Like calculus, there are some things that defy staying cemented in my brain. Like the difference between chiffon and angel cake. I thought they were both of the sponge-ish variety and kind of the same – only different. If you want to read up on chiffon, Google a guy named Harry Baker. Seriously, that’s his name. He was the dude who developed the chiffon way back in the dark ages and guarded his top-dog secret ingredient until he met that siren called Betty Crocker. By the 1940s, chiffon was a cake that everyone was writing about.
The big obvious difference is that angel cake has no fat in it, just a boat-load of sugar. The chiffon has oil and yolks. Think hybrid – a sponge-ish cake that looks a lot like an angel cake, but has the flavor of a yellow cake.
Chiffon and angel were the dressy cakes in our house. Mom made those for parties, gifts, and Hadassah meetings or holidays. My mother taught me all kinds of baking, but never how to do the chiffon or an angel cake. Somehow I got the idea that they were complicated enough that I didn’t dare to try to make them. Continue reading