Monday, September 5, 2011

Blood Orange & Olive Oil Cake w/ Oranges in Syrup

The idea of starting my own business has been playing on my mind recently. I love to cook for my friends, family and work mates and I'm hoping that love can transcend to a slightly larger scale.

I guess the only i'm scared of is putting myself out there and the whole thing being a big fail. I mean, I don't really have any professional training and what if I can't pull it off. But what I do know is if I don't try, I won't know.

Anywhoo, back to the baking. I adore blood oranges and now that they are back in season I couldn’t wait to make something sweet with them.

I only discovered blood oranges last season and instantly became memorised by their jewel-like flesh. So last weekend I picked up a bag of them at my local markets and then hit up google and came across this deeeelish recipe.

This recipe uses olive oil instead of butter, which makes for a wonderful tender crumb. I'm actually starting to favor cake recipes made with oil as they do not go hard when refrigerated. Also, do take the time to make the accompanying syrup as it really compliments the cake and lifts the blood orange flavor.

Blood Orange & Olive Oil Cake
Rind and juice of 1 blood orange
1 cup (200 grams) caster sugar
Scant 1/2 cup (118 ml) buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (156 ml) olive oil - the original recipe uses extra virgin, but I used a light olive oil
1 3/4 cups (219 grams) plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from the orange and place in a small bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.

Combine the ¼ cup orange juice and buttermilk or yogurt in a small jug. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and olive oil.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Serve with honeyed and blood orange syrup, if desired.

Blood Oranges in Syrup
1 blood orange, cut into 2mm slices
1 cup (250ml) blood orange juice
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Combine ingredients in a saucepan or skillet; bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 20 - 30 minutes or until syrup thickens. Cool to room temperature.