This is a stunning, tender and moist chiffon cake. It slips out of the pan like magic. Wonderful.
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Grated zest from 3 large oranges
1 cup orange juice (from 2 to 3 oranges)
6 separated eggs, plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice + 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
Using the whisk attachment, in a bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until stiff and glossy peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup of the sugar. Set aside.
In a bowl lightly beat together the egg yolks, orange zest and vanilla. With the mixer still on low speed, gradually add the oil, beating until smooth and blended. Add the flour mixture alternatively with the orange juice and beat till blended.
Take some beaten egg whites and blend into flour mixture to lighten batter, then fold remaining whites into batter, gently and carefully, until no streaks remain. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan (it will fill it by more than three-fourths). Bake until the cake is well risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the apricot preserves, the orange juice and the lemon juice. Boil for 1 minute, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing the solids through the sieve. Stir the glaze to combine and let it stand just long enough so it thickens a little more but remains pourable.
Set the cake, still on the rack, over a flat plate. Spoon the glaze over the warm cake so it coats the top and flows over the sides. You can repeat the process by re-using the gaze that dripped off the cake.
(Adapted by Mara from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma)