Do you ever get something into your head and simply cannot rest until you make it/do it?
I've been wanted to make a light, bright, fresh citrusy cake for some time now. I'm not even a particularly huge fan of citrus fruits, though I do recognize their need in my kitchen. But I was longing for an aromatic cake filled with zest and indicative of summer. It may or may not have been caused by watching Jersey Shore and longing for some of my own summery shore time. Without the spray tans and fake boobs.
So for my mother-in-law's birthday on Sunday, I finally went ahead and researched a good citrus cake. Of course, any time I get an idea in my head, I must consult with Ina. She's my girl for all recipes. I simply cannot make something without checking her recipe list first, if even to simply compare. And wouldn't you know, she has a recipe for lemon cake. My heart skipped a beat.
Instead of lemon though, I wanted to try something a bit less tart...orange, perhaps? I sent Shaun out grocery shopping on Saturday night and I didn't realize until I had started baking that he didn't pick up any old orange. I cut them open and found this.
After zesting and juicing, it felt like a party at Dexter's house.
But seriously, the blood oranges made this cake just a hint orangey, which was absolute perfection. And see that gorgeous pink glaze? It's 100% au naturale from the blood orange juice. Gorgeous, no?
Glazed Blood Orange Loaf Cake
*Adapted from Ina Garten
For the cake:
4 blood oranges, zested & juiced
2 lemons, zested & juiced
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange & lemon juice, divided
3/4 C buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 C confectioners' sugar
3 tbsp orange/lemon juice
milk (add for consistency)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Zest the fruit and set aside. You should get about 1/3 C of zest.
Now juice the fruit and set the juice aside. In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time and then mix in the orange & lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a glass measuring cup, combine 1/4 C of the fruit juice, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the sugar mixture, alternating a third at a time. Begin and end with the flour. Divide the batter between the 2 pans.
Cook for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and move to a wire rack, which I set over a tray to catch syrup drippings. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, mix 1/4 C of the fruit juice, 1/4 C water and 1/2 C sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Prick holes all over the top of the cakes and pour the syrup over them (here's where the tray comes in handy).
Let the cakes completely cool and make the glaze.
Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and fruit juice, adding a splash of milk until it's thin enough to pour, but not too runny. Move the cakes to plates and pour the glaze over the cakes, letting it get all down the sides. Pretty.
Slice up and enjoy!
So what do you think? Have you ever worked with blood oranges? Do you like fruity desserts? And most importantly, do you watch Jersey Shore?