I learned how to make a poppy seed chiffon cake early in my married life, and it’s amazingly easy. It began one day (many years ago) as I was watching my Mom make one, and I commented that I could never make a chiffon.
She immediately shot back of course you can and started to explain the why and how of separating the eggs, and the importance of not letting any egg yolk end up with the egg whites in order to achieve a fluffy and perfect meringue.
Mom was so convinced I could do it, so, right then and there I was convinced! Ah, the power of someone believing in you … .
Now with Easter fast approaching I think this would be a great addition to any meal plans you may have.
NOTE: I separate one egg at a time, letting the white fall into a bowl and placing the yolk in another bowl. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, I discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, I transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl.
Poppy seed cakes can tend to be a bit dry if overcooked so you really have to watch it (also make sure to smother it in whipped cream before serving ;)
- 7 eggs, separated
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup poppy seeds
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Soak 1/2 cup of poppy seeds in 1 cup of boiling water. Let cool to lukewarm.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Using medium speed of an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form; set aside.
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Using a spoon, make a well in centre of flour mixture. Add slightly beaten egg yolks, oil, vanilla, and baking soda. Beat until smooth (I use a whisk).
- Gently fold flour mixture into beaten egg whites. Pour batter into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched.
- Invert pan (I use a small glass to set it on).
- Let the cake cool upside down for 1 1/2 hours until completely cooled and set.
- Slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the sides and the centre of the tube. Pull the tube up, to lift the cake from the pan. Slide the knife under the cake to detach it from the bottom.
Since then I’ve made dozens of chiffons … one of my favourites being my Lemon Chiffon Cake which you may want to try!