Orange-Lime Chiffon Cake

AriCooks, cake, Dairy Free, dessert, Summer

People often ask me how I find the time to cook at home. I’ll admit that in the past I’ve had a very tough time answering this question because the truth is I’ve never thought of it that way. Just as I did not have to “find time” to exercise when I was dancing daily and performing weekly, being a food person/pastry chef/cooking instructor means that I rarely have to “make time to cook”– it’s more than just a passion, it’s how I make sense of the world.

Orange-Lime chiffon Cake, heavily adapted from Gourmet Today 

The light, summery cake made my Friday this week, after Shabbat got in the way of my plans to get over to Tel Aviv for an Israel Food Tours get-together yesterday evening.  I may have missed Liz’s watermelon-arak salad (sniff), but having an impromptu Shabbat dinner with our sweet neighbors, that ended with slices of this cake, made me feel much better. 

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (I used white pastry flour– sift before measuring)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (divided)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

6 large eggs, separated when cold, then left to come to room temp for 20-30 minutes

6 Tbs fruity extra virgin olive oil

4 tsp finely grated orange zest

1 tsp finely grated lime zest

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F/175°C. Grease a 10-inch tube pan and dust with flour, knocking out the excess.

Sift together flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together yolks, oil, zests, juices, and vanilla in another bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Beat whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer (or a determined arm and a ballon whisk) until the just hold soft peaks. Begin to add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar VERY SLOWLY– a couple tablespoons at a time, whisking/beating as your go, until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks (do not overdo it, or you will have dry cake). Stir about 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it, then GENTLY but thoroughly fold in the remaining whites. Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 min- 1 hour. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack. Turn cake out of pan onto a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with yogurt, ice cream, fruit or tea.