This afternoon, we had three of Indira’s and Noor’s friends/schoolmates come over for a play date. I had planned to get some pain au chocolat for the girls’gouter, to go along with compote/fruit yoghurt/fruit. But when I went to the local boulangerie I found that they had run out of pain au chocolat as well as croissants, the other French bakery classic that most children love.
So I decided that I’d bake an orange cake, instead.
I have been wanting to make one anyway, ever since I ate some a couple of weekends ago at the birthday party to which I took the crispy peanuts. One of the other guests had brought delicious orange cake, and I really like it because it was just full of lovely flavor.
I did get the recipe from the gentleman who had baked it, but when I went through it again today I realized that it uses rather a lot of butter -300 gms for a 4 egg cake, plus more for a glaze. So I started looking around for another recipe that might promise the same taste – after all, I reasoned, in an orange cake the dominant flavor would come from the juice and the zest of the fruit – without using quite so much fat.
And I was very pleased to find one such recipe sitting on a shelf in in my own kitchen- in Ms. Jean Pare’s excellent collection titled “Muffins and More” .
This recipe below- a slight variation on the original – uses a lot less butter but the cake tastes as nice, IMO.
For the cake:
1/2 cup (75 gms) of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tsp of baking powder
Zest from one orange
Juice from one orange (plus a little water, if required, to make the specified quantity) 1/2 cup
For the glaze:
Juice from one orange
1/4 cup sugar
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking powder.
Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Now blend in the sugar and the butter. Stir the zest and the juice in, then gradually fold in the flour mixture taking care that no lumps form. Pour this mixture in to a non-stick baking tin, and bake at 180degreesC for 45-60 minutes.
In a small saucepan, prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar and the juice and heating until the sugar has dissolved completely. Pour the glaze over the cake as soon as you take it out from the oven, and then leave the cake to cool for about 20 minutes before taking it out gently from the tin.
Noor, Alicia, and Celine loved it and the older girls in fact asked for and finished a second piece each. Indira didn’t like it too much (though she says she really likes the crust with the glaze), and nor did Alicia’s little sister Flora.
This cake makes a great little snack with a cup of tea; it is not very heavy on the stomach, and has a wonderful flavor (which owes a lot to the glaze so don’t skip that bit).