Thursday, January 28, 2010

Back to Regularly Scheduled Programming with A Gâteau à l'Orange

It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here these last few days. I feel like I'm doing eight things at once all online. It's a good feeling even though I don't think I have enough of a sleep reserve for it; this manifests itself in the fact that usually the more things I have to do, the more efficient I become, and right now I'm not being as efficient as I could be.
I want to thank everyone who's contributed to the Haiti Relief Effort so far both on this blog and through the Twitter campaign. Every comment helps more than you can imagine so thank you to everyone who left at least one comment here to help us out. So far, nearly $14K have been raised here and almost $5K on Twitter so I'm very pleased. Remember that every comment you leave until January 31st counts toward the total.
Gâteau à l'Orange
And for those of you who have been patient enough to wait for me to get back to the more regular pursuits of this blog, here's a cake for you. This cake has been blogged about elsewhere already as a result of my disseminating the recipe I'd found, but if you've seen this cake on another blog, probably Deeba's, you can see that my version of it is Cinderella at her stepmother's house, and her version is Cinderella at the ball. Either way, it's delicious and if you love citrus a fraction as much as I do, you should definitely try it.

It's winter and with winter comes revelry (and its remains), snow (sometimes), and above all citrus.
Let me be perfectly clear about this: I'm ethnically Iranian folks, and if any of you know any Persian people, you know we love our citrus. As I said to Deeba and she quoted me back on her blog: We're a bit obsessive and weird about our citrus fruit. We hoard it, display it, eat it, drink it, preserve it, dry it, cook it, and I'm sure we'd bake it too if there were a tradition like that of Western baking in Iran, heck we'd probably wear oranges and lemons if we could find a way to. When my father was a three year-old boy in Tehran, he would sneak into the pantry to drink the freshly squeezed and bottled lemon juice. Did you catch the part about his being three years old?
gateau a l'orange & snow
Nowadays, he will eat a whole 2Kg (4lb) bag of oranges at one sitting while reading the newspaper or working at his computer. And while my obsession at the age of seven lay with sipping red wine vinegar I'd have snuck in a cup back to my bedroom rather than lemon juice, I think you get the point that my family and tart and acidic foods, citrus being a prime group of these, are a tight-knit bunch. So the first time I had an orange cake that really tasted like it had orange in it, albeit not that much, but more than an orange pound cake, I became obsessed with finding a truly orange-tasting recipe.

You'd be surprised at how few there are. In fact, I don't really know of any other orange cake recipes that are so rich with real orange flavor. It took a lot of traipsing across the internet to find this recipe and, of all places, I found it on a Swiss site about Haiti. Ah now you see it, how I should have posted this recipe earlier, but somehow posting it now makes everything come full circle since I've been using this space to raise funds for Haiti instead.
sub with clementines
The difference is in all the orange juice that goes into this cake. 4 oranges' worth, and how half of that goes in right after the cake is baked, rather than pouring some sort of glaze over it. As I said to Deeba, this cake is like a very light cheesecake in its consistency; the egg whites don't give it volume, they just prevent it from becoming a flat puck.

You could always try to make it with clementines instead of oranges or whatever other kind of citrus you want to try. I've been meaning to make a lemon version of this cake, but what I really want to try is a yuzu version. Alas, where is one to find fresh yuzu anywhere in Europe? Perhaps one of you wants to send me yuzu for my citrus gateau experiments, until then I guess I'll just have to be patient...
I want to take this opportunity to wish my dear friend Jamie a very happy birthday. If you don't know her blog, it's Life's a Feast and she is a brilliant writer, so run over there, don't walk, and wish her a happy birthday while you're at it.
Reading in the park

Gâteau à l'Orange
translated and adapted from here
Serves 8

4 oranges
100g (1/2 cup - 2 tsp) of softened butter
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
150g (1 1/4 cup) flour
3 eggs
1 packet (1 1/2 tsp) of baking powder (= 7 or 11g depending on which label so ~8 is usually enough)
1 Tbsp Rhum
1 Tbsp Cointreau
1 pinch of salt
10g (2 tsp) of butter (to grease the pan)

