Golden Citrus Chiffon Cake

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Executive Chef
Jun 3, 2004

Makes 1 (10-inch) cake.

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar, divided (see note)
1/2 cup safflower or other vegetable oil
2 teaspoons grated navel orange zest (colored part of the rind)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Orange Glaze (optional; see below)

POSITION rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.

SIFT together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

PUT the egg yolks and whole egg in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking 4 to 5 minutes to blend it well. The mixture should be thick and light yellow.

POUR in the oil in a slow, steady stream with the mixer running. Add orange and lemon rinds and beat 1 minute.

REDUCE speed to medium-low. Combine lemon and orange juices. Add to yolk mixture alternately with flour mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the bowl and beat 10 seconds longer. Set aside.

WASH and dry beaters. In a clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium-high, and whip until whites form soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, to form a glossy, soft meringue. Whip 1 minute longer.

FOLD 1/4 of the yolk batter into the whites with a wide rubber spatula, then fold the whites into the yolk mixture, turning batter with spatula to mix lightly but thoroughly.

SPOON batter into a 10-inch angel food or tube pan with removable bottom. Center pan on oven rack and bake 60 to 65 minutes, until golden brown and springy to the touch.

REMOVE pan from oven and immediately invert onto a cake rake, or balance on an upside down funnel. Let cool completely. Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan and around the tube. Lift the cake out by the tube, invert on a plate and remove the tube section. Glaze if desired.

ORANGE GLAZE (from "Baking Illustrated" by the editors of Cook's Illustrated): Beat 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons orange juice and 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar. Add 1 more tablespoon orange juice if needed to make a smooth glaze. Spread over top of the cake, letting extra run down the sides.

NOTE: Superfine sugar is sold in some kitchen supply stores. To make your own, place granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse several times until fine.
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