One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.
Laurie Colwin

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Orange Sponge Cake



This is one of my go-to desserts. It's a delicious and not overly sweet cake that I found on Chocolate & Zucchini, the lovely blog written by Clothilde Dusoulier.

Clothilde is French and bakes by weight, and I recommend that when you make this cake, you weigh the ingredients too. Just to see if it makes a difference, if you have a scale, measure one cup flour by the scoop-and-level method without compressing the flour, then weigh it and see if it weighs the same 120 grams called for in the directions.

You can eat this cake plain, but my favorite way is with strawberries or raspberries macerated for a short time (30 minutes is fine) with a little sugar and topped with cream softly whipped and lightly flavored with Mathilde Orange Liqueur X.O.  It is softly orange with a slight somewhat caramel flavor, making it good to use as an ingredient and lovely to drink on its own.  You can serve a thimbleful in beautiful small glasses, which makes it quite festive, especially at Christmastime when I like the scent of oranges in the air.

Clothilde calls this cake Le Piège Gateau.

Orange Sponge Cake
Adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

Although this will keep, I like it best on the day that it's made.

1 large pat butter
1 heaping tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan generously with the butter, then coat the pan with a heaping tablespoon of sugar.

For the cake:

120 grams (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened (really, really softened but definitely not melted)
120 grams (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar
2 large eggs
1 medium organic orange, scrubbed
½ cup of juice from the orange - If there isn't enough from one one orange, juice another one.
120 grams (1 cup) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (do not decrease this amount, but don't increase it either)
A generous pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter with the sugar,  then add the eggs one by one, and mix after the addition of each egg until completely combined.

Without going into the pith, grate the zest from the entire orange, and add to the bowl.  This is easy if you use the original Microplane grater; one pass over the orange will do it.  Juice the orange, and add ½ cup of juice to the batter.  If you don't have ½ cup of juice from this orange, juice another one or two until you have ½ cup of juice.  Mix until smooth.

Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Stir with a fork to mix together.  Sift this mixture onto a piece of aluminum foil, and then pick up the foil and fold it into a spout so you can easily pour  it into the mixing bowl.  Whist this mixture into the batter until just combined, and pour into the prepared 9-inch cake pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.  With my oven 20 minutes is the right amount of time.

Let the cake cool on a rack for ten minutes - but no more than this or the caramel crust the sugar has made which is one of the delights of this cake, will harden and stick to the pan.  Turn onto a serving plate, and let cool completely before serving.

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1 comment:

  1. It is a sunny Sunday afternoon here in Barcelona and I've just made your cake. We had it as a little sweet 'sign off' to our lunch of roast chicken, cous cous and green salad. The cake was GREAT! Very most. Very tasty. But next time I'll cut a little of the butter out and/or try a little more flour. Thanks for posting it.

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