Archive for the ‘Cake’ Category

Honey Frosting

There are some things that you eat…

and the table goes silent.

There’s nothing really to say.

It’s just that good.

oranges Batter

This cake? Yes, its one of those things.

Saveur did an article all about olive oil in edition # 129. The writer, Nancy Jenkins, takes you on a tale around the world and shares the role that olive oil has in its place.

I know that olive oil is healthier for you than most oils, but there are two things I didnt know about cooking with it.

Fun fact: Studies show that people who consume two table-spoons of olive oil daily lower their risk of heart disease

1) Chefs and home cooks in the Mediterranean wouldnt dream of sautéing, braising, or even deep frying in anything else. In a place where we have 20 different kinds of oils that are all separately supposedly better for finishing off dishes, or sautéing, or deep frying – it’s interesting to learn that extensive regions dont use anything but olive oil. I wonder how they deal with the smoking point? My poor kitchen cant handle cooking with olive oil.

Fun fact: Spain is the worlds largest olive oil producer, with about 200 million gallons per year

2) You can make a fantastic cake with it!

After the success of this, I’m going to be on the lookout for more cake recipes with olive oil. I’m all about butter (yes, I have to admit I love Paula Deen) in my food, but I absolutely love this for a nice after dinner dessert. It’s not too sweet, has a slight olive oil favor that marinates the fresh orange. And the honey and sea salt finish… it’s the bright red bow that ties flavor and presentation together.

I honestly think this is the best cake I’ve ever made.

Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake
inspired by Saveur via The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark.

2 oranges
1 1/3 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c honey
sea salt, for garnish

1. Trim about 1/2″ off the top and bottom of the oranges; cut into quarters.
2. Bring 6 – 8 cups of water to a boil and add oranges; bring back to a boil, then drain. Repeat 2 more times.
3. Put oranges, 1 cup of sugar, and 4 cups of water into the pot. Allow simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the rind is easily pierced with a fork – approximately 30-40 minutes.
4. Remove oranges from pan and allow to cool. Set aside.

5. Heat oven to 350*. Lightly oil a 9″ pan and line pan bottom with parchment paper.
6. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
7. Once the oranges are cooled, remove them from the syrup and puree in a blender or with a stick blender.
8. Add remaining sugar, flour mixture, vanilla, and eggs to the orange puree. Process until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
9. Add olive oil and process until combined.
10. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to slightly cool.
11. Once the cake is slightly cooled, pour honey onto the top center of the cake. Spread honey to edges and allow to drip down. Set aside.
12. After the cake is completely cooled, sprinkle sea salt over the top of the cake.

slice and serve.

Cake Gone


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Persian Spice Cake

Saffron Vanilla Frosting
I’d been waiting for an excuse to make a cake – a birthday, an anniversary, a holiday… something – and nothing soon was coming up. But why does anyone really need an excuse to make a cake? Cake is good all the time. So for no reason at all I made a cake last night to bring into my office. I called it a Happy May Day cake (a day early).

Now, does anyone else get tired of eating chocolate and vanilla cakes over and over? I mean, dont get me wrong, I love them both. I love chocolate cakes with coffee or chocolate stout (recipe for that one to be made and posted soon) or vanilla cakes that use real vanilla beans. Great fruit fillings can also turn an ordinary cake to something brilliant (I want to make a fig filling when they come back in season). But sometimes you just want something different. Something you wouldn’t know where to buy, but if you saw it on a menu you’d say to yourself (or out loud), “ah ha! that sounds fantastic. I’m ordering one of those!” Well… this is one of those cakes.

The ingredients are based on flavors found in Persian, Turkish, and Indian foods. I succeeded in finding 2 out of the 3 ingredients that I didnt have at home: ground cardamom and saffron threads (apparently the most expensive seasoning in the world, or so the bottle told me). I searched through four different stores to look for rose water/oil/essence with no luck – Boston/Holly fail. So I decided to make my own by using organic flowers from Whole Foods and letting the petals steep in boiling water. I’m not sure that the end result was what I would find in a store bought bottle (it wasnt especially strong), but it worked well enough with the light flavor. And honestly, I’m guessing it would be great completely without it.

The texture is light like angel food or chiffon cake. The cardamom is just enough to balance the lemon zest without overpowering the experience. The saffron adds a twist while visually providing the whipped cream with a beautiful yellow color and vibrant red streaks. If you’re feeling like something new for Mother’s Day or an upcoming celebration – you might consider this. I know I’ll make this again (and again).

Persian Spice Cake
adapted from Bon Appétit

1 c cake flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (I like sea salt)
5 large eggs, separated (3 egg yolks, 5 egg whites)
1/4 c water
1 tsp rose water (optional)
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 tsp ground cardamom

2 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
Small pinch of saffron threads
1 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Very slightly oil two 9″ cake pans and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 c sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl wisk 3 yolks, waters, vegetable oil, cardamom and lemon zest. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.
3. Beat 5 egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 c sugar and beat until whites form solid peaks.
4. Slowly add the egg whites to the batter and mix well.
5. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake until cakes are golden, about 20-25 minutes.
6. Invert pans and cool upside down on rack for 25 minutes ( It doesn’t rise much so dont worry if it deflates a little).

To make the frosting:
1. Combine 1/2 cup cream and saffron in small saucepan and bring to a slight boil. Remove from heat and chill until cold.
2. Beat remaining 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form. Add saffron cream and continue to beat until solid peaks form.

Frost one layer flat-side up. Place second layer on top, also flat side up. Spread remaining frosting over entire cake and allow to chill for at least 1 hour.

Cake + Rose

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