When I was growing up, I was spoiled by my grandmother who squeezed fresh orange juice for breakfast every single day. Pasteurized orange juice from a container or bottle paled by comparison.
I have always loved the flavor of orange, almost as much as lemon which is my top favorite, but never more so than when I started making recipes from Jamie Schler’s new book Orange Appeal. Her book, focusing on many ways both sweet and savory, inspired me to create this cake that is the most orangey cake in my repertoire.
Arriving at the precise amount of orange zest to orange oil was a delicate balance. Too much orange oil and it becomes almost petrol in flavor. For us, these amounts work perfectly. You can vary them according to your own tastebuds.
Serves: 12 to 14
Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C
Baking Time: 50 to 60 minutes
Equipment One 10 cup metal fluted tube pan, coated with baking spray with flour
Preheat the Oven
* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
* Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.
Set Up for Ingredients (Mise en Place)
* 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).
* With dish washing liquid, wash, rinse, and dry the oranges and zest them (see Notes).
Make the Batter
1) Into a 2 cup/500 ml glass measure with a spout, weigh or measure the egg yolks. Add 60 grams/1/4 cup of the sour cream, and vanilla, and whisk lightly until combined.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the flat beater, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
3) Add the butter and the remaining 122 grams of sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. The mixture will lighten in color and texture. Scrape down the sides.
4) Starting on low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in 2 parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients smoothly.
5) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface evenly.
Bake the Cake
6) Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Rotate the cake halfway around after the first 40 minutes of baking.
Shortly before the cake is finished baking, make the orange syrup.
Makes: 102 grams/6-1/2 tablespoons/96 ml
1) Reduce the orange juice by about 1/3 and stir in sugar until dissolved. Add the orange oil. Cover it and set it aside.
Apply the Syrup and Cool the Cake
2) As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke the cake all over with a wire cake tester, and brush it with about one-third (34 grams/2 tablespoons/30 ml) of the syrup. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate.
3) Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and cool completely.
Store Airtight: room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 5 days; frozen, 2 months.
* The zest incorporates most evenly into the batter if set on a piece of parchment and allowed to dry for several hours. It then can be frozen for several months.
* When Seville oranges are in season the juice gives a more intense orange flavor to the syrup so the orange oil can be omitted. Do not use the Seville orange zest as it is very bitter unless candied in marmalade. Blood orange zest, however is a great alternative.
* The best way to reduce the orange juice is to pour it into a 4 cup/1 liter glass measure with a spout that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Microwave it on high power, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent air bubbles, which would cause the juice to burst out of the container. This will take about 15 minutes. Alternatively you can reduce the orange juice on the cooktop, stirring constantly.
*You can replace the reduced orange juice with an equal amount of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed.
To see the posting on Orange Appeal Click on this link.