I love a bit of charity me, who doesn’t like to give to a good cause in whatever way they can afford?! I especially love it when you can combine doing something good with doing something that you love and for this reason I recently decided to do some foodie things for Comic Relief.
It started with an absolutely crazy decision to do a supper club for eight strangers on Red Nose Day – something which you will soon be hearing all about. I decided that it would be a good idea to set up a donations page for the supper club, not least so that my ‘guests’ would be in no doubt about where their money was going. Once I had the page set up it made sense to try to raise a bit more money and so I decided to do some baking for work.
I took in some banana and almond slices and sent an email round explaining that over the next few weeks I would be baking for Comic Relief and that all donations would be gratefully accepted. I also said that for a minimum donation of £5 I would bring in baked goods on request.
The cakes were soon scoffed, I had £13.82 in the pot and the requests flowed in. Red velvet cake, dark treacle gingerbread, carrot cake and mint aero cheesecake (!) were all in the list of requests. Plus a special request for Shrove Tuesday, lemon chiffon cake.
I have throughly enjoyed the challenge of cooking cakes to order, almost all of which I have never baked before and so far I have raise over £100 for cakes, which is better than a kick in the teeth. My colleagues have all been very kind and I’m not sure I’ve heard the words “I love you” from more people in any one day before, but without a doubt, the most popular and complimented bake has been the lemon chiffon cake.
This was the request of my good (and Catholic) friend John. He is being a good boy and giving up all sweet treats for Lent, so he asked if I would bake his favourite cake for Shrove Tuesday. I was delighted to take on the challenge!
I say challenge because I had never baked a chiffon cake before, in all honesty I didn’t even know what one was, plus it was surprisingly hard to find a recipe. I have A LOT of cookbooks, an embarrassing amount, and not one of them contained a recipe for chiffon cake. I therefore turned to the internet but finding a reliable recipe proved difficult and I couldn’t find one I trusted which was for a lemon chiffon.
I therefore combined a number of recipes, went out and bought myself a new cake pan and hoped for the best. The result was the lightest cake I have ever eaten. It was mouthwateringly good, best demonstrated by the fact that the entire thing was gone within 20 minutes and one of the recipients has now asked for the recipe for her wedding cake!
So here it is – look no further – you can now make your very own spectacular lemon chiffon cake in just a few simple steps.
- 7 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 180g plain flour
- 45g cornflour
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 180 ml lemon juice
- 120 sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You will also need a 25cm ring cake tin (with a tube in the middle) and the good news is that there is no need to grease or line the tin.
First off, set the oven to 160’C and then zest and juice all your lovely lemons.
Next whisk your egg whites with an electric whisk. I do this first as it means I can then use the whisk for other things without worrying about contamination.
You should whisk the eggs to a soft peak, then add the cream of tartar and whisk to a stiff peak, so that you can hold it over your head, like so …
Then mix together the flour, cornflour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg yolks, oil, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Then whisk together until combined.
Next carefully fold in the egg whites with a large metal spoon, making sure to retain as much air as possible. Be careful not to overmix, it is fine if you can still see some white.
Once combined, pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake for around an hour in 160’C fan oven. Check it at around 55 minutes and if a skewer comes out clean, it is done.
A tip that I picked up from many of the receipes that I looked at was to cool the cake upside down resting on a bowl (as below). It is supposed to keep the volume and lightness and it certainly worked for me.
Once the cake is completely cool, turn it out and dust with icing sugar. Easy as that!!
If you would like to sponsor me, here is my page https://my.rednoseday.com/sponsor/everymealmatters. I started off with a £200 target but am now hoping to get to £500. Always best to aim for the sky :o)