I tend to shiver with anticipation every time I get my Martha Stewart Living in the mail. I really just love to browse the magazine for design inspiration, entertaining ideas and wonderful, new recipes that are in-line with the season. The question/answer features are always helpful. It just seems to cover everything that is useful to someone who is active in keeping his/her house. June’s issue is dubbed “The Summer Food Issue.” There’s a great Father’s Day Brunch Menu that features Bourbon-Glazed Pork Chops and Black Pepper Biscuits. There is a beautiful write up on Clams too, something I intend to experiment with a lot this summer. In the “berry” section, Martha explains how she has developed many places to plant various kinds of berries on her property, and they are able to enjoy them all year long by freezing the excess.
The cover boasts Martha’s favorite berry recipes, 14 easy summer dishes that are fresh and light, and tricks for speedy weeknight grilling. The cover recipe comes from Martha’s favorite berry recipes: Chiffon Cake with Strawberries and Cream. Martha explains that the chiffon cake is similar in texture to an angel food cake, but richer due to the addition of egg yolks. The filling is simply whipped cream with macerated strawberries. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.
Chiffon Cake with Strawberries and Cream
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 52 min
2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self rising)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup safflower oil
7 large egg yolks
9 large egg whites
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Berries & Cream:
2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered (about 5 cups), plus more for serving
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. You will need a tube pan that is 9 1/2-inches in diameter and 4 1/2-inches deep.
1. For the cake: Whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the oil, egg yolks, and milk in a large bowl. Whisk flour mixture into the egg-yolk mixture.
2. Beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and vanilla seeds or extract, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Whisk one-third of the egg-white mixture into the batter. Gently but thoroughly fold in remaining egg white mixture with a rubber spatula.
3. Transfer the batter to a tube pan. Bake until the top of the cake springs back when touched, 52 to 55 minutes. Let cool upside down (over a bottle or on tube-pan feet) 1 hour.
4. For the berries and cream: While cake is baking and cooling, combine strawberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice and salt, and let sit, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Just before assembling, beat the cream and powdered sugar until medium peaks form.
5. Slide a paring knife around the edges of the tube and side of pan; release cake. Cut cake horizontally into 3 lawyers with a serrated knife. Transfer the bottom layer to a cake plate or platter. Spread with half the berries, and drizzle with juices. Spread half the whipped cream over the berries, then top with the middle cake layer. Spread with the remaining berries and whipped cream. Top with the remaining cake layer. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with berries.
*I did, indeed, use cake flour. Here's an easy way to make your own cake flour if you don't wish to purchase it especially for this recipe.
*I didn't have quite enough safflower oil, so I used about half canola oil. All turned out fine.
*Pay attention to all of the measurements closely. There's some dividing, and the eggs all need to be separated.
*I didn't have a vanilla bean, so I used vanilla bean paste (which I love!)
*The sweeter your strawberries, the better this dessert will be.
*The batter makes a bit too much for the pan indicated. Mine rose up higher than the pan and some of the batter leaked onto my foil-lined oven. Other than that, it baked up perfectly.
*I recommend refrigerating the cake for at least 2 hours, maybe more, before serving.
Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2012
It was an impressive cake! It looked beautiful and it was definitely well-received by my taste testers. The cake was placed on a table filled with other desserts, and it was the first dessert that everyone chose. A couple of people even recognized it as “that cake from the cover of Living!” My cake was refrigerated for one hour before serving, so it was slightly tough to cut neatly and serve. Given more time to set in the fridge, I think it would be easier to slice.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
Yes! It’s impressive and beautiful, and delicious! And it’s a great cake for summer. Stick a few blueberries in there to make it a red, white and blue cake for 4th of July!