Lemon chiffon cake

Made lemon chiffon cake for my birthday last week. I love lemon flavoured things, especially lemon chiffon cake. We used a recipe from Nigella Lawson who was apparently inspired by Konditor and Cook, and I’m not surprised as the best shop bought lemon cake I ever had was from Konditor.

Here are the ingredients we used. We didn’t have self raising flour so used plain flour and baking powder instead, something like for every 150g plain flour use 2 teaspoon of baking powder. Ensure to sift it all together so the baking powder is well mixed in with the plain flour. We haven’t been able to buy any flour from the supermarket for a couple of weeks now so thankfully had a little plain flour left over from previous bakes. I didn’t realise that so many recipes require self raising instead of plain flour.

Tried to let the butter warm up to room temperature but still broke it up into smaller pieces before mixing with an electric mixer to help with the process.

This recipe calls for eggs and flour to be added in one at a time a bit at a time. I’m usually quite paranoid about the level of mixing: too little and not enough air gets trapped to help the cake rise but too much and the mixture is overbeaten and the cake becomes quite dense. 

I never really know which one it’s going to be until I take a bite and I’m either pleasantly surprised with the lightness or a little disappointed that cake is glued to the top of my mouth. This was the cake mixture just before it went into the oven. Quite a thick consistency, I would say. I felt that there wasn’t much cake mixture, but was hoping that the baking powder would work its magic.

Turned out to be quite a sunken cake. After a little research here, I thought it could be due to the oven temperature, out of date baking powder, or just not mixing the baking powder into the plain flour enough. Though the cake did manage to rise so I ruled out the baking powder. I also read that you should put cake tins in the oven as soon as possible, and I was definitely trying to get every scrape of mixture from the bowl into the tins as I didn’t feel there was enough cake mixture. So I definitely could have put the cake tins in the oven much sooner than I did.

But I think it was the temperature. Last time the oven was cleaned I accidentally put the racks one level higher than usual. And as I put the cake tins on the top shelf they baked a lot quicker on the outside than the inside as the heat source is in the top in our oven. I turned down the temperature part way through baking, but I guess the damage was already done. After tipping the cake out it was fine on every other side! Also the sunken part was now at the bottom and nothing some good old icing wouldn’t hide.

We halved the icing ingredients from Lawson’s recipe, sorry Nigella, I don’t think we like icing as much as you do. The icing was indeed quite lemony and very sweet, I think the cake could have been more lemony but guess it didn’t help that I kind of burnt it. Burning it also meant it wasn’t as moist as I was expecting it to be.

I suppose it wasn’t too bad for an epicly make-shift quarantine birthday cake, with the incorrect ingredients and the incorrect oven set up. We still ate it though, it is birthday cake, after all.


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