Friday, June 24, 2011

Close Enough for Horseshoes or Hand Grenades

When we visited the Central Market, Southlake, Tx., they were running a Spanish promotion. I saved their flyer. One of the items on offer was a "Spanish Orange Torte, a rich cake made with extra virgin Spanish olive oil and orange zest, soaked in a thick orange syrup, topped with candied orange strips. 9 in. $21.99."

Two days after we got home, Bon Appetit arrived - with a recipe for: Olive-Oil Cake with Candied Oranges! So, to save you $21.99 and a trip to Texas --

Candied Orange and Syrup
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup orange blossom honey
3 T green cardamom pods, crushed
3 cups water
1 small orange, thinly sliced

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring the sugar, honey, cardamom and water to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange slices and simmer until the orange slices are tender and the syrup thickens - about 40 minutes.

Pick out the orange slices and put them on the parchment paper. Strain the remaining syrup to get rid of the cardamom bits and bobs and set aside.

The Cake
1/2 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
1 1/2 teas. baking powder
1 teas. ground cardamom
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teas. baking soda
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/2 teas. grated orange zest
1 teas. vanilla extract
Garnish - chopped, non-salted pistachios

Preheat oven to 350. Brush 9 in. spring-form pan with oil. Whisk both flours and the next four ingredients in a bowl. Use an electric mixer and beat in 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil for one minute.

Beat in egg yolks and then flour mixture. Beat in yogurt, orange zest and vanilla.
Using clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar, fold egg whites into batter. Transfer to the oiled pan and smooth out the top.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Stab the warm cake repeatedly with fork tines and drizzle 3/4 cup warm syrup over the cake. When that syrup is absorbed, do it again reserving some syrup for serving the slices. Add the orange slices, dust with pistachios, cut in wedges and serve.

My Way
Buy one box white cake mix
Make the syrup

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