Thursday, March 25, 2010

Orange Sour Cream Cake

I've been making a valiant effort to get rid of all the remaining dairy in my fridge and the oil in my pantry. And so I searched and researched all over the internet trying to find a recipe that used sour cream. Somewhere as I was clicking away I stumbled on an Orange Sour Cream cake recipe that not only used sour cream and oil but allowed me to make a dent in the container of oranges that sits in my room and stares at me, waiting to be used. For some reason, it seems that this year I've made orange cake more times than anything, in different variations. I made the ones you can search for on this site, this one and an orange chiffon cake that I never posted. I dont know what it is... Anyway, after making some adjustments to the written recipe, I set off to whip it up and it came together in no time at all. I baked it in my favorite 8 inch springform pan instead of a loaf because I just looove the way round tea cakes look. I didnt garnish or sprinkle this with anything, just served it plain just as it is. Let me tell you, sour cream is baking's best kept secret. Together with the oil, the moist level was beautifully high. And the zest speckled the crumb so nicely. And you know what else? For all of my experimenting, it was a success. Girls who arent even fans of orange liked it. That, my friends, is a success.

Orange Sour Cream Cake
my way

3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
zest of three oranges
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8 inch springform pan. Set aside.
Place the sour cream and sugar in a bowl.
Mix well.
Add the eggs, zest and vanilla, and beat until combined.
Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify the mixture.
Dump in all of the dry ingredients,
and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, around thirty minutes. Serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Orange Cornmeal Cake

It's eerily quiet around here. It's finally Pesach vacation and that means the girls are off in Poland and in America. O and E went up north with the rest of the girls and I'm in the dorms manning the fort. Today, I went out to see an Italian-Jewish art exhibit with one of the remaining girls and then to the shuk with her. It was really a lot of fun and it was great to get out and get some fresh air. I think tomorrow I'll head out to the soup kitchen and volunteer there. Anyway, since Pesach is all about not having chametz around, I decided to try hard to get rid of whatever I could before I leave. I have a whole kilo of cornmeal and I thought it might be worth it to make a dent in it. So I did. I made this Orange Cornmeal Cake from Martha's Everday Food. The bad news is, I only used about half cup cornmeal. The good news is that this cake was unexpectedly delicious. Why do I say unexpectedly? Because the last time I made the orange-cornmeal combination, the result was good but too salty. I thought it had to do with the combination itself because I had checked the salt content and was a bit apprehensive going into this. But I had oranges and cornmeal and I soldiered on. The cake is easy to put together as it uses oil and no margarine. The eggs and sugar are beaten while oil is drizzled in, creating a sort of emulsion. Then everything else is added, the batter is panned, topped with sugar and baked. Voila! You have orange cake. The orange is so wonderful here, words can't describe. It is moist and tender, although I wish the cornmeal played a slightly bigger role here. But no mind. This cake was perfection. Even the girls who were here to taste it thought so. I guess there is hope yet for sophisticating their palates.

Orange Cornmeal Cake
adapted from Everyday Food

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
zest of about two oranges

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a nine inch springform pan. Set aside.

Place the dry ingredients on a piece of parchment paper.
Whisk and set aside.
Place the orange juice and zest in a container. Whisk and set aside.
Place the eggs, sugar and oil in a bowl and blend throughly.
Drizzle the orange juice mixture, whisking the entire time.
Add the dry ingredients and mix to form a uniform batter.
Pour it into the prepared pan,
and sprinkle sugar evenly across the top.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the rim and allow to cool completely.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt

I had such a wonderfully relaxing day yesterday! While all the girls and the other madrichot went on a tiyul, I stayed home. I went out to pick up some books- it was a glorious day outside. I came back, cleaned, organized my room, did laundry, and baked this Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. In the afternoon, A came over to visit for a few hours. Such a good day! But back to the cake. I finally finished the bananas. Woo hoo! Anyway, I hadnt made a plain banana cake in a while so I figured, why not? One of my girls, J, has a been requesting banana chocolate chip something but she insists she never gets any when I do make the combo. So this cake was made especially for her. I used the recipe for banana cake from Dorie Greenspan's Baking book. The only change I made was to use the rest of the buttermilk sitting in my fridge instead of the sour cream or yogurt. I also added chocolate chips. The cake released beautifully from the pan, except for a few chocolate chips that decided to stick to the pan leaving little holes in the surface of the cake. The cake was deliciously moist and tender, almost to the point of falling apart. The banana flavor was surprisingly strong despite the few bananas I used, I guess because they were extremely overripe. I told J to take the plate of cake and it disappeared. All I heard about the cake from her was OMG, it was amazing. Here's to hoping I see the plate sometime soon.

Classic Banana Bundt Cake
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup buttermilk
Chocolate chip

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease a large bundt pan. Set aside.
Place the margarine and sugar in a large bowl.

Add the eggs and vanilla,
and beat until smooth.
Add the bananas and blend.
Add some of the dry ingredients,
and blend.
Then add some of the buttermilk and blend. Repeat, ending with the dry ingredients.
Here is the blended batter.
Add chocolate chips.
Gently stir them in.
Pan the batter,
and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for about ten minutes in the pan before unmolding it and cooling completely on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake

I've finally gotten my hands on a Kugelhopf pan! I've wanted this pan for as long as I've known what it was and I finally found an inexpensive one. Now, Im sure it's not the greatest quality but it definitely serves its purpose. After all this time, I got around to toiveling it on Friday. Now, it was ready for its debut. What to make in it? Chocolate Streusel Coffeecake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes, that's what. This simple, great with coffee cake was one that I'd been wanting to cross of my list. What's strange about it is that it makes only a small bundt and two cupcakes. What's with the weird size? Enter the Kugelhopf pan, the perfect size to accommodate all of the batter! Interestingly, enough, this cake doesnt make use of Rose's usual technique of beating the dry ingredients with the fats and then adding the liquids but rather uses the typical creaming method. Nothing notable to say except that I swapped out some cream cheese and buttermilk for the sour cream, with great results. Yay for finishing the cream cheese and not wasting anything! The streusel is made of some cocoa powder, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The cinnamon adds a nice warm element to the chocolate. The sugar melts and melds with the cocoa to make a nice fudgy swirl. This cake receives good flavor and moist texture from all the dairy. It was quite good but in a book of delicious cakes might be overlooked for its simplicity.

Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake
from Rose's Heavenly Cakes

3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease a kugelhopf pan. Set aside.
In a small bowl, place the streusel ingredients.
Using your fingers, break up the brown sugar lumps and mix to combine. Set aside.
Place the flour, leavenings and salt in a bowl.
Whisk and set aside.
Place the margarine in a bowl.
Beat until light and creamy.
Slowly add in the sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla.
Beat until smooth.
Add the dairy,
and beat until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients,
and mix to form a uniform batter.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cake batter, covering the entire surface.
Spread the remaining batter atop the streusel, covering all of the edges.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool for a few minutes before depanning. Cool completely on wire rack.