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Tag Archives: cake

A Frosting-Less Orange Pound Cake

15 May

So I’m still not up for making frosting.

But I still love cake.

And I still go on fruit kicks, and last week I was really craving oranges. Or, I just really wanted a mimosa.

But, day-drinking is frowned upon (lame), so I made orange cake.

You start by zesting (i.e. grating the rind) of two medium oranges. You need about two tablespoons, give or take.

Next, whisk the dry ingredients together in a stand mixer. I’ve never made a cake with the whisk attachment before…but, as we all know my opinion on sifting dry ingredients (lame) I figured why not.

Be sure to use cake flour for this recipe. Regular flour is too heavy and has too much gluten to make a light, fluffy cake.

Here’s the fun part. Cut the butter into chunks and toss into the flour mixture.

Whisk on medium until it’s all chunky. It will first look like this.

Keep whisking. When it’s like this, stop.

Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

I substituted maple syrup for vanilla, since I am out of vanilla.

Two side notes. One, stop having t-rex arms, and spring for real vanilla. Imitation vanilla, while cheaper, is sub-par. Two, if you ever travel south of the border, hit up one of the local shops—you can find pints (yes, pints, not the lame tiny bottles that they sell in the US) of pure vanilla extract. With a price that even t-rex arms love.

Back to cake. Slowly add the egg mixture to the butter-flour mixture. When it is just moistened and everything has loosened up, stop. Overmixing will bring out too much of the cake flour’s gluten.

Pour into a greased bundt pan, and bake at 350F for 30 mins. Check to make sure the edges aren’t getting overcooked, and bake another 15-30 minutes, until the top bounces back when you press on it slightly.

While the cake is cooking, juice the zested oranges. You need about 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice. Heat the OJ together with 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons triple sec until it boils and the sugar is dissolved. I knew I could work booze into this recipe somewhere…

Pour the juice-sugar mixture over the cake while it is cooling in the pan. When the juice has absorbed into the cake. remove the cake from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

I’d suggest serving with a mimosa. Just saying…

Glazed Orange Pound Cake:

  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoon milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec

Preheat oven to 350F. Zest the orange with a small grater or zester. Combine the cake flour, sugar and baking powder in a mixer. Add in the orange zest and butter and whisk until clumps form. Mix together the eggs, milk and vanilla and slowly add to the flour mixture. Pour into greased pan and bake until top is springy. Boil together the OJ, remaining sugar and triple sec. Pour over cake and let glaze soak in. Flip cake out of pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

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Who Dreams of Owning a Mini-Storage?

25 Mar

Things One Might Dream of Owning:

  1. A really, really, fast car.
  2. The Hope Diamond.
  3. The Yankees.
  4. A closet that would make California Closets jealous.
  5. Alpacas.
  6. Original Tiffany glass windows.
  7. A parking spot at Google headquarters.
  8. Did I mention the Yankees?
  9. A claw-footed bathtub.
  10. Lear jets. With John Travolta as the pilot.

But a mini-storage? When is the last time you woke up and said “Hot damn! I’d love to own me a mini-storage park!”

I’ve got…a friend. Who claims her husband’s dream (dream?????? seriously? DREAM????) is to own a mini-storage. Said friend has even put an offer in on a mini-storage park. And by “offer” I am referring to an OFFER TO PURCHASE a mini-storage.

And no, I didn’t take a trip to The Land of Make Believe.

This mini-storage sitch exists in real life, man.

But enough about mini-storage. Who wants some cake?

As in, the best carrot cake EVER. Seriously. The. Best.

This time around, I tried not to be so much of a “food pornographer,” as my future husband Anthony Bourdain would say. So I’ll just give a quick run-down of the best carrot cake ever.

This recipe is from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy. Her photos are much more…controlled. I suspect she did not photo her cake at 8:30 a.m. in the office kitchen with a tiny plastic knife while convincing those around you that carrot cake is clearly a breakfast food because carrots are high in beta carotene.

The recipe makes enough batter for three layers, but as I somehow only have one cake pan…and didn’t figure that out until I had made cake batter…and was cooking at 10 p.m., I ended up with two even-ish sized layers. On the plus side, only having one pan ensured I only put one pan in the oven at a time, ensuring even oven air flow.

Another thing I really LOVED about this recipe is that it calls for crushed pineapple, not coconut. Weird, I know. A lot of carrot cake recipes call for coconut, which I am not a fan of. This one is full of delicious things like carrots and nutmeg and cinnamon and pineapple and sugary goodness.

When it’s in the oven, your house will smell heavenly.

I was a bit worried about running out of frosting, but the recipe made just enough. I use almond extract in my cream cheese frosting for a good hint of flavor and something a little different from vanilla.

If I could eat this cake every day, I would.

Carrot Cake Recipe:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar)
  • 2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 pound finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-to-4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg together. In an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla together until well combined. Stir in the pineapple. Add in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in the carrots and raisins until they are evenly distributed (I did this by hand, not with the mixer).

Grease and line with parchment paper two 9-inch cake pans. Divide the batter evenly, and bake one pan at a time for 35-40 minutes at 350F. Cool the cakes 10 minutes or so in the pan, then remove and continue cooling on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter and extracts. Add in the sugar until the frosting has the desired consistency.

Frost the cake and enjoy!