My father loves orange-flavored desserts, due to his Italian upbringing. Put a little orange extract or a little almond extract (or both!) in a batter and he'll demolish every little crumb. Biscotti, amaretti cookies, pignolis, cannoli (is the singular of cannoli "cannolus?), any scented Italian pastry or cookie is fair game.
Instead of trying the mocha cake again, I decided to make the orange version in honor of Father's Day. I love you, Dad!
Well, after my first chiffon cake disaster, I decided to try it again with the Joy of Baking recipe. What a difference the extra cup of flour makes! The batter was much more viscous, the meringue more stable (from the addition of cream of tartar and three tablespoons of sugar), which made everything fold together so much nicer.
Here's the cake as it was coming out of the oven. See how tall it got? Tall like the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, and other masterpieces. Also, I have a kick-ass Top Chef oven mitt. I know you want one.
After 55 minutes of baking, I used my extremely technical and advanced tool to check the middle of the cake. It's a bamboo skewer. It's all-powerful. It's the iPhone of kitchen appliances.
You have cool the cake upside down, which is why the pan has the little prongs. There are two reasons for this, I think. First, if you cool the cake right-side-up, it will fall like a souffle - keeping the cake upside-down sets the proteins in the meringue and keeps them from collapsing.
Second, the air needs to cool the bottom, the sides, and the top evenly and completely (for about 2-3 hours).
Here's the finished product. I glazed the top of the cake before serving, and it was delightfully moist and tender, even three days after baking!
ORANGE CHIFFON CAKE GLAZE:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3-4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
Mix ingredients together and pour over cake.