It’s not often that a couple of weeks pass by in my home without dessert after dinner, unless one counts store-bought ice cream or instant custard as dessert. My spring allergies along with various commitments during the past couple of weeks meant that I just managed to somehow fix dinner every night. Every time my dessert-loving husband opened the refrigerator door after dinner I felt a pang of guilt. To top it up, I messed up dinner yesterday when a new recipe didn’t turn out as expected. I immediately took out some eggs and cut up cubes of butter , hoping to compensate for the less than average dinner menu with a quick cake. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be as my daughters wanted me to act as referee for their fights for the entire evening and I ended up serving yet another scoop of ice cream after dinner.However, I didn’t give up and after putting them to bed I turned on my oven. I took my lemon cake recipe and replaced the lemon juice with orange juice. I realized that I didn’t have fresh oranges for the zest but didn’t let that deter me. It was 1 am by the time my cake was cool enough to be covered and I could go to bed with a sense of satisfaction.
I somehow like my midnight baking adventures when the whole house is quiet and I can concentrate without the kids’ demanding to ‘help’ me bake or getting distracted by other chores.
Ideally, the cake should be glazed while still warm but since I couldn’t stay up all night I did it this morning . I made a very light glaze which was almost invisible but made the cake even more moist and enhanced the mild citrus flavor. Needless to say, there are hardly any leftovers by the end of the day.
Glazed Orange Cake
Ingredients: For 1 9 inch round cake
Unsalted Butter, room temperature – 1 cup (230 grams)
Granulated White Sugar – 1 cup ( 200 grams)
Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
Large Eggs, room temperature – 4
Zest from half an orange ( to enhance the citrus flavor)
All purpose flour – 2 cups (260 grams)
Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
Orange juice – 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Mandarin Orange Segments – for garnish (optional)
For the Glaze:
Icing/Confectioner’s Sugar – 1 cup
Orange juice – 2 -4 tablespoons
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F /180 degrees C.
2) Lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
3) Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and orange zest (if using).
4) Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
5) Beat in the vanilla extract.
6) Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
7) Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the orange juice (in two additions) just until you get a smooth batter. This means like in all other cakes, begin and end with the flour. I prefer to use a spatula for mixing the flour and liquid rather than a beater to avoid the risk of over mixing
8) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9) Place the pan on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes . Loosen the edges and invert cake. Re invert the cake so that the cake cools right side up on the wire rack.
For the glaze:
1) Sift the icing sugar .
2) Gradually add the orange juice and mix well with a wire whisk to get the consistency that you desire.
3) Place a plate under the wire rack on which the cake is cooling to catch any glaze that drips down.
4) While cake is still warm, pour glaze over the cake. Spread it with a spatula on the top and let it drip down the sides. The plate beneath will catch any extra glaze.
5) Let the glaze dry before covering and storing in a covered cake box. Garnish with mandarin orange segments, if desired.
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