Savor a slice: Blood orange bundt cakeDecember 28, 2006
That’s right: I unfurl such effusive praise of my husband’s cooking that I start to sound like a broken record. Now, when something truly noteworthy rears its beautiful, bundt-cake head, I’m hard pressed to express its majesty in words.
But you can’t blame a cake-lover for trying. Here it is folks, a blood orange bundt cake. It was B-E-A-utiful coming out of the oven… completely golden and perfect for devouring. It filled our kitchen with that luscious smell that only a perfectly cooked cake can emit. Part vanilla, part ambrosia, that fragrance whirls up the nostrils and sets the tummy rumbling.
But wait… there’s more. My husband next drizzled sweet, blood-orange flavored icing all over that golden dome. It ran into a sweet confectioner’s sugar stream under the cake, perfect for dipping your finger into. (You know as an appetizer or something.) Finger-lickin’ never was so sweet.
The finished cake had a subtle blood orange flavor that was reinforced by its fragrant icing. The slices were moist, warm and delicious. I’m only sorry that we had to give the rest to our cabdriver on our way out of town! (But you can’t just let good cake like that go to waste!)
If you’ve got blood oranges and a hankering for cake, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy!
Blood oranges. They’re beautiful, and they’re a place to find color where you’d least expect it in the kitchen. Blood oranges have a vibrancy and a look that will cause many to pause to stare at their deeply colored and unusual juice.
But are they like Britney Spears… all show and no substance? No. Blood oranges have a distinct and different flavor. While they possess much of a naval orange’s familiar sweetness and acidity, they also contain a much more potent tart flavor — reminiscent of raspberries. Now that I have shown them to be more Scarlett Johansen than soon-to-be former Mrs. Federline, the key is to find a simple use for them.
I’ve been doing a great deal of baking because of the holiday season. So my immediate thought was to make a fancy blood orange cake that would be completely pink; one that I could push on you all as a perfect tea cake for baby showers and Valentine’s day. But the results were both better and worse than I expected. The flavor of my blood orange cake was more vibrant and enjoyable than I anticipated, but the color was more subtle. As a result, it’s a cake perfect for any time of year or any time you can find our beautiful and exotic friend. So grease up your bundt pans, and get baking with blood oranges!
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
2 blood oranges (zest & juice)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cup confectioner’s sugar
juice from 2 blood oranges
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. In a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter for about 3 min. or until smooth, pale and fluffy. (NOTE: Scrape down the sides regularly throughout this process.)
3. Add one egg at at time and continue until all eggs are intergrated.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. On low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and eggs in small increments, alternating with the milk, until both are intergrated. Don’t overmix. It does not need to be smooth, a few lumps are OK; they will cook out. If you overmix, the batter will form lots of gluten and make your cake more like a bread.
5. Using a spoon or spatula, hand fold in the juice and zest of the orange.
6. Grease/spray your bundt pan making sure to cover every ridge and crevice. Add the batter to the bundt pan; it should not be more than 3/4 full.
7. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 min. Check after 1 hour using a skewer or toothpick. Once it pulls out clean from the center of the cake, remove and let cool for 15 min. before turning out.
8. It’s glazing time! In a medium bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and blood orange juice and mix until smooth. Pour over warm bundt cake. Serve cake immediately or later. Enjoy!