When I was in high school I thought that the worst thing ever, well not 'ever' but a pretty horrible thing in my juvenile mind, would be to get stuck in a rut. I can get bored pretty easily and I was worried that I'd get older and become stuck, stuck, stuck in a rut. In my mind at that time, a rut was a patterned behavior day in and day out that was so monotonous and dry. As an adult, I crave routine and wonder if my high school self would be baffled that I eat the same breakfast every single day. I don't wonder about it for too long because I love my breakfast smoothie.
|My egg separation station.|
|Be very quiet, I'm folding egg whites...|
|Crumbly phase of the glaze|
|I love everything about this, including this fabulous nonstick pan I scored at Target.|
I wish they made an 'orange chiffon cake' candle, because I miss this scent in my house already.
Orange Chiffon Cake
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
I teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons minced orange zest
8 large egg whites
Glaze (and who are we kidding, this was a frosting):
6 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons minced orange zest
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 and be sure your 10inch tube/bundt pan will fit in the center rack. Butter and flour your pan.
Start by sifting the flour, ¾ cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt into a big ol’ mixing bowl (you’ll be sorry if you use a medium sized bowl, trust me).
Before you move onto the next mixing step, get out your eggs. Set up an egg separating station with a bowl for the soon-to-be-whipped egg whites (mine went straight into the mixer bowl) and a bowl for the egg yolks and another bowl for the egg shells. Separate 6 eggs, put the yolks aside and separate 2 more but get rid of the yolks (since you need 8 egg whites and 6 yolks, toss those extra yolks out or use them some other way-I cooked mine up for my pup).
In a much smaller mixing bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, egg yolks, orange juice and zest.
Mix the oil mixture into the dry ingredients, use a wooden spoon to mix until nice and smooth. Set this aside while you work with the egg whites.
Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer or your amazing biceps until they are foamy. Once they are foamy add the ¾ cup of sugar and continue mixing until the egg whites form stiff peaks and are gorgeously glossy.
Now, gently fold 1/3 of this mixture in with the orange batter. Then, continue to gently fold in the rest of the egg white, or meringue, mixture into the batter. At this point, the batter should hold it’s shape but seem light and fluffy- not runny.
Pour the batter into your pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, do not do not do not open that oven for 45 minutes or the world will end. Or at least, the fluffiness and delightful airiness of this cake will end. Just don’t do it. Just ignore it. Or turn that light on and stare, but keep that oven closed.
Take the cake out and let it cool on a cooling rack for an hour while you make the glaze-frosting.
To make the glaze-frosting, cream the butter and zest then add the confectioners sugar and continue mixing slowly. This little mixture will be oddly crumbly, add the milk and vanilla and continue mixing.
After the cake has cooled you can spread the glaze stuff all around. If you have an older tube pan, you might need to be very very gentle when taking the cake out of the pan. If you have a nonstick pan, it will just slide out like butter. I just got one, it’s nonstick and I’m in love.
You can store this cake at room temperature for 3 days. It won’t last that long, but you can, and if you’re making this for company I’d suggest making it way ahead of time but letting it sit out and look pretty when guests arrive.