Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Orange Cake with Caramelized Citrus Sauce

Clementine and oranges are in season during the holiday. The Japanese always eat these citrus fruits during their New Year celebration. The smell of orange and cinnamon makes me feel warm and cozy. We bought a whole bunch of organic orange the other day. I wanted to bake a cake and am too lazy to go outside at minus 2 degree. I love baking with fruits, vegetables and herbs. So it was one of those days when I gather ingredients around my pantry and fruits bowl. I starred at the oranges for some idea. Pound cake I thought at first… well that requires too many eggs – so no! How about make something similar that uses less egg. A classic cake recipe with citrus flavor with something adds to it to rid off the dullness of just plain cake. I found slices of dried Blood Orange in my pantry – I use them for cooking Daube, sauces or making Mulled wine. My tasted buds started to work – sweet buttery cake with sticky tangy chewy topping! It sent signal to my brain and I came up with a recipe below. My genie pig husband loves the cake – he thinks it was the best I baked in a long time. Is that a complement with a hint to improve my baking !?! The plus point of making cake is natural room fragrance - the whole apartment smelled after fresh baked cake and fresh citrus (I used Lemon and Orange zest). If you cannot find dried orange slice, substitute it with thinly sliced of fresh orange. I want to share this recipe with you and please feel free to share your thought or your variations.

Orange Cake with Caramelized Citrus Sauce - make 8 slices

185g (3/4 cup) Butter, softened
190g (3/4 cup + 5 teaspoons) Raw Sugar
A small pinch teaspoon of Sea Salt
3 large Eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated zest  of Organic Lemon and/or Orange
185g (1 1/4 cups) Self-Raising flour can be subsituted - for each cup of all-purpose flour, add 11/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon ofsalt
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) fresh squeezed Citrus Juice from Orange and/or Lemon
Caramelized Citrus sauce
4 slices of dried Orange or Blood Orange - you can purchase it in gourmet food shop
150g (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) Raw sugar
2 Tables spoon Lemon juice
1 1/2Tablespoon of grated zest of Organic Orange and Lemon
Very tiny pinch of sea salt to smooth the tangy tart flavor
Instruction- Cake:
1.       Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 degrees Celsius fan-forced).
2.       Grease the side and base of a 20cm diameter round cake pan.
3.       Add Butter to mixing bowl and slowly add Sugar about 1/4 cup at a time. Use electric mixer or electric hand-held beaters and beat Butter and Sugar until very pale and creamy. This could take up to 10-15 minutes
4.       Add the Eggs one at a time, beating for a few minutes after each addition. Do not rush the addition of the eggs otherwise the mixture will be more likely to separate and develop a curdled appearance. Add the Zest with the last Egg
5.       Add half the flour and stir until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour
6.       Mix in juice
7.       Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan and spread evenly
8.       Bake for about 50-55 minutes- it can be longer depend upon your oven, or until a thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed in the centre
9.       Let cool
Instruction- Caramelized Citrus Sauce
1.       Add sugar, Lemon juice and dried Orange slices in a small sauce pan and cook over low – keep stirring over the heat for about 5 minutes– do not let the sauce boil just bubble
2.       Add zest of Orange and Lemon and Salt to sauce and cook for another 3 minutes. Make sure the sauce is not too thick or too thin. It should have the same thickness as honey - If it too thick adds little water and when it is too thin boil it down.
The sauce should have sweet and sour citrus flavor. Let sauce cools down to warm temperature

Finishing the cake – put cake on a cake plate and pour the warm sauce over the cake and decorate the top caramelized dried orange slices. Scrape the extra syrup upward toward the cake to make sure all the side of the cake is evenly covered with sauce. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

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