Friday, March 9, 2012
Blood Orange Cake with Honey Whipped Cream
Or "how Samantha makes things much more difficult than they need to be."
About a month ago Audra at the Baker Chick posted a wonderful blood orange yogurt cake. It sounded simply amazing and ridiculously easy to whip together. The simplicity of the recipe was built around the 6 oz container of yogurt. All of the other ingredients were measured using this container. Easy peasy. No need for measuring utensils. Just a 3:2:1 ratio. Oh...and self rising flour.
I use yogurt a lot. I have long ago given into purchasing the large tubs of plain yogurt instead of individual serving sizes. So no 6 oz container to conveniently measure out my other ingredients. To make matters more complicated, yogurt isn't sold by volume...it's sold by weight. How to figure the volume of the other ingredients?
Ugh. This is where the obsessive compulsive fabric dyer in me took over. On a daily basis I convert units of measure and compare ratios to ensure the fabric I dye is consistent from one batch to the next. Math. Math everywhere. This ratio of weight to volume was right up my alley...frustrating as it was.
After poking around I found that a cup of yogurt weighs roughly 8.6 oz...so 6 oz by weight of yogurt would be about 0.69 cups by volume. (WHY do we use oz for weight and volume...things needn't be this complicated). Multiplied by the units conveniently listed in Audra's recipe and voila...the measures listed below...within a few teaspoons...
Okay...I'll stop with the math. Seriously...buy a 6oz container of yogurt...it will make the process so much easier!
Second problem...I don't have self rising flour. Thankfully that's an easy enough fix. Self rising flour is just boring old flour with salt and baking powder already mixed in..roughly 1 1/4- 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt per cup of flour.
Now...I finally had a recipe. And a bit of a headache from making things harder than they need to be. This cake is certainly worth it. And please do visit Audra's site to see the much less migraine-inducing method of measuring.
adapted from Sylvia Bors recipe via Audra at TheBakerChick
yields one 9-inch singe layer cake
for the cake
6 oz yogurt (or 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp)
2 blood oranges, both juiced, one zested
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp safflower oil or vegetable oil
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
for the frosting:
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat the oven to 350
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, orange juice, and oil. Beat the eggs in one at a time until incorporated. In a separate bowl sift together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture, one third at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Lightly oil a 9" cake pan and line with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 and bake an additional 10-20 minutes, depending on the oven.
Remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely.
While the cake cools, in a chilled bowl whisk the honey into the whipped cream. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Spread onto the cooled cake.
After the headache of math and measuring I was almost immediately rewarded with the most amazing smells...lightly citrus and wonderfully cakey...
But my oven is finicky. The center of the cake did not seem to want to set. At the end of the full 20 minutes after dropping the temperature to 325 the toothpick finally came out clean...and the edges a little browner than I'd like. I may have to bake the cake at 325 for the duration next time...or split the batter between two pans...
My cake mounded a lot in the center. I suspect this may have to do with using fresher baking powder and all purpose flour in lieu of self rising flour whose leavening has been sitting for god knows how long. The height didn't bother me in the slightest. I may have obsessed a bit about the math, but not having a level cake. Meh.
The flavors are so simple and clean. And not overly sweet. The whipped frosting was the perfect topping, creamy and ever so slightly sweet, without weighing down the cake or overpowering the citrus with cloying sweetness. I'd love to try the cake again. Perhaps with lemon. And almond extract. Or if I get really ambitious...layers...
I confess...I had some for breakfast. Judging from the bit of frosting missing this morning I take it the cat did too...
It is that good.