Saturday, February 22, 2014

Banana Chiffon Cake

Trying out different flavors of chiffon cake has been on my mind for several years. I've posted a berry chiffon cake here on the blog before, but I've been looking for chiffon cakes that are more similar to the Chinese style chiffon cake, also posted here, in texture. I like making chiffon cakes for everyday snacking and the texture of the berry one I felt was not quite suited for eating out of hand. The first flavor variation I attempted several years ago was actually banana, but I never found a recipe that I really liked until I tried this one recently.
I've adapted it to my liking and the process is basically the same as my Chinese style chiffon cake. The texture is light and airy without being mushy and it has the perfect amount of sweetness and banana flavor. Best of all, there are no extra egg whites or yolks to bother with.
Like most banana recipes, you'll want to use very ripe bananas for the best flavor. I'm excited to substitute other fruit purees to see how they work, so look out for that in the future. However, knowing me, that would probably be the far-off future.
Banana Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Wen's Delight
Makes One Large 10 inch chiffon cake
140 g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
220 g bananas, about 3 bananas
8 large egg yolks (9 medium or 7 extra large)
Large pinch of salt
80 ml vegetable oil (1/3 cup)
160 g granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 large egg whites (9 medium or 7 extra large)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Sift the cake flour, baking soda, and baking powder together 3 times. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, salt, vanilla extract, and a bit more than half the sugar (reserve the rest for later). Whisk for several minutes, until it turns pale yellow and thick ribbons fall from the whisk. 
Puree the bananas in a food processor. Mix the oil into the egg yolk mixture, then the pureed bananas, whisking well between each. Fold in the flour mixture and whisk until well blended, but don't overmix.

In another large bowl with a clean whisk or in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and the remaining sugar and beat on medium speed until stiff.

Fold a third of the beaten egg whites into the batter with a spatula and mix until blended. Add in the rest of the egg whites and fold gently until just blended. Be sure there are no large clumps of egg whites left as this will leave wet spots in the finished cake.
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until set and golden brown, about 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. As soon as it comes out of the oven, invert the pan onto a cooling rack so the cake won't collapse, let cool completely. To unmold, run a knife around the edge and remove the cake, run knife under the cake to remove the bottom. It's easier to remove if you slice through the cake but you can also just slip the center out or serve it on the pan.
Cake will last several days at room temperature well wrapped.

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