April 24, 2011

orange cake

as bright as a warm sunny day ~ a perfect cake for spring

Farm stands are not a common sight where we are so I was happy to see one along the way. I knew I had to come back another day to see what they had to offer. Finally got the chance to check it out the other week and I was glad I did. Aside from some great looking citrus, they also sell cantaloupe, some small mango variety and a few vegetables. I decided to buy a bag of oranges and a cantaloupe. The oranges were extra sweet and juicy. The cantaloupe had very good texture and flavor too. After we ate a few of the oranges, I still had some left so when I saw a recipe for this orange cake, I thought it was a perfect idea to try.

orange slices and zest were as garnish on top of the cake
The recipe was from a Williams-Sonoma Savoring Desserts cookbook. Aside from the beautiful pictures of the desserts, it also featured the international locations where the desserts originated.

This orange cake was featured in the Spain and Portugal section of the cookbook. I decided to cut back on the butter replacing half of it with olive oil to make the cake lighter. Orange zest and freshly squeezed juice from the sweet oranges were added to the cake batter. For extra flavor, fresh orange juice and powdered sugar were mixed for the glaze and poured on the warm cake. For the recipe...
ORANGE CAKE (adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Desserts Cookbook)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
grated zest of one orange
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (divided)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
orange sections for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8" round cake pan. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggwhites until soft peaks form. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set to high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Reduce the speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture, orange zest, and 1/4 cup of the orange juice. Fold in the eggwhites into the yolk mixture just until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40-50 minutes or unti done. Turn out onto a cake rack and allow to cool to lukewarm. Transfer to a serving plate. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and the powdered sugar. Pour evenly over the warm cake. Garnish with orange sections.

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