Monday, 23 April 2012

Orange Cake

I was asked to bring something sweet along to a dinner party with some of our closest friends. They were doing the main course and I was bringing dessert. I didn't  know that they had planned a Moroccan themed meal - lovely warm spiced lamb and vegetables, scented chicken and couscous. This orange cake had all the right flavours to compliment the meal. I love a bit of Serendipity.

Orange Cake
from Janelle Bloom's My Favourite Food for all Seasons

For the Cake:
zest of 3 washed navel oranges
400g peeled and quartered navel oranges (You can use the oranges you zested. Just bung them, cut up, into the processor - no need to peel.)
185g butter, softened 
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
21/4 cups self-raising flour

whipped cream for one of the layers
orange zest

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan forced. Lightly grease a 22cm (base) round or springform pan then line the base with baking paper.

Place the orange flesh into the processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the butter, caster sugar and vanilla, pulse until combined (don’t worry if mixture looks curdled). Add the eggs, pulse to combine then add the flour and pulse until all the flour is distributed (don't over-process once the flour goes in or the cake will be tough).

Spoon the mixture into the cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in the cake pan for 10 minutes before removing the it from the pan and turning onto a wire rack. Turn upright.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
250g cream cheese, softened
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups of sifted icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until it is smooth.  Add the butter and beat again.  Then add the icing sugar, vanilla and orange juice and whip it until the sugar has dissolved and you have a creamy, spreadable frosting.

To assemble:
Cut the cake horizontally into three even layers. Place the bottom layer onto a serving platter or plate. Spread half of the frosting on top, distributing it evenly. Place the middle layer on top of the frosted layer, then spread the whipped cream onto it. Finally, place the top layer on top and spread the remaining frosting evenly over it. Decorate as you like. I used some pretty icing flowers and orange zest.