Chill the egg white to be used for the meringue. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Sift the flour. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cream the cream cheese to soften. Add the granulated sugar and mix. Add the beaten egg yolk in 4 batches and mix it in each time.
Gradually pour in the milk and mix. Add the sifted flour and mix it in. Don't overmix.
Lightly stir in the poppy seeds.
Use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites. Add the lemon juice (or cream of tartar) and a little bit of fine granulated sugar. Whip on high speed for 4 minutes.
Add half of the remaining granulated sugar and whip for 1 minute. Add the rest of the sugar and whip for another minute. Make sure it doesn't become lifeless and flavorless.
Add 1/3 of the meringue to the bowl with the egg yolk and use a whisk to stir it in gently. Return the mixture to the meringue bowl and use a rubber spatula to stir it quickly about 40 times.
Pour into the cake pan and bake for 40 minutes at 180°C.
After it has baked, turn it upside down immediately and leave it like that to cool. Once cooled, use a chiffon knife to gently remove from the cake pan.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to make a fluffy chiffon cake using cream cheese, and it worked!
The air bubbles in the meringue will pop easily because of the cream cheese, so in order to prevent the meringue from becoming lifeless and flat, work quickly but efficiently. Removing the cake from the cake pan is difficult, so rather than using your hands, I recommend using a chiffon knife to gently take it out.