chiffon cake not rising to the occasion
Well, the chiffon cakes are rising fine in the oven, but when I remove them oh-so-carefully to a cooling rack, they fall to a third of their size. Currently, I'm whisking half the sugar with the egg whites to create almost a meringue before folding into the batter in an attempt to stabilize their rising power better, but it's just not happening.
Someone suggested I let the cake cool in the (half-open, turned off) oven. But I thought I'd ask for other suggestions too before I waste another nine-odd eggs on experimenting!
I have several tips that might help. Make sure the egg whites are beaten stiffly (not dry, though) before incorporating them into the batter. If using a tube pan, invert it onto a large soda bottle (ideally the old-fashioned kind) and allow the cake to cool upside down. Add a little cream of tartar to the egg whites before beating them (most recipes will call for this ingredient). Don't give up and good luck!
I don't know if it helps or not...but I always cool my chiffon cake upside down. I stick the tube pan on to the neck of a wine bottle and let it cool completely.
Chiffon cakes are my favorite cake, so here's a few pointers.
-I never heard of adding sugar to the beaten whites. Beat the egg whites with 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar (that will stabilize them) until stiff peaks form, then gently pour or spoon 1/2 cup of beaten whites at a time in a thin ribbon over your other bowl of yolk-containing batter. Fold in using a motion that goes around and under, with a quick "slice" of the spatula going through the middle. I usually do 3-4 folds each time to avoid over-beating. Gradually add the batter like this and it should retain its fluffyness.
-When you put the chiffon cake into the oven, have it preheated to 375 degrees no matter what the recipe says. After 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 350 and be mindful that doing this may reduce your overall cooking time. Check with a cake-tester at 55 minutes so you don't overbake/toughen the cake.
-Check your oven temp. with an oven thermometer. It might be cooler or hotter than you think.
good Luck! I hope these tips help.