Caramel Chiffon Cake


Caramel Syrup (prepare first):
2    cups (500 mL) granulated sugar
2    cups (500 mL) boiling water

1 2/3    cups (400 mL) flour
3    teaspoons (15 mL) baking powder
1/2    teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1/2    cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/2    cup (125 mL) canola oil
6    egg yolks
1    cup (250 mL) caramel syrup (see above)
1    tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla
1 1/4    cups (300 mL) egg whites
1/4    teaspoon (1 mL) cream of tartar
1/8    teaspoon (0.5 mL) salt (2nd amount)
1/2    cup (125 mL) granulated sugar (2nd amount)

Caramel Mousse:
3/4    cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
1/3    cup (75 mL) water
1 3/4    cup (425 mL) whipping cream
3    tablespoons (45 mL) unsalted butter
1 1/2    teaspoons (7 mL) gelatin, dissolved in
1/4     cup (50 mL) cold water
Butter icing or whipped cream for frosting


Caramel Syrup (prepare first):
In a heavy pan, cook sugar over medium heat without stirring or shaking the pan. (Caution: watch constantly during the last part of cooking, since caramelization happens quickly and sugar can burn easily.) Heat until melted and chestnut brown in colour, about 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully and steadily add the boiling water, standing well back given the mixture will bubble and steam. Stir to make a syrup. Cool before use. Makes about 1 1/2 cups (375 mL).

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt and 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients and add oil, egg yolks and caramel syrup. Combine until smooth.

In another bowl, beat egg whites slowly until frothy; add cream of tartar and 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 mL) salt. Slowly add 1/2 cup sugar. Turn up speed and beat until mixture holds a firm peak. Fold egg whites into caramel batter. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 1 hour, until cake is firm to the touch. Turn upside down to cool.

Caramel Mousse:
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water; cook over medium heat, without stirring, until chestnut brown in colour. Add 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the cream, and the butter. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the dissolved gelatin. When fully cooled, whip remaining 1 cup (250 mL) of cream and fold in.

Final assembly of cake and mousse:
Line sides and bottom of a 10-inch (25 cm) mold or springform pan with wax paper. Cut cake in slices about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick, and line bottom and sides of mold with cake. Fill with caramel mousse and top with more cake slices. Refrigerate overnight. Unmold and frost with butter icing or whipped cream.

Makes 10 servings.

Caramel Chiffon Cake

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