Monday, January 3, 2011
Pumpkin Chiffon Cake
I know there are lovers and haters out there when it comes to Rachel Ray. I would not call myself a hater by any means but I am not the biggest fan, either. Her main concept has been 30 minute meals, but if you look at the recipes, there are always an insane number of ingredients. For me, that is a total turn off on a recipe, especially on weeknights. Now, there are times for complex and long recipes, but that those are not my 'go-to' recipes that I use all the time.
But I came across this recipe for a pumpkin chiffon cake that intrigued me. I have made an orange chiffon cake recently and have only seen citrus-flavored chiffon cakes. Pumpkin was not a flavor I had seen before and wasn't quite sure how something that heavy could work in a light and fluffy chiffon cake. Since it is still wintertime and pumpkin still fits the season, I opted to make this for dessert for my New Year's Day brunch. And since the leavening comes from egg whites, this cake is much lighter than a lot of other cake options out there (except angel food cakes, which does not contain the egg yolks like in chiffon cakes).
I don't keep pumpkin pie spice (or apple pie spice for that matter), I just used 75% cinnamon and the rest a mixture of cloves, allspice, ginger and mace. That is close enough to the spice mixtures that I never worry about buying them, I just mix my own since I always have all those spices on hand.
The end result was just as light and fluffy as I would expect for a chiffon cake. And it was super simple to boot. I will definitely keep this recipe and repeat it in the future.
We ate about half the cake that morning. I still have half left and I think I will make a half recipe of vanilla buttercream and attempt to make cake truffles out of the left overs. I am not sure how well this will work since the ideal cake is a butter cake, not a soft chiffon cake. But I have been curious just how many different types of cake I could use for the cake truffles so now is as good a time as any to test it out. I will let you know what happens.
Rachel Ray's Pumpkin Chiffon Cake
* 1 cup flour
* 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 4 eggs, separated, plus 5 egg whites, at room temperature
* 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
* Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and pumpkin puree. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.
2. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the remaining 9 egg whites at medium speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. With the machine on, gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar; increase the speed to high and beat until stiff but still moist, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add one-quarter of the egg white mixture to the pumpkin batter, folding with a rubber spatula just until no streaks remain. Fold in the remaining egg white mixture in the same manner. Pour the batter into a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom and bake until springy to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 minutes.
4. Let cool in the cake pan for 5 minutes, then invert the pan onto a narrow-necked bottle and let hang upside down until completely cool, about 1 1/2 hours. Place the cake right side up and remove the pan. To serve, dust the cake with the confectioners’ sugar.