Chiffon Cake with Balsamic Strawberries
I came home from my Farmer’s Market vist yesterday, and started putting all of my yummy fruits and veggies away, and discovered that some of the strawberries that I’d picked up were a little worse for wear. I mean – who’s brilliant idea are those stupid green plastic baskets that strawberries are put in? Their edges are far too sharp for delicate strawberries, and a fair portion of my new strawberries had gotten a little cut up from the baskets. Which is completely lame – but it did inspire me to make this del-icious dessert.
I originally made the cake part of this recipe last week for Mr. Man’s birthday cake – and topped it with a yummy, fluffy egg white icing – unfortunately, it didn’t survive long enough to have pictures taken (it was shy), but thats okay, because this cake is much better suited to sopping up macerated strawberry juice. In fact, this might just have to be the best cake I’ve ever had with mascerated strawberries. It was soft and tender, but not crumbly when moistened. It is a little dry on it’s own, though.
It also gave me an excuse to use my new favorite sweet vinegar – a little find I picked up at Trader Joe’s ages ago that I’d forgotten about. I found it buried in the back of the vinegars shelf (yes, I have a vinegar problem). Knowing my luck, it’s probably been discontinued or something by now – since I know I’ve had it for a while. If you don’t happen to have anything like it, balsamic vinegar would work equally well. The original recipe called for Cream of Tartar to stabilize the egg whites, but I’ve been out of Cream of Tartar for a while now, and I keep forgetting to get more – so I used vinegar. You could skip the vinegar altogether and use cream of tartar if you’d rather – but I like to think that the vinegar adds a nice flavor, too.
My recipe is loosely based on Alton Brown’s Chiffon Cupcake Recipe – I changed things up a little bit, since I didn’t completely agree with how he put things together, and I used a tube pan – not cupcakes. I did follow his measurements, though (except for the whole vinegar thing).
My folding technique is still a work in progress – but I like to think I’m getting better. I’ve made several recipes lately that required folding – which has definitely given me some practice.
Balsamic Macerated Strawberries Ingredients:
- 4 cups Sliced Strawberries
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup Sugar (or to taste)
Balsamic Macerated Strawberries Method:
- Stir all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
- Chill for a minimum of four hours
Chiffon Cake Ingredients:
- 5 and 1/4 ounces Cake Flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 5 eggs, seperated
- 6 oz Sugar; divided
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Neutral Oil (such as Safflower)
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
Chiffon Cake Method:
- Preheat oven to 325°
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 5 oz of the sugar until the mixture becomes pale yellow and ‘ribbons’ when whisk is lifted.
- Whisk the Oil, vanilla and water in to the egg yolk mixture until combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (a hand mixer – or a whisk for the really adventurous can be used instead, it’ll just take longer) whip the egg whites
- When the eggs begin to foam, sprinkle the remaining ounce of sugar in to them a little at a time while continuing to whip
- When soft folds begin to form, add the vinegar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form
- Whisk the egg yolk mixture in to the flour mixture until combined, then lightly whisk in 1/3 of the egg whites
- Gently Fold the remaining egg whites in to the batter
- Pour the batter in to an un-greased tube pan
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean
- Remove from oven and turn upside down to cool
- Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and serving
- To remove from pan, slide a butter knife around the edges of the pan. Cake should come out fairly easily.
- To serve, top with Balsamic Macerated Strawberries and whip cream