food, Recipes

How to make Alice Toich's dreamy lemon chiffon cake

Justin Patrick
'Artist and tartist' is how Alice Toich sums herself up in her Instagram bio - and if you take a look at her feed, you'll know why. A fine artist and baker extraordinaire, Alice began painting at a young age, but started taking her work seriously and exhibiting only a year ago. Her first solo exhibition - Alice Toich: The Icing Pink Ether - took place in October 2016 and beautifully combined her love of baking and painting in a series of artworks. Alice is featured in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of House and Leisure. In an online exclusive, she shares her Aunt Shelee's recipe for a summery cake.


2 14 cups (225g) cake flour 1 12 cup (300g) castor sugar 12t (2.5 ml) bicarbonate of soda 12t (2.5ml) salt 1T (15 ml) powdered cinnamon (omit for pure lemon cake) 12 cups (125 ml) sunflower oil 7 XL free-range eggs, separated, plus 3 additional egg whites 2/3 cup (167ml) water 2T (30ml) fresh lemon juice 1T (15ml) grated lemon zest 1 14t (6ml) cream of tartar


In a large bowl, sift the flour, castor sugar (except 2T), bicarb, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre and add the oil, egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and rind. Beat for 1 min until the mixture is smooth and lump-free. In another clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Add the reserved 2T of castor sugar, and beat until glossy stiff peak stage. Fold whites very gently into the batter mixture, using a metal spoon or spatula. Take care not to over-mix and deflate the batter. Gently pour the mixture into an ungreased 25cm diameter chiffon tube pan (loose-bottomed pan works best) - the mixture will fill the pan to about 3 cm from the top. Bake at 170°C (340°F), at the coast for 55 mins until top of the cake is firm and a tester comes out clean. On the Highveld, adjust oven to 180°C (360°F). If the pan has no legs invert it onto the neck of a soda or wine bottle. Leave cake to cool hanging upside down, otherwise it will collapse. Loosen sides carefully and remove cake.  Finish with a dusting of icing sugar (and cinnamon). Serve with a bowl of whipped cinnamon-flavoured cream on the side. TIPS: If you don’t have a large chiffon pan, leave out 3 egg whites in the batter. Wipe down the bowl that you are about to whip the egg whites in with a lemon wedge. Always use the freshest eggs for whipping at room temperature.