Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Orange Cake

This winter I came to a realization - I'm not the hugest fan of oranges. I love orange juice and the taste of oranges, but honestly if I want a citrus fruit to eat - clementines are my one true love. This realization came about AFTER I got a whole bunch of oranges. I hate to just let them sit around going bad... so the first thing I tried was making home-made orange juice. I decided this is NOT worth the effort as I don't have a citrus pressy thing and did it all by hand. EESH. Seriously. Way too much work for me.
I had seen a cake made from clementines where they were boiled so I thought that I could do the same thing with oranges... and tell you what - it turned out GREAT! I could only find a few recipes that actually used oranges, and didn't like any of them (most called for Olive Oil and that wasn't the flavor profile I was looking for). So I made up my own. It worked wonderfully, and can I tell you how satisfying it is to have an experiment with cake (at least for me) turn out great the first time!?! I was elated.  So I have to share it with you ;).

Orange Cake
First you'll need 4 oranges. Tops and bottoms cut off.
Then you'll quarter them, you can even cut them into eights if you prefer...
Bring them to a boil in 5 cups water. Boil for 45 minutes.
Next, add sugar. 3-4 cups of it. I used 4, but it would still taste great with less.
Bring back to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook until you can easily prick a fork into the orange peel.
See that seed, well - you don't want it! so remove all seeds from the water AND from the oranges.
 These were the seeds from the water... there were plenty that were in the oranges but I didn't photo them!
Remove oranges from pan and place in blender with some of the water (if you have a smaller blender you'll need to do this in batches.)
The leftover water I strained to remove the really small seeds as well. It also strained out a bit of the orange stuff, but I promise it did not hurt the flavor!
Blend the oranges until pureed. (Oh and I apologize about these pictures, I made it on a cloudy day so the coloring is off and I couldn't make it quite right...)
Dump the pureed oranges into a bowl,
add the leftover sugary, orangy water as well.

Then mix and let cool to room temperature (or a tad bit above it... slightly warm won't hurt it - at least it didn't mine!) I refrigerated mine to help it cool off. It does take quite a while so this isn't a recipe to make if you want a cake in an hour!
Once the orange mixture has cooled,
add 4 eggs (I most always break my eggs into a separate container so I know if any pesky egg shell decided to join the eggs - and it's tons easier to remove it!),
 and beat until combined.
 You'll also need 3/4 cup melted butter. Add it and mix until combined.
 You'll also need 4-5 cups flour, 4 tsp baking powder (I used a Tbsp and a tsp which is the same amount ;)
 and 2 tsp baking powder.
 Mix the flour and baking powder & baking soda together.
 Pour the flour into the cake mixture - I added it in about 3 batches, making sure to scrape the bowl in between (the flour wasn't all mixed in each time I scraped the bowl.)
 Mix until flour is fully incorporated.
 Look at how orangy! Yum!
 Pour Batter into baking pans.
I used 2 8-inch pans and a bunt pan for the leftover batter. If you have two - 10-inch pans all the batter will fit in them.
Let bake for 35-40 minutes for 8-inch pans, and 35-45 minutes for the bundt pan.
Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean (I couldn't find my toothpicks and used a knife to check it, hence the hole...)
Let cool, then frost as desired.
Here's what I did: I used a simple cream cheese frosting with orange zest for the filling of the layer cake.
using a knife to make sure it was pretty even... although truth be told I'm not super great at layer cakes!
Then I covered it in a dark chocolate ganache frosting.
The bundt cake I made the cream cheese frosting a little more runny and topped it, then used the ganache frosting as the zebra stripe pattern.
I personally liked having more cream cheese frosting on the cake,
but the ganache frosting was also great - however I would use one that wasn't such a dark chocolate ganache next time.
How to make the ganache frosting coming up next week!

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