The days are getting shorter and a little greyer with each passing week. The forecast is calling for freezing rain, something that we are all too familiar with in this part of Canada.
Our meals are a little heartier, warmer, and comforting at this time of year. They often need a high note to round out the presentation. Fortunately, this is also the time of year when seasonal citrus fruits start arriving from our neighbours to the south. There is something sunshiny about grating the zest of limes, lemons or oranges and filling the air with a citrusy tang... and we need all the sunshine we can get at this time of year.
This recipe for a Lime Chiffon Cake originally came from a Lemon Olive Oil cake recipe on the Epicurious web site. Like all chiffon cakes, it relies on eggs for the structure thus making it a perfect candidate to convert to gluten free. Olive oil makes a fruity side note (and perfect if you can't eat dairy). This cake has all the things I love - melt in your mouth texture, outstanding flavour, simple ingredients... and lack of a million dishes to wash.
That said, this is a three bowl cake. One for whipping egg whites, one for sifting dry ingredients and one for whipping the egg yolks. But three bowls to wash is a small price to pay for a sunshine flavoured cake.
Lime Chiffon Cake
¾ cup Extra virgin olive oil
3 tsps of lime zest
1 cup gluten free flour mix*, sifted
1&1/2 tablespoons lime juice
5 extra large eggs, separated
½ tsp salt
¾ cup white sugar
1&1/2 tablespoons white sugar to sprinkle on top of uncooked cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil springform pan, line bottom with parchment and oil parchment.
Finely grate lime zest to obtain 3 teaspoons.
Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Add ¼ cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until the egg whites hold soft peaks. (If you beat the yolks first, you have to wash and dry the beaters in between. Save time, beat the whites first since yolks don’t mind a little white.)
Beat yolks and drizzle 1/2 cup sugar into the eggs at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce speed and add olive oil, lime zest and 1&1/2 tablespoons lime juice. Beating until just combined – mixture may look separated. Use a wooden spoon to fold in the flour mixture until just combined.
Gently fold one third of egg whites into yolk mixture to lighten. Then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Transfer batter to springform pan. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1&1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a skewer comes out clean, about 45 min – 40 min in 10 inch springform pan.
Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 min, then run a thin knife around the edge and remove from pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1&1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer to serving plate.
Cake can be made one day ahead and wrapped well or stored in a cake keeper at room temperature.
*gluten free flour - 2 cups extra fine brown rice flour, 2/3 cups potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca starch from Annalise G. Roberts Gluten-Free Baking Classics
The combination of a grassy fruity green extra virgin olive oil and lime zest gives this cake a gentle green hue. If green is not your preferred colour palette, oranges or lemons can be substituted for a fabulous citrus cake of a warmer colour.