Thursday, November 10, 2011

Orange Vanilla "Creamsicle" Cake

I own a lot of cookbooks. And they usually fall into one of two categories: those whose spines don't have a single crease and have hardly ever been touched, and then those that are falling apart at the seams, pages covered in grease and goop, tried-and-true recipes bookmarked and referenced over and over again....

This recipe was inspired by a cake from one of the latter, Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From my Home to Yours". This book is special. It's not intimidating, pretentious, or complicated. The recipes are simple and delicious. Nothing is overly fancy or overdone, just good, solid recipes.

I made this cake for J's birthday this year. For something so simple, it ended up being incredibly delicious. I used fresh orange zest and vanilla from a fresh vanilla bean, which is why the flavor was reminiscent of a creamsicle. A classy creamsicle! With a farmer's market berry sauce and homemade boozy whipped cream :) For a 30th birthday, I suppose I could have made something a little bit fancier, but honestly the flavors in this cake truly spoke for themselves.

Orange Vanilla "Creamsicle" Cake

Enough for 2 cakes

2 2/3 cups flour
2 1/3 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out and reserved
Zest of one large orange
6 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tbsps fresh squeezed orange juice
15 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour 2 loaf pans.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
Put the sugar and the vanilla bean pulp in a large bowl. Use your fingers to massage the vanilla all through the sugar.
Whisk the eggs into the sugar. Whisk in the cream followed by the orange juice.
Using a spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions.
Fold in the melted and cooled butter in 2 or 3 additions.
Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing the top.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
After 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color. Cover lightly with foil tents if they are browning too quickly.

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes

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