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Jen Castle’s Lemon Chiffon Cake

Yesterday I promised to tell you about the Lemon Chiffon Cake I had at Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah. Here’s everything you need to know:

1. The recipe was created by Jen Castle, co-owner of Hell’s, and is featured in With a Measure of Grace, the cookbook she wrote with her business partner and friend, Blake Spalding.

2. This cake won Jen a blue ribbon at the Coconino County fair in Flagstaff, Arizona.

3. It is the lightest cake you can imagine: akin to an angel food cake but made with egg yolks and oil (which are not in angel food cake).

4. It is so le-le-le-lemony.

5. It is easy to make.

6. Everyone who tastes it will love it!

And that, Dear Readers, is everything you need to know about the Lemon Chiffon Cake at Hell’s Backbone Grill. A big “thank you” to Jen and Blake for generously sharing their recipe with us.

My Attempt at Hell’s Cake: Not as Pretty but Delicious!

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Serves 10-12

Cake Ingredients

2 cups/8oz/240gm flour

1 ½ cups/10oz/300g sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup/8oz cold water

7 egg yolks

8 egg whites

½ cup/4oz canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest of two lemons

½ teaspoon cream of tartar (optional if you can’t find it)

Icing Ingredients

1/3 cup/2oz softened (not melted) butter

2 cups/8oz icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)

3 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 335° F/168°C. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine water, yolks, oil, vanilla, and zest. Stir yolk mixture into dry ingredients until smooth.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar at medium-low speed until foamy and frothy. Increase speed and beat whites until stiff, but not dry, peaks. If you do not have cream of tartar, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

4. Pour yolk mixture over whites in ribbons, folding mixtures together very gently until just combined. Pour into ungreased 10” tube pan.

5. Bake 55 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Immediately invert pan and hang upside down on the neck of a bottle for 2 hours to cool.

6. Run a long, thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake and remove from pan. The wider end of the cake will be the top when turned out onto a serving dish.

7. Make icing by combining all ingredients in small mixing bowl and whipping until smooth. Spread icing over cake top, allowing some to drip over the sides. Top with lemon zest.

Notes: I wasn’t sure what kind of flour to use for this recipe, so I used cake flour. I have since seen, on at least one other blog, that self-raising (all purpose) may also be used. And, if you’re not a fan of butter icing on cakes, consider a glaze made of lemon juice and icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar). Once made, pour the glaze over the cake and let set before serving. Add a dollop of freshly whipped cream on the side with a spring of mint.

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