I am working on a gluten free chiffon cake recipe for some weeks now and I tried 12 different recipe variations: I have used until now 23 eggs and more than 3 packages of butter. And after I was happy with the result, I start thinking about how to make the cake with less flour and more eggs 😉
And now I have the time (and space…lol) to tell you the story about the call with my mother.
I wanted to do so much this cake, as I always had this beautiful memory about the chiffon cake made by my mother. She was preparing this cake quite often, but never knew that her cake was called chiffon cake. For us was a homemade vanilla biscuit with jam (and here were lots of variations, depending on what was available in the pantry in that season). I cherish the images of her baking the cake in our kitchen, rolling it with the wet towel, cutting the edges of the cake and sprinkle at the end with powder sugar. When I think about these memories, I almost can feel the smell of baked cake and vanilla.
After trying to make the chiffon cake a gluten free one, and had several failures, I called my mother to ask if she still has the recipe and if was there any secret to make the chiffon cake so beautiful. I was surprised when she started laughing… and told me that the cake was not beautiful and there is no secret in making it so, or if there is one, she does not know it because her cake was always a disaster. Really?! this is not what I remember.
We spent more than 1 hour over the phone while she was reading me recipes from a recipe book published in 1979 (I was not even born back then) and in that book were cake recipes without butter, eggs or even flour. This book is so old that the pages are almost brown and has spots of oil and cream on some pages, there are pages missing, or are half broken. That was the recipe book my mother received from an aunt when she was considered ready to marry. That was her bible in the kitchen for the last 40 years.
Ingredients for the chiffon cake:
55g white rice flour
15g sweet rice flour
10g tapioca starch
30g brown rice flour
40ml cold water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 baking soda
1 tbsp lemon juice
Ingredients for the jam:
Ingredients for cream:
350ml double cream
2 tbsp powder sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a square tin of 30*40 cm and line it with baking paper. Is very important when making this recipe to use baking paper, as is much easier to handle the cake when ready.
Make first to strawberries jam, so it can cool while you prepare the chiffon cake. Wash the strawberries and cut them into small pieces. Put them in a pan on low heat, together with the sugar. Let them boil for approx 30 min, and stir in occasionally to prevent sticking the bottom of the pan. The jam is ready when it remains sticky to the spoon when cooled. Once the jam is ready, let it cool completely before using it.
Prepare next the cream. Beat with the mixer on low speed the cream and powder sugar, until the cream gets thicker. Be careful not to overbeat it!
To make the vanilla chiffon cake, separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Beat the egg whites together with salt and lemon juice until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat again until the sugar had dissolved and gets a silky white color.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with butter and sugar, until creamy and the sugar had dissolved. Add the water and the dry ingredients and mix well.
Start adding the beaten egg whites, progressively not all at once and incorporate them into the batter with the spoon, not with the mixer. We want to keep the air from the beaten eggs whites into the cake. Once all mixed, pour the batter into the pan and bake for approx 13-15 min. Try the cake with a stick, and if clean when taken out, the cake is ready.
Prepare to transfer the cake sponge to a rack to cool for 10 min. Wet a kitchen towel and put it on the table. Take the cake sponge out of the tin while reversing it, so the baking paper is facing up. Carefully remove the baking paper. Spread the strawberry jam over the cake sponge. Slowly, start rolling the cake using the towel. The cake should easily remove from the towel. Let the cake to cool for approx 30 min (better to leave it in the fridge). Once cooled, cut the edges on both sides. Serve cold with cream.