Monday, March 7, 2011

Oranges, Part II

Lest you think I'm really odd for posting a recipe for candied citrus peel in March (it's a Christmas treat, after all)... There was a reason. It looks like this:

finished, take 1

This particular recipe adventure didn't even start out with a desire to make candied citrus peel -- it started with the cake. You see, this cake has two entire oranges in it. Yes, the WHOLE orange, pith, peel and all. So naturally, I had to see if this really could be done.

And what is a cake without a little decoration? Enter the candied citrus peel.  Now if I could just figure out what to do with all of the naked oranges in my fridge...

The verdict: yes, you really can make a cake out of whole oranges. Despite numerous warnings from other websites that this cake only works if you boil your oranges for hours first, this cake wasn't bitter at all. In fact, it was delicious--rich and buttery, thanks to a few key ingredients:

Round thingsDSC_0099

Three eggs, three sticks of butter, two cups of sugar -- how could that not be good!?

Whole Orange Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache Glaze
from Alejandra Ramos of "Always Order Dessert"
2 whole oranges, scrubbed and washed well
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated white sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

DSC_0090batterfloured bundtready to bake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and flour a Bundt pan and set aside.
2. Quarter the oranges, remove any seeds if not using navel, and put in food processor to puree. Set aside.
3. While the oranges are pureeing, cream the butter and sugar together in the base of an electric mixer for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each is fully combined.  Add the orange puree and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients gently, just until fully combined.
5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan, spreading so that it is evenly distributed. Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes or until a tester inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting:

fresh out of the ovenready for frosting!

Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Ingredients (the original recipe called for twice this amount -- I used 3/4 of the original recipe, and had leftovers... I think this amount should be sufficient)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chocolate chips -- I highly recommend Ghiradelli's 60% Cacao chocolate chips

Put the chocolate chips in a small heat proof bowl. Heat the heavy cream over medium heat just until small bubbles begin to form. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, let sit for 30 seconds, and then and whisk gently until fully melted and combined. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slowly pour the ganache over the cake in a circular motion, allow it it slide drip down the sides. Try to refrain from spreading it around with a spatula, and work quickly. It may take a few tries to get a smooth ganache -- but don't worry, it'll taste so good no one will notice the imperfections!

Top with candied orange peels -- let the ganache set for 15 minutes, then press in the peels gently. Let the glazed cake set for at least an hour before serving. It will keep for 3-5 days under plastic wrap.

frosted, take 2
finished, take 2

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