As the days get shorter and the air is crisper and cooler, I am back in my kitchen baking after a summer hiatus.  One of my favorite cakes to bake during this season is Autumn Spiced Honey Chiffon cake. While this cake is baking, an ambrosial aroma of warm honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves wafts through the house. This scrumptious cake tastes as good as it looks and smells as good as it tastes. To my mind, it  is the quintessential autumnal cake. Although a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar is all that is needed to garnish the cake, I could not resist finishing it with a chocolate honey glaze.  Happy Autumn!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 2/3 honey
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
  • confectioner’s sugar

Chocolate Honey Glaze (optional)

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Before you begin: You will need an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan with a removable tube insert and feet.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  Set aside.

Place the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the honey in a large mixing bowl and beat at medium speed for about two minutes until light yellow.

Add the canola oil and beat for about 1 minute.  Beat in the orange rind and the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients  in 3 to 4 additions to the egg yolk mixture, alternating with the cold water.  Beat on low speed and only until ingredients are mixed in.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat the egg whites until they are stiff and shiny, but not dry.  Make sure not to overbeat the egg whites.

Fold about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites in 3 to 4 more additions.  Sprinkle the grated chocolate onto the batter and gently fold in along with the egg whites.

Pour the batter into the angel food cake pan and place in the oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the honey chiffon cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately turn upside down on the angel food cake pan feet.  Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.

When the cake is cool, remove it from the cake pan gently with a knife.  You will need to remove the cake from the sides, bottom and tube center.

Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, then place on a cake plate.

Or, drizzle the cake with a chocolate honey glaze:

Place chocolate, butter or margarine, and honey in the top of a double boiler.

Whisk all together until fully melted.  Place melted chocolate glaze into a squeeze bottle or just use a teaspoon to drizzle on the glaze with a back and forth motion.