Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Orange-Grand Marnier Cake

Posted May 5, 2010

Orange-Grand Marnier Cake
Sky High
Makes a 9-inch triple-layer cake; serves 16-20

1¾ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean, or vegetable
8 eggs, separated
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
1/3 cup water
½ tsp. cream of tartar

Grand Marnier Syrup (recipe follows)

Orange-Grand Marnier Frosting (recipe follows)

Candied orange peel and white chocolate shavings, for decoration

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line the bottom of three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment or waxed paper but do not grease the pans.

2.  Sift the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; stir to blend.  Whisk in the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest, and water until well blended.

3.  Put the egg whites in a clean large mixer bowl with the cream of tartar and, using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, beat until frothy.  Slowly add the remaining ½ cup sugar an whip until soft peaks form.  Do not overbeat or the cake will be dry.

4.  Add one-fourth of the beaten whites to the cake batter and fold them in to lighten the batter.  Gently fold in the remaining whites just until no streaks remain.  Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.

5.  Bake the cake layers for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely in the pans.  Run a blunt knife around the rim of each cake to release the edges, invert onto a wire rack, and carefully pull off the paper liners.  (DT: I made the actual cakes several days in advance and froze them.  If you do this, spray the foil with non-stick spray – otherwise it will be hard to pull off the foil without taking some of the cake with you.)

6.  To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate, flat side up.  Using a brush, generously moisten the top of the layer with ¼ cup of the Grand Marnier Syrup; then spread 1 cup of the Orange-Grand Marnier Frosting evenly over it.  Repeat with the second layer and more syrup and frosting.  Top off with the third layer, flat side up.  Brush with the last of the syrup and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.  (DT: I found it helpful to do a crumb coat here.  In other words, do a thin layer of frosting all over the cake, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then finish frosting the cake.)

Grand Marnier Syrup
Makes ¾ cup

¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup Grand Marnier

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup is reduced to ½ cup.  Remove from the heat.  Let cool completely, then stir in Grand Marnier.

Orange-Grand Marnier Frosting
Makes about 6 cups

6 ounces fine-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2½ cups heavy cream
2 tbsp. Grand Marnier
1 tbsp. grated orange zest

1.  In a medium heatproof bowl, melt the white chocolate with ½ cup of the cream over barely simmering water.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Stir in the Grand Marnier and orange zest.

2.  In a large chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the remaining 2 cups cream until almost completely stiff.  Add the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture and gently fold it in.

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