This cake melds the sleek fruity elegance of great olive oil and the brightness of oranges, two classic Italian flavors that give this fluffy cake some authority. Use freshly squeezed juice if you can. I was lucky enough to be gifted a case of oranges from my mother-in-law, who got them from a grower near her house. Oh, the joy of opening that box with their vibrant color and sweet perfume in the dead of a Minnesota winter. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have an orange source, grabbing a few from the store and squishing out that juicy sunshine is worth it. Serve this cake with nothing more than a cup of coffee or go a bit more festive— like the chiffon dress it is named after (I just made that up, but it should be)—and pipe rosettes of cream over the whole cake.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Prepare a 10-inch / 25cm tube pan by doing NOTHING. The batter needs to grab the sides to rise in the oven and to successfully hang upside down to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup / 200g of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest, fruity olive oil, mild-flavored oil, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the yolk mixture and whisk together until smooth. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar and beat on high speed until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes. Turn the speed to medium-low and slowly sprinkle in the remaining 1⁄2 cup / 100g sugar to create a French meringue. Turn the speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Stir one-third of the meringue into the egg yolk–flour mixture to loosen it up. Using the whisk attachment t or a rubber spatula, fold the remaining meringue into the yolk mixture.
- Pour the batter into the ungreased pan. Run a knife or metal spatula through the batter to release any large air bubbles.
- Bake until the cake bounces back to the touch and a tester comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Immediately invert the pan on its feet (if it has them) or onto a wine bottle and rest to prevent the cake from compressing. Leave suspended upside down until completely cool, about 45 minutes.
- Using a paring knife, very carefully loosen the cake away from the edge of the pan and the center. Invert the cake (using a cardboard round with a hole cut in the middle makes this task easier) onto a serving plate. Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the cake. I use a large star tip (1M by Wilton) to pipe the rosettes. Using a serrated bread knife, cut into individual slices to serve.
Reprinted from Zoe Bakes Cakes. Copyright © 2021 by Zoë François. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House