In my opinion, February is the most brutal winter month in northeast Ohio. The prolonged cold and overcast days usually cause winter blues and cabin fever to set in…..right about now, and that’s not taking into consideration the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Thankfully, spring is just around the corner! We only have to make it through a few more weeks – no thanks to Punxsutawney Phil, lol.
On the positive side, one of the best aspects of winter is that oranges are at their peak – they are at their sweetest and juiciest! Yum! For the past several years, our favorite orange to consume straight has been Cara Cara! We buy giant bags of them from Costco although this year, for the first time, some of the Cara Cara we encountered have been subpar. Nevertheless, we continue to enjoy them and some get turned into the following delicious orange chiffon cake! Enjoy!
2-1/4 cups Authentic Foods Steve’s Cake Flour Blend*
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons orange zest (from 2 to 3 large oranges)
7 large eggs, separated**
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
*If using regular wheat flour, substitute with 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
**I find it easier to separate the eggs when they are cold but I let them get to room temp before using them – more to maximize the volume of the whipped egg whites.
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350F.
- Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk orange zest, egg yolks, oil, and orange juice together.
- With an electric mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Then increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites until soft mounds form. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Whisk egg yolk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Fold 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula until combined. Then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Pour batter into an ungreased tube pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert cake pan and let cake cool completely. To remove the cake, run a small, thin-blade knife around the edge (including around the tube) and bottom of the cake and gently tap to loosen it. Cut into slices and serve.