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Oils for the body

What is chiffon cake?

Do you know him Chiffon cake? Perhaps the name is not very familiar to him, but it is very likely that a slice of it has already been on his dessert plate, squandering everything that is best: smooth texture, softness and lots of cuteness. Created ago 86 years by the North American Harry Baker, the chiffon cake has conquered the world. This is because Baker sold his recipe to one of the largest food companies on the planet, General Mills.
It’s so light, the chiffon cake can be enjoyed without topping or filling in an afternoon coffee or tea, or turning into a party cake with delicate filling and decoration. Or, even be served as a delicious cupcake.
Their crumbs are small and uniform, as are the bubbles that form during their growth. Because it is prepared with vegetable oil, the chiffon cake (as it is known outside Brazil) is moist and remains light for several days (even when frozen), which differs from cakes prepared with butter.
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To understand the reason for the special texture of chiffon cake, it is necessary to understand its preparation. There are some methods used in the preparation of a cake and, in the case of chiffon, two of them are used: the “cream” method, which consists of beating the creamy and oily ingredients, and only then adding the dry ones, and the method called “3 stages”, when mixing the dry ingredients, adds the creamy and the white in snow and, for lastly, milk.

The chiffon method consists of forming a emulsion formed from the mixture of oily and liquid ingredients and, in a second moment the addition of whites beaten in snow. This process results in a soft and fluffy cake, but more dense and creamy than sponge cake, for example.
However, it is very important to form a well-structured emulsion so that the cake maintains its format even after the oven. An emulsion, in the case of food, is the integration of oily compounds in water. This happens when, through constant agitation, the fat molecules are broken down into smaller and smaller units and are enveloped by the water molecules or vice versa, when the water molecules are broken and covered by fat. As you can see in the image below, the goal is to reach container D.
A) Two immiscible liquids (that do not mix) in two phases; B) Emulsion of the yellow phase dispersed in the blue phase; C) Unstable emulsion returning to its initial state; D) Final phase with emulsifier stabilizing the emulsion. Photo: Unicamp Class.
The result of a well-made emulsion is a thick, airy cream. However, even if these immiscible particles appear to be mixed, this is a momentary and not definitive state, since they are formed by opposite structures. Therefore, it is necessary to add an emulsifier to this emulsion, in order to guarantee its stability so that in the future the cake does not collapse or wilt.
Emulsifiers can be natural, like eggs, or artificial, like those found in markets or specialty stores. These emulsifiers serve to decrease the interfacial tension between the broken molecules, since their tendency is to unite again, which would cause the mixture to separate into two phases (which, in grandmother’s words, means ending with a withered cake and stamped).
The proportion of addition of the emulsifier is about 2% of the amount of flour used in the recipe.
For a perfect chiffon cake, it is essential to mix the oily ingredients with the aqueous ingredients very well to form the emulsion. Then add the dried ones and finally add the lightly beaten snow and mix gently to incorporate air into the dough. This air, when well homogenized, will help to allocate the CO2, which will be produced by the yeast when heating begins. This means that the air bubbles inside the cake will be evenly distributed and will be similar in size. This will help in the structure of the cake and in the softness.
Even though the cake is creamy and denser, as the bubbles will be everywhere and the emulsion stabilized, the weight of the dough will not be a problem. When the air is heated it expands in volume and meanwhile the dough bakes around it and, even after cold, the cake continues with the same format.

  • To even out the air bubbles, lightly beat the pan on a surface before taking it to the oven, but beat just 1 or 2 times, otherwise you will lose the bubbles.
  • Make a longitudinal cut with a knife on the surface of the cake before baking. This will make it grow evenly, without lifting just a part of the cake.

That’s it for today! I hope the information was helpful! Now am I going to make a chiffon cupcake for breakfast, served?
Big kiss and see you soon!

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