Chiffon cake is a very light cake that combines batter and egg-white foam. However, rather than make a traditional chiffon cake, I thought that I would make more of a sheet cake, and then play around with some variations.
This is what I call a base, or starter, recipe. Something that you make and then get creative with.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
In another (larger) bowl, combine the wet ingredients and then whisk together.
Chef’s Note: The bowl for the wet ingredients should be large enough to contain all the dry ingredients, plus the egg-white foam.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and gently mix until thoroughly combined, and you have a smooth batter. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a handheld mixer, add the egg whites, and the cream of tartar to a bowl.
Beat until firm peaks form.
Chef’s Note: Why cream of tartar? The addition of an acid will fluff up your whipped egg whites. It stabilizes the whites and adds volume.
Chef’s Tip: You will get more volume out of the egg whites if you first bring them to room temperature.
Chef’s Note: When your egg whites get fluffy… STOP. If you overbeat them, they will liquefy again.
Add a quarter of the fluffed egg whites to the batter and gently mix together.
Add the rest of the egg whites and gently fold together.
Chef’s Note: The process of “folding” ingredients together is typically used in this type of recipe where you have a fluffy ingredient mixed in with other ingredients. The goal of folding is to incorporate the two, without losing much of the fluffy structure of the egg whites.
Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350f (176c).
Grease a baking sheet and add a piece of parchment paper.
Pour the batter into the baking sheet.
Spread evenly over the sheet pan.
Chef’s Note: This is not a self-leveling cake batter, and it’s important that you make the batter the same thickness top to bottom, left to right.
Bake in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
Chef’s Tip: The batter is cooked when you can press a finger lightly in the center of the cake, and it springs back.
Chef's Tip: Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan, by inverting it onto a baking sheet.
Remove the parchment paper.
Now it’s time to get creative.
What I did was make small 2.5-inch cakes by cutting circles in the cake using a salad stacker.
What I was left with was about 15 nice circles.
I whipped up a basic cream cheese frosting (any good frosting will do), and made these nice individual party cakes, using three rounds per cake.