Sift the cake flour. Heat milk until warm to touch. Preheat the oven to 170℃.
Separate the egg yolks and egg whites, and keep the egg whites in the fridge. Add the granulated sugar to the egg yolks, beat with a whisk until it becomes whitish.
Add the vegetable oil to Step 2 little by little while mixing well. Add the milk and vanilla essence (or vanilla beans) and mix well.
Add the sifted cake flour to Step 3, mix well with the whisk.
Add a small amount of salt to the egg whites. Add granulated sugar in small batches and whip. When it starts to be foamy, add the remaining granulated sugar.
Make a fine and glossy meringue. Stop when the egg whites form peaks with tips that curl over when the whisk is lifted. Blend in low speed.
Stir in 1 spoonful of meringue into the egg yolk batter with the whisk and blend.
The meringue will dry up quickly, so keep blending with the whisk.
Add half of the remaining meringue into the batter from step 7. Fold in gently with a rubber spatula.
Add rest of the meringue into the mixture from Step 9 , then fold it in gently from the bottom until the egg yolk batter and egg whites are completely blended.
Pour the batter from Step 10 slowly and at a constant rate into the cake tin from a height of 10 cm. Stop when it's about 80% filled.
Stir about 3 times with a chopstick. Hold the sides with both hands and shake. Stick the batter to the edge of the cake tin.
Bake for 20 minutes at 170℃. Then lower to 160℃ and bake for 15~20 minutes. Check with a bamboo skewer, and if it comes out clean, it's done.
Turn over the cake tin immediately and let cool on a bottle. When it's slightly cooled, cover with a plastic bag to avoid drying up. Remove from the cake tin when it's completely cooled.
Story Behind this Recipe
I went through a few cookbooks on chiffon cakes as well as various recipes, and I came up with this for a moist, fluffy and foolproof chiffon cake.
The perfect meringue is glossy, fine and soft. You can make other variations with this recipe using different liquid or dry ingredients. I use 40 g of granulated sugar for egg whites to make a constant meringue every time.