Kitchen Object of Desire number 3: Tube Pan with removable bottom
Not every object of desire has to be expensive, and this cake pan is a prime example! Also known as an Angel Food cake pan, this pan is made of inexpensive aluminum, and can be had for less than $20. Used for almost any kind of cake, the shape of this pan will work for you and it will last forever. It’s doesn’t take any special care, it’s easy to clean and it will be there for you in your times of cake need.
The pan comes in several styles but the one with a removable bottom is essential for chiffon and angel type cakes. You can also get the pan in nonstick but I suggest you don’t buy this type unless you’re using it for pound cakes and the like. All you need is the cheap version of the pan with the little feet on the lid. When cleaning, wash this pan by hand as the high heat of a dishwasher could warp the pan.
I name this as one of my favorite pans because it’s used to make chiffon cake and I love making and eating this cake. Invented in the 1920’s in California, chiffon cake was popular for years before it fell out of favor. When I was a boy, my mama made an orange chiffon cake but don’t remember her ever making another one. The beauty of the chiffon cake recipe is that you have to learn how to work competently with egg whites. That’s a skill that will take you everywhere in the kitchen.
A few oddities and tips for making this cake. DO NOT grease or flour the pan. The cake has to climb and cling to the sides and tube of the pan and must be cut out once it has cooled. (Exception: If you are using the pan for a butter style cake then grease and flour the pan as your recipe requires.) Once the cake is baked, you will make use of the little feet on the rim of the pan because in order to set, these cakes (angel food cake too) need to be cooled upside down. If your cake has risen past the feet, then use a wine bottle to secure the pan upside down and let the cake cool completely. Once the cake is cooled, use a knife to cut the cake out of the pan.
This cake uses oil and baking powder in addition to the beaten egg whites. It’s an interesting cake with a sponge like texture, and it stays moist and tender when refrigerated. I would serve this spiced style cake with lots of whipped cream and I’d add a shake of cinnamon and maybe some chopped sugared ginger root for texture. If you don’t like spiced cakes, leave the spices out and use this cake as a base for sugared strawberries with loads of whipped cream.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 7 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper and 1 cup sugar. Stir well and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks, water, oil and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) beat to combine, about 1 minute.
- In a very clean bowl of your electric mixer, add the egg whites and beat with the whisk attachment to break up the egg whites. Add the cream of tartar and start beating on medium speed. Add the ½ cup sugar a little bit at a time and beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Take care not to over beat them or they will not fold in.
- Working in thirds, add the egg whites to the batter and fold in to combine, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan and bake for about 55 minutes or until a broom straw comes out clean.
- As soon as the