Thursday, June 19, 2008
Orange Cherry Cake
I woke up with lemon cake on the brain. I worked a 12 hour shift last night and will be going back for another one in about an hour, but after sleeping for 8 hours and waking up around 2, I had lemon cake on the brain.
Luckily Chris had just come home from work and was willing to help me out, plus I had the perfect recipe in mind -- the Lemon Yogurt Anything cake from Smitten Kitchen that she adapted from The Barefoot Contessa. Perfect.
Naturally I didn't have any lemons or fresh fruit... but that's why it's called an anything cake. I had a couple of oranges and several bags of frozen fruit. I started mixing the liquid ingredients while Chris mixed the dry, then he chose cherries for the cake. I didn't have time to defrost them, so I just tossed them in frozen which caused some moisture issues, but not enough to ruin anything.
The cherries are not as good as cranberries (orange cranberry is one of my favorite combinations, right up there with coconut pecan) which offer such a tart contrast to orange, but they are good. The cake, as usual is wonderful. Light, airy and citrusy, just like I was (literally) dreaming about.
I baked the cake in an 8-inch round pan which left enough batter for 5 regular size muffins as well. The middle of the muffin I chose for pictures didn't quite get done on the top, but it still tasted good and that's what really counts.
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (approximately 2 oranges)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cherries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the berries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup orange juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan.
While the cake is still warm, pour the juice-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.