01 December 2014

Squash Chiffon Cake

Awhile ago, I made the Espresso Chiffon Cake from Smitten Kitchen, and I was really impressed with how it turned out. So when I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Cake as I was deciding what dessert to make for Thanksgiving, I knew that I would have to try my hand at that, too.

There were a few tweaks: I halved the recipe, used acorn squash rather than pumpkin, substituted pastry flour, and used the same number of yolks as whites. Oh, and I made up some cream cheese frosting for the cake. Because: Cream Cheese...

It turned out phenomenally. It was certainly denser than the previous chiffon cake I made, but with the squash puree and not cutting some yolks out, that was more than expected. The beaten whites still gave it so much lift and tenderness! I will be doing this again!

Squash Chiffon Cake
adapted from Alice Medrich via Food52
makes 1 - 8" round cake

1/2 cup sugar, divided
4 eggs, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup squash puree (I used acorn)
100 grams (~3.5 ounces) pastry flour (cake or rice work, too)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Line an 8" round cake pan with parchment paper (optionally, grease)

2. Preheat oven to 325°F

3. Set aside 1/8 cup sugar (to stiffen egg whites)

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix remaining sugar with yolks, oil and puree

5. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves

6. Mix flour/spices into the puree/yolks

7. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until they hold soft peaks; add the sugar that was set aside, then whip eggs until stiff but not dry

8. Fold half of the whites into the batter until no streaks remain, then do the same with the second half

9. Pour into prepared cake pan, set in the bottom third of the oven, bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (30-40 minutes)

10. Cool, then slide a knife around the sides to release from the pan; Peel off the parchment paper

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 - 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature (leave out ≥1 hour)
1/2 to 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

1. Once the cream cheese is at room temperature (softened), whip until light and fluffy

2. Whip in a pinch of salt, and the powdered sugar to taste (start with 1/2 cup, add until you like it)

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