espresso coffee chiffon cake with chocolate glaze

Espresso Coffee Chiffon Cake
This cake is my mother-in-law’s recipe. It is a long-time family favorite always requested at birthdays and other special occasions. I usually bake it at least once a year. I’ve altered the recipe with the addition of a teaspoon of cocoa powder for I find chocolate intensifies the coffee flavor.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 55-60 minutes

2 cups all purpose flour (2 cups plus 4 tablespoons cake flour)
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, optional
1/2 cup vegetable oil
7 egg yolks
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons vanilla
7 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Whip egg whites. Put egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating at high speed until blended. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until whites turn smooth and silky. There’s no need to clean the beaters for the next step.

Make the batter. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder if using, and 1 cup sugar in another large bowl. Make well in center of the dry ingredients and add oil, egg yolks, water, dissolved coffee, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until all ingredients are moistened.

Combine the batter and whipped whites. Scrape the batter into the whipped egg whites. By hand gently fold egg yolk mixture into beaten egg whites. Cut the center of the batter with a spatula and drag it along the bottom to the side of the bowl then turn the spatula over. Rotate the bowl one quarter turn and repeat the process until the batter and whipped egg whites are blended. When white streaks remain, stop mixing. Pour batter mixture into an ungreased tube cake pan. Cut the batter with a sharp thin blade to eliminate air pockets.

Bake and unmold the cake. Bake 55-60 minutes. If the pan has no “feet” invert the cake pan over a funnel to cool. Cool thoroughly before unmolding and frosting. To unmold, use a sharp thin blade to loosen the sides. Push straight down and forward, away from the side. Remove the knife and repeat. To loosen the center, use a skewer, applying the same motion. Gently remove the sides of the pan. Then support the cake with the center-piece in one hand; this prevents the bottom from tearing as you release the cake.  Insert the blade between the bottom of the pan and the cake, applying the same motion. Remove the center-piece.

When the cake is cooled frost it, if desired. Or pour on a chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze (from America’s Test Kitchen)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes
Standing Time: 25 minutes

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream, hot
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Heat the cream on medium low heat in a small saucepan until it bubbles, 3-5 minutes. Put the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the milk. Whisk all ingredients until smooth and let it sit until thickened, about 25 minutes. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, letting the glaze drip down the sides. Let the glaze set before serving, about 25 minutes.