- 2 1⁄4 cups (225g) cake flour
- 11⁄2 cups (300g) caster sugar
- 1⁄2 t (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda
- 1⁄2 t (2.5ml) salt
- 1 T (15ml) powdered cinnamon (omit for pure lemon cake)
- 1⁄2 cup (125ml) sunflower oil
- 7 XL free-range eggs, separated, plus 2 additional egg whites
- 2/3 cup (167ml) water
- 2 T (30ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 T (15ml) grated lemon zest
- 1 1⁄4 (6ml) cream of tartar
- In a large bowl sift flour, caster sugar (except 2 T), bicarb, salt and cinnamon.
- Make a well in the centre and add oil, egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and rind. Beat for 1 minute until mixture is smooth and lump-free.
- In another clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted.
- Add reserved 2 T of caster sugar, and beat until glossy stiff peak stage.
- Fold whites very gently into the batter mixture using a metal spoon or spatula.
- Take care not to over-mix and deflate the batter.
- Gently pour the mixture into an UNGREASED 25cm diameter chiffon tube pan (loose-bottomed pan works best). The mixture will fill the pan to about 3cm from the top.
- Bake at 170°C (340°F) (at the coast) for 55 minutes until top of cake is firm and a tester comes out clean. On the highveld adjust oven to 180°C (360°F).
- If the pan has no legs invert it onto the neck of a soda or wine bottle.
- Leave cake to cool hanging upside down, otherwise it will collapse.
- Loosen sides carefully and remove cake.
- Finish with a dusting of icing sugar (and cinnamon).
- Serve with a bowl of whipped cinnamon-flavoured cream on the side.
TIP: If you don’t have a large chiffon pan, leave out 3 egg whites in the batter.
Wipe down the bowl that you are about to whip the egg whites in with a lemon wedge.
Always use the freshest eggs for whipping at room temperature.