I made this cake back in Tokyo at the ABC Cooking Studios, during one of my cake making courses. Cake a l’orange is, as you would expect, a pound cake that has been infused with orange flavors. It uses “cake” instead of a “gateau” because while the word “gateau” is used generally for all cakes in the French language, the word “cake” in the french language refers to the cake as a pound cake, which is slightly denser than a regular cake. Although pound cakes are usually very dense, this particular cake is lighter because the cake batter is made in a similar technique that is used when making sponge cakes. At first I was a little apprehensive about this cake, I’m not really a fan of the orange infused cakes and it was a type of pound cake (which in my mind was always a dense cake no matter what). But after the cake came out of the oven, it smelled so delicious I just had to try a bite and it was glorious. The orange wasn’t as overpowering as I thought it would be and the cake was fluffy without being too heavy. I can’t wait for another slice.
Okay so before we begin, I’m going to tell you that the cake requires some preparation. By this I mean, there are things you have to make before you actually get to the cake part. But no worries, it’s not too hard and it only takes 15 minutes.
So first you’re going to make the orange compote
Ingredients:-1 medium sized orange -1 or 2 tbsp salt -40 g sugar -80 cc water
- Wash a medium sized orange with a little bit of salt. The salt will remove any wax coating that has been on the rind and it’ll also bring out the sweetness of the orange. Slice into 2-3 mm thick slices.
- In a pan, layer the orange slices, placing the thicker ones on the bottom. Add 40 g of sugar and 80 cc of water. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes or until the water is boiling. Turn off the heat and let the orange slices sit in the pan (still covered) for another 10 minutes.
- Dry off the slices, and choose two to three of the best looking ones. These will be used whole. Measure out about 70 g of the rest of the orange slices and dice them into small pieces. Set aside the diced pieces. Place the best looking slices on the bottom of the cake pan (make sure you grease the pan so the cake doesn’t stick to it)
Once you finished the compote, it’s time to make the cake batter.
Ingredients: (Note: double the recipe for a larger loaf pan 8 inch by 4 inches)-Egg (80 g) beaten -Sugar 100 g -Sour Cream (cold, keep it in the fridge until you have to use it) 40 g -Flour 90 g -Baking powder 1/2 teaspoon -Butter (unsalted) 30 g -Vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon
- Sift the flour and the baking powder and set aside. In a large heat proof bowl, mix together the egg and the sugar with an electric mixture (Use the medium setting). Once the sugar has been incorporated, place the bowl into warm water (about 70 to 80 C) and continue to mix until the mixture is warm (about 35 to 40 C). Dip your finger in the mixture and if the mixture is warm, remove it from the water.
- Continue mixing until the egg and sugar mixture is fluffy and a pale cream color. When you lift the