Chocolate Chiffon Cake

1 1/3 cups cake flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

10 room temperature large eggs, separated

1 cup water

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Powdered sugar, for dusting

 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, ½ cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, water, oil, and vanilla. Add the yolk mixture to the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth.

 

In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites on medium until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whip to soft peaks. With the motor running on high, gradually add the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Continue to whip on high to stiff peaks. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Transfer to an ungreased 10-inch loose-bottom tube pan and run a skewer through the batter to eliminate air pockets. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert the pan and let the cake cool in the pan to room temperature. Run a paring knife around the inside of the cake pan and remove the sides of the pan from the cake. Run the knife around the center tube and the base of the pan and remove the base from the cake. Transfer the cake to a cake plate and dust with plenty of powdered sugar. Cut into portions and serve.

Makes 1 10-inch cake, serving 8 to 10. Tube pans are often referred to as angel food cake pans. If you happen to have one that's smaller than what's specified here, go ahead and use it but only fill it ¾ full. You can bake any excess batter in a muffin pan lined with paper liners. A hot-out-of-the-oven chiffon cake is extremely delicate and will collapse under its own weight, so it must be cooled upside down in its pan. Some tube pans feature feet on the rim to allow for easy inversion and room for air to circulate all around the cake as it cools. A tube pan without feet can be inverted over the top of a narrow-necked bottle. Cake keeps well and stays moist for several days tightly sealed at room temperature.

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