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Chiffon cake challenge

By Staff | Aug 15, 2014

BROOKLIN BORDER, a 14-year-old member of the Douglas Dreamers 4-H Club, and soon to be a freshman at St. Edmond High School in Fort Dodge, prepares a chiffon cake that made its way to the Iowa State Fair.

FORT DODGE – Brooklin Border, a 14-year-old 4-H’er and member of the Douglas Dreamers 4-H Club in Fort Dodge, said she enjoys the taste of a chiffon cake. Border wants to take on the challenge of baking them and keep the tradition of cakes being entered into the Webster County Fair after a fellow 4-H’er graduated and would no longer be competing with them herself.

Border, the daughter of Mark and Sheila Border, said she enjoyed fellow 4-H’er Allie Lansman’s chiffon cakes and admired the hard work she put into baking them.

She wanted to give them a try for herself to see how she could rate at the county level.

Border said she went to Lansman for help. After a lot of trial and error, she figured out just what it took to achieve baking a chiffon cake and entered three different flavors at the Webster County Fair.

Her chocolate version earned an honorable mention; her lemon version, which unfortunately had a large air bubble in the middle of the cake, still did well, giving her a blue ribbon.

BROOKLIN BORDER said she enjoys the challenge of baking chiffon cakes.

Border said despite its shortcoming, it must have tasted great because the judge ended up buying that cake for herself.

It was her orange chiffon cake that won the judges over and made its way to the Iowa State Fair where she earned a blue ribbon.

Throughout the process of learning how to bake chiffon cakes, Border found that one needs a lot of time set aside.

“I have learned I need plenty of time to prepare and bake the cakes,” said Border. “It takes a long time, almost a four-hour process.”

Border said when measuring the flour and sugar for her chiffon cakes she uses a spoon to fill the measuring cup rather than scooping the ingredients up with the measuring cup and packing them in order to keep the ingredients fluffy.

BROOKLIN BORDER, a 14-year-old member of the Douglas Dreamers 4-H Club and a soon to be freshman at St. Edmond high school cuts in to one of her practice orange chiffon cakes before baking one that made its way to the State Fair.

She will also use baker’s flour because, she said, it’s already sifted, another aid to get a fluffy cake.

Since zesting the fruit and having fruit juice ready can take time, Border said she prepares them ahead, ready to go.

When the batter is prepared, Border recommends pouring the batter through a strainer into the pan.

This process, she said, will help keep the batter thin, therefore not too heavy when poured over meringue, so the meringue is able to keep its stiff texture.

After the batter is poured and folded into the meringue, Border runs a knife through the batter in order to cut through the air bubbles to avoid air pockets forming in the middle of the cake.

The soon-to-be freshman at St. Edmond High School in Fort Dodge said she has been helping in the kitchen for as long as she can remember.

“I like eating food, and I also like making food,” said Border.

In addition to just making food, Border said, she enjoys the presentation part of serving her baked goods.

“I like making it look pretty; I like glazing my cakes and adding garnish,” she said.

Along with the art-side of food preparation, at last year’s Webster County Fair, Border made a table setting to match the food being served.

“I really enjoy that sort of preparation,” she said.

Border said she would eventually like to learn how to bake different flavors of chiffon cakes and is trying to learn how to decorate cakes.

Some of her other favorite things to bake include spritz cookies, watermelon cookies and even had fun one time making a giant muffin.

“It’s fun to make and try something new,” she said.

Orange chiffon cake

6 eggs, separated

2 cups all-purpose flour (baker’s flour is best)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 fresh orange juice

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Orange glaze

1/2 cup butter

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 to 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, orange juice, oil and orange zest; add the dry ingredients.

Beat until well blended.

In another large bowl, and with clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Fold into orange mixture.

Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets.

Bake on the lowest oven rack in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.

Immediately invert pan; cool completely. Run a knife around sides and center tube of pan. Invert cake onto a serving plate.

For glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan; add remaining glaze ingredients. Stir until smooth.

Pour over top of cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.

Lemon chiffon cake

7 eggs, separated

2 cups all-purpose flour (baker’s flour is best)

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup canola oil

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Lemon frosting

1/3 cup butter, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Dash of salt

Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Place oven rack on lowest position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, water, oil, lemon zest and vanilla.

Add to dry ingredients and beat until well blended.

Add cream of tartar to egg whites. With clean beaters, beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form.

Fold a fourth of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.

Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan and cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

Immediately invert pan; cool completely for about one hour.

Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.

In a small bowl, combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth.

Spread over top of cake, allowing frosting to drape down the sides.

Chocolate chiffon cake

3/4 cup boiling water

1/2 cup cocoa

10 egg whites

8 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (baker’s flour is best)

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

Dissolve cocoa into boiling water.

In one bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until very stiff.

In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix well with a mixer on low.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, oil and vanilla.

Add cocoa to egg yolk mixture and mix well, then add dry ingredients and mix well for a couple of minutes until it turns from dark brown to a light brown.

Add the egg whites mixture and fold in with a wire whisk until blended well.

Put in a tube pan and bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes.

Be sure to not over-bake. The cake will be more moist if not overdone.

Watermelon cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Red and green food coloring

Dried currants

Sesame seeds

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extract.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Remove one cup of dough and set aside. Add enough red food coloring to tint remaining dough a deep red.

Roll into a 3 1/2-inch long log; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about two hours.

Divide the one cup of reserved dough into two pieces. To one piece, add enough green food coloring to tint the dough a deep green.

Leave remaining dough plain.

Wrap each piece separately in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about one hour.

On a floured sheet of waxed paper, roll white dough into an 8 1/2-by-3-inch rectangle. Place red dough along short end of rectangle.

Roll up and encircle red dough with white dough and set aside.

On floured wax paper, roll the green dough into a 10-by-3 1/2-inch rectangle. Place log of red and white dough along with the short end of green dough.

Roll up and encircle log with green dough.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least eight hours or overnight.

Unwrap dough and cut into 1/8-inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Lightly press dried currants and sesame seeds into each slice to resemble watermelon seeds.

Bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until cookies are firm, but not brown.

While still warm, cut each cookie in half or into pie-shaped wedges.

Remove to wire racks to cool.

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