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The Magdalene Cake (Orange Cardamom Chiffon)

Posted by Theology of Home on
The Magdalene Cake (Orange Cardamom Chiffon)

By Emily Malloy

A cake inspired by a candle. Though it seems strange, it is the truth. 

This cake was inspired by the aroma of our popular No. 11 Magdalene candle. The Magdalene candle was inspired by the immensity St. Mary Magdalene's love for Jesus. Her love was made manifest as she generously washed his feet with her hair and sought him out at the dawn of the Resurrection. This candle captures scents that the great saint certainly knew: sweet blood orange and the warm spice of cardamom. The bright, rich blend of this candle evokes Mary's deep joy in her life transformed by the Christ. The beautiful meditation this candle can bring to the home can also enable the palate to enable a meditative experience, as well.

Those of you who have become familiar with my recipes know that the orange / cardamom partnership is one that I whole-heartedly endorse. This Orange Cardamom Iced Coffee is my favorite way to cool down on a hot Mississippi summer day which are numerous.

Chiffon cake is a treasured summer dessert. Unlike most cakes, it has an airiness to it that pairs well with the heat. Unlike the common lemon chiffon, this cake has the earthy warmth of orange and cardamom. Most chiffon cakes call for a neutral oil like canola or vegetable, but I wanted to enhance the Mediterranean inspiration for this cake and use extra-virgin olive oil. 

I love the opportunity glazes have in imparting more flavor to a cake. So, it took very little internal deliberation to decide to use a glaze as another method to showcase orange and cardamom. 

The combination of lightness in texture with the aromatic taste is a winning pair just like orange and cardamom. 


**Notes: (1) This cake is best baked in a tube pan and not a traditional cake pan. I very much like using footed angel food cake pans for the purpose of cooling and removing easily. (2) Chiffon cakes are more finicky than traditional cakes, so it is super important to follow the instructions to ensure it comes out well. (3) Use as much of the glaze as you would like. We have different glaze preferences in our house, so a person went back after I staged and shot the cake to erm--reinforce the existing glaze. Ahem.



The Magdalene Cake (Orange Cardamom Chiffon Cake)
Yields: 12+ servings
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes +

Ingredients, for the cake--
8 large eggs, at room temperature and separated 
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup water
Zest of one large orange
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract

For the glaze--
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice

1. Preheat the oven to 325* F. 

2. Do not grease your 10" angel food cake pan-- keeping it ungreased helps to create a higher rise in the batter as it grips to the side of the pan, creating the "airiness." The use of the footed angel food cake pan helps in the slow removal of the cake while it's turned upside down as it cools that greasing a cake pan would normally serve. Cooling the cake upside down also prevents collapse.

3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Set aside. To have success with the egg whites, it's crucial to be sure that not a single speck of yolk is in the whites. The easiest way to ensure this is to crack each egg into a smaller bowl and carefully remove the egg yolk and then add the clean egg white into a bowl with the others to ensure no contamination of yolk happens in case one yolk runs! 

4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together all of the dry cake ingredients. Incorporate the extra-virgin olive oil, water, egg yolks, orange zest and juice, and both extracts, stirring until well-combined. 

5. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the cake batter until well-combined while being careful to not lose any of the air you worked into the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula is the best tool to ensure the airiness of the egg whites aren't lost. 

6. Carefully pour the batter into the ungreased bake pan, placing on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until lightly browned. 

7. When the cake is finished, remove from the oven and invert the pan right away. Many recommend the use of a large glass bottle (think wine bottle) for the initial cooling process in baking with angel food cake pans to make sure steam doesn't get trapped and affect the texture of the cake. Let cool for at least one hour before sliding a butter knife around the edges to release from the pan. 

8. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cardamom. Slowly whisk in the orange juice, one tablespoon at a time until a pourable glaze is made. Drizzle over the cake once it has fully cooled and enjoy!

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