Published May 1, 1996.
For a cake that is moist and tender yet still has enough structure, decrease the flour, add an egg yolk, and beat only some of the egg whites.
We were disappointed to find that the original recipe made a cake that was a bit dry--cottony and fluffy rather than moist and foamy, the way we thought chiffon cakes should be--and lacked flavor.
Like the Hollywood stars of the 1920s who were the first to taste Harry Baker's secret-recipe cakes, we were delighted by the uniquely light yet full richness and deep flavor of this American invention, which came to be known as the chiffon cake. We decided to go back to Betty Crocker's version, as first put before the public by General Mills in 1948.
As we began to make adjustments to the original recipe, it tended to collapse or explode because the structure base of this cake--flour and eggs--is so sensitive. We found the answer to our problems in Carole Walter's Great Cakes (Ballantine, 1991). Rather than whipping all of the egg whites for this cake, Walter mixed some unbeaten into the dry ingredients along with the yolks, water, and oil. This proved to provide the structure we were seeking to hold the cake together while also giving us the perfect chiffon cake: moist, tender, and flavorful.list of recipes