Saturday, 9 April 2011

Spring Zest Appeal: Orange cake





April is my favorite month of the year. The weather is perfect, the days get longer, and colors look brighter. It’s time to shed your winter mode and embrace spring. Tell me a better way to celebrate Spring than to make this deliciously light and fragrant orange cake.

This cake is perfect for company, if you want to break free of the usual vanilla or chocolate, since I have rarely seen a person who dislikes oranges. Add a light topping of whipped cream, and you have the perfect spring desert.

The recipe is one I made up, using variations of my simple vanilla cake recipe. It is pretty simple and I recommend it for beginners. The most important part is beating the sugar and eggs enough, as this allows the cake to be light and airy rather than dense. Again, using oil here, rather than butter, reduces cholesterol and does not compromise taste or texture.


Ingredients:

- 2½ cup Flour
- ¾  cup Oil
- 1½ cup Sugar (If your oranges are bitter or not sweet, you may need to add ¼ cup)
- 4 Eggs (Make sure they are not very small, Medium to Large size preferred.)
- 1 cup Orange Juice freshly squeezed (about juice of 4 medium oranges)
- 2½ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp Orange zest



Preparation (Aprrox. 10 mins):

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

First you want to grate the oranges to collect the zest. Do this before you cut them open and squeeze out the juice. For 2 Tbsp, you will need to grate about 2 oranges. In a bowl, blend the eggs, sugar and vanilla very well, until smooth and airy. This is VERY important to ensure the cake is light and airy.  This will take about 2 mins on high speed with your egg beater. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, and baking powder). Slowly add in the dry ingredients, oil, orange zest, and orange juice to the egg mixture, alternating each, whisking gently while doing so. Do not over beat or use your electric beater for this part. When everything is incorporated, the batter is ready.

Pour the batter into a well greased round cake pan. 

Put in the oven for about 30-40 mins. Allow to cool before cutting or frosting.


Enjoy!


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