Monday, July 25, 2016

Blood Orange Cake

The first recipe that I tested from Rachael Ray's latest book, Everyone Is Italian On Sunday, ended up being a cake instead of a pasta dish as I originally planned. The list of pasta recipes that I intend to try are approximately a mile long, but since I love to bake, cake won out.

Here is the Blood Orange Cake in all of its fresh out of the oven glory.

 Rachael’s recipe as written in the book calls for the zest and juice of 2 large blood oranges (Seville or navel oranges mentioned as substitutes).  Blood oranges are not easy to find in my area, but I wanted to try and stay true to the blood orange flavor, so I opted to use dehydrated blood orange peel in place of freshly grated zest.  I then used the juice of 2 large fresh squeezed navel oranges.  (If you're using dehydrated peel and don't want to use fresh squeezed juice, (or don't have oranges handy,) you can simply use 1c of orange juice.)

You can really smell the orange while baking and it made my kitchen smell delicious! It is not an overtly sweet cake, so definitely serve it with some sweetened whipped cream. This is a great “mid-day with a cup of coffee or tea” light dessert or snack.

Blood Orange Cake 
4 large eggs, separated                                          
2T blood orange peel                                            
2c flour                                                                 
1/4c sliced almonds, finely ground                       
2T baking powder                                                 
1/4t salt
1stick unsalted butter, softened
1c sugar
2T blood orange peel (or zest of 2 oranges)
Juice of 2 large oranges (approx. 1 cup)
1/4c milk

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9” round cake pan.

If using dehydrated orange peel, rehydrate by adding 6T of water and setting aside.

With an electric or stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, with an electric or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the orange zest and juice.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and mix on low until combined.  Fold in the egg whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack.

(Recipe adapted from Everyone Is Italian On Sunday)

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