together into a mixing bowl the sifted flour, salt, baking powder, and the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Add the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla, and lemon peel to dry ingredients; beat with spoon until batter is smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until egg whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks when beaters are lifted. Add the 6 tablespoons of sugar gradually, beating until all sugar is used and peaks are stiff when beaters are lifted.
Pour the batter, a little at a time, over the beaten egg whites and sugar. Gently fold in with a rubber spatula or spoon. Continue until all of the batter has been added, blending well. Batter should be smooth.
Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake cake at 325° for 55 minutes. Increase heat to 350° and continue to bake 10 to 15 minutes longer.
The cake can be baked in a 13x9x2-inch pan at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes.
Remove cake from oven. Invert pan and let cool for about an hour.