Preparation: 1h30

For the cake:
- Heat the oven to 170C (325F).
- Grease a cake pan (I used an 8" springform which I greased and then covered with baking parchment, the butter makes it adhere and it's easier to remove the cake when it's done)
- In a bowl, beat the sugar and softened butter together.
- Separate the whites from the yolks and set the whites aside for now. Add the yolks one by one to the butter and sugar mixture, taking care to mix each one thoroughly before adding the next one and beat until you obtain a smooth batter.
- Add the Rhum and the Cointreau and mix again.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together and add it to the batter by "raining it in". Mix well.
- Zest 1 orange to obtain a tsp of orange zest (I actually get a lot more out of one orange and use it all in the batter). Cut in half and juice the oranges. Pour half of the resulting juice in the batter, add the zest and mix.
- Beat the whites until firm with the pinch of salt. Add them delicately to the batter.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for an hour, checking the coloration from time to time. It will be dark orange when done.
- Pour the other half of the juice into the cake while it's still warm. Take care not to pour it too fast and not to let the cake cool too much before you do so. You may find, as I did on my first attempt, that if you don't get the timing right, your whole cake will not have juice in it (as in it may have two different textures and have a visible line halfway down where the juice stopped penetrating).

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42 comments:

sunita said...

Orange is a very popular fruit in our household too. I very rarely cook/bake with them though.Lovely cake,Hilda, and I like the idea of the orange juice being poured over the cake.

Jamie said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful birthday wishes and the compliment that means so much to me! My greatest gift this year is friends like you!

And I made this cake and can guarantee that it is out of this world and so addictive (luckily it is light as air). Husband couldn't get enough of it!

Sudeshna said...

Hilda,
First time in here, thanks to Meeta's tweet :). Loved the idea of citrus fruit in cakes.

Alelunetta said...

I'm sure is delicious! I adore oranges, maybe because I was born in Sicily known for its tasty citrus fruits! And love your beautiful photos.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Whenever I see orange cake recipes, it always reminds me of my mom's orange butter cake and the smell of it. Yours looks like hers. I love it but my hub n daughter aren't a big fan of orange flavoured cake. *sigh*

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle said...

I've seen this on Deeba's post; love Jamie and her writing; and as much as I want to say how much I think I would love this cake, mostly I'm struck by how blogs and Twitter have connected so many of us from far reaches. Amazing. Now off to wish Jamie a happy birthday. Thanks for letting me know!

ABowlOfMush said...

ooh I would love a slice of this right now with my tea!

Looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous!

Deeba PAB said...

I love your citrus loving family Hilda, and love your recipe to bits. LOL...Cinderella at the ball! You are sweet. Great orange/citrus family memories, and can see you sneaking that cup of red wine vinegar to your room ACK...let's see what papoose chooses...something with more 'puck' perhaps! Would love to send you some tangerines from here. You have changed my life so!! {HUGS}
Strange about the recipe from Haiti. I felt that connect too.Yes, life does come full circle. Happy to see the figures you raised. YAY!!

Teanna DiMicco said...

Gorgeous cake! I have never had an orange cake, but I think I would love it!

shayma said...

Welcome back to 'regular programming', Hilda. and what a lovely way to start- with an orange-based recipe. very interesting to know about your love for red wine vinegar as a child. best wishes, shayma

Barbara Bakes said...

Perhaps I am part Persian because I love anything citrus too! I have yet to have an orange cake with a strong orange flavor. So I must try this cake. Although I need to find out what Rhum and Cointreau are. It looks delicious!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Looks like a wonderful cake and you are being too hard on yourself saying it's cinderella at the ball!

I recognise that fork!

Wanna B Thin 2 said...

I have to admit that the only 'orange' cake I've ever had was from a box mix. I'm sure yours is much better!

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf said...

wow, my face just puckered up from reading your post ! thanks for sharing this recipe, it sounds wonderful and truly packed with citrus flavor. hope to try it soon. beautiful photos, as always. and really.... 3 years old ?! :)

Mowie @ Mowielicious said...

Yay! Welcome back to the 'regular schedule' =) I remember this on Deeba's blog - very nice, sounds super moist and super citrusy... mmmmmMMMmmmm! Lucky Papoose!

Sari said...

I'm thinking if I've ever had an orange cake? I think this one would be a great candidate for my first orange cake. I like the part with the fresh juice poured over the baked cake. Now I will go and have one orange. Or two...? ;)

Rambling Tart said...

I love your last photo so much. Reminds me of my walk today - cold but beautiful and good for the soul.

Heather said...

Oh, my mouth is watering....sounds delicious!

Asha @ FSK said...

First of all Congratulations!! such a great effort for Haiti and it's going sooo strong!! :)) YAY!

and what a comeback!! I have to make this cake.. I remember I made some cupcakes with clementines long time but they weren't much of a hit.. gonna try this time for luck's sake! I love oranges after all :))

Feeding the Saints (A. C. Parker) said...

Love citrus, too. All kinds. My family is Greek on my mother's side, and so there have always been a LOT of lemons, and one cake I bake almost weekly has fresh orange juice in it (though it's nothing like this). Right now, I am baking a cake that has citrus tree grappa in it... but now I'm craving the gateau here as well. Will have to pace myself. Thanks for the brilliant return to "regular programming"! And kudos on the ongoing effort for Haiti. So glad it's still going strong.

Kitchen Butterfly said...

That spoon looks familiar.....Natural Kitchen by chance? Oh, I'm a sucker for citrus cakes and this looks ....great. Kiss to P and I am having a props giveaway...

gypsy-village said...

Hi Hilda! I'm the first time here and what a great idea to support Haiti like this, through making comments, so I will be back soon! Lovely photos and the cake looks delicious, i'm gonna try it too!

Karine said...

I love gateau a l'orange nd your version sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

WizzyTheStick said...

It's funny how our loyalties go with food. I already have a favourite orange cake and as I read you gush about this recipe I felt smug and secure in the fact that I that would not like it. Then I got to the ingredients Arrrgh! Now I feel a little bit like the character in the Dr. Seuss' classic 'Green eggs and Ham'....one look at the ingredients and I have to say, I do. I do so like Gateau à l'Orange!

Donnette Davis said...

#Haiti

I just love the way you write Hilda, we don't just get your delicious recipes, but we get a tongue-in-cheek account of WHY, WHO, WHAT and WHEN.. tickles me..

We also enjoy citrus here in S Africa, Lemon and Orange rind finds its way into a lot of confectionary, so I hear the passion :D) While I don't eat cake or confectionary as a rule, I have a SERIOUS weakness for carrot cake -the icing of which is loaded with citrus... YUM YUM!!

Thanks you for sharing your CInderella Recipe with us, sounds every bit as glamourously delicious as Deeba's!! :)

Aparna said...

Long time since I was here and then when I do it s to see this gorgeous cake. I don't really like lemon in my desserts (blame it on what I grew up with, we make pickles with them!) but I just love oranges in them.

Dharm said...

Yumm...lovely gateau! The pics are just great too...

Anonymous said...

oui.

Anonymous said...

Donation to haiti

Ted said...

103 comments, one on each of your blog posts for a total of $1,030 raised for Haiti.

Hilda said...

Thank you everyone for the lovely comments!

Jamie and Deeba: So glad you both liked it and especially that the fam liked it too!

Sarah and Oz: Yep, you've got my number on that fork... ;)

Kerrin: 3 years old! Of course when I tell people about my vinegar-sipping at the age of 7, they just think we're all weird. =)

French Cooking for Dummies said...

Great post! OMG, I love citrus and I'm totally drooling over your cake right now !

Natalie said...

Oh.. this sounds so good .. I'd love to have a piece of that cake .. :)
I'll save the recipe.. :)

Elra said...

Hi Hilda,
it's my first time here, and totally in love with this orange cake. I'll be definitely make it soon.

refrigerator soup said...

Oh, we adore both Jamie and Deeba! They're both not only great photographers but seem like genuinely nice people, too.

Sherry said...

Hi Hilda! Im part Persian and I love citrus as well....Maybe we're related!;-)
Im making plans to try this beautiful cake! Thanks for the recipe.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delightful cake! That moist interior is so tempting...

Cheers,

Rosa

Jeanne @ Cooksister! said...

Thrilled to hear how well the fundraising effort went - hope you can enjoy a fraction of rest now! I have also always loved oranges and citrus - so this cake is right up my alley. Mmmm!

Debi said...

This cake sounds great. I have a post on some other things to do with oranges if you have a lot right now. http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/?p=606

green apple sorbet said...

I love the sound of this. I just made something similar using oranges, lemons and ground almonds and it was divine. I will give your recipe a try!
Happy baking :)

heidi leon said...

Hilda darling, let me tell you that we Mexicans also have a deeply and madly love for all things citrus. We eat everything with lime juice. Everything.

I have childhood memories of me eating lime juice directly from the lime itself. Oh heaven! (I can't do that anymore.....gastritis anyone??).

Anyway, your cake just hit my citrus crave and I think I will bake it during this long weekend in China (CNY).

Plus, if Gateau a l'orange sounded already good; Gateau a l'orange with Rhum and Cointreau sounds awesome.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!(Happy Chinese New Year!)

Artemisia Gentileschi said...

I think you would really like this
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/orange-almond-cake

6 boiled oranges - very very orangey

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