Aren’t tastes funny? Why is it that something which is ambrosia to me makes your skin crawl? I love cilantro, you hate it. You love okra, I can’t stomach it. I have been reading lots of blogs featuring citrus desserts lately (it is January after all), and all I can think is…I hate orange.
No, I mean I really don’t like orange. I actually never have. I do like those little clementines that appear around Christmas time, but other than that, orange kind of makes me cringe. Orange popsicles were always the last resort for me and I never even bothered to eat orange Jolly Ranchers. And to see all of the orange desserts going around right now…shudder.
So why on Earth did I make an orange cake, you might ask. Well, here is the thing. My brothers, sister-in-law and niece and nephew came over on Saturday and I had to make a dessert in not a lot of time. And, perhaps more importantly, this is an Ina cake and I trust her implicitly. Yet another reason is that the recipe makes not one, but two cakes so I could get this week’s treat for my clients taken care of ahead of time.
The verdict? It’s orange, I didn’t love it. But it went over very well with the family and it was a breeze to make. It turned out just as it should which is one of the very best things about her recipes.
Orange Pound Cake
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Makes 2 loaves
Ina makes this cake in two 8 x 4 pans – I used one of those and three mini loaf pans so each of my clients could have their own cake. You can freeze these cakes, unglazed, for up to one month.
½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup orange zest (about 4 large oranges)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
To Glaze One Loaf (optional)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with non-stick spray.
Cream the butter and 2 cups of the granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the orange zest.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the orange huice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
While the cakes bake cook the remaining 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes. Take them out of the pans and place them on a baking rack set over a try. Spoon the orange syrup over the cakes and allow the cakes to cool completely.
To glaze, combine the confectioner’s sugar and orange juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Add a few more drops of juice, if necessary, to make it pour easily. Pour over the top of one cake and allow the cake to dry. Wrap well and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.