March 28, 2010

MARGARITA CHIFFON CAKE

Californian Harry Baker invented the chiffon cake in 1927, but he kept the recipe a tightly guarded secret for another 20 years. He finally relented and sold his formula to General Mills. The mystery ingredient? Vegetable oil, which gave the cake richness and a light, moist texture. We spike this one with all the flavors of a Margarita cocktail; the Strawberry Compote with Tequila and Lime is an elegant touch.

Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup triple sec
2 tablespoons tequila
2 teaspoons grated lime peel

8 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
4 teaspoons triple sec
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel
Strawberry Compote with Tequila and Lime

For cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat yolks and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until smooth.

Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Transfer batter to ungreased 10-inch-diameter angel food cake pan; smooth top.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Immediately invert center tube of pan onto narrow-necked bottle; cool cake completely in pan.

Run long knife around center tube and sides of pan to loosen cake. Using center tube as aid, lift cake out of pan; run knife between cake and pan bottom to loosen. Invert cake onto platter.

For glaze: Stir first 5 ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread over top of cake, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Let stand until glaze sets, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; let stand at room temperature.) Serve cake with compote.

Makes 10 TO 12 servings.

No comments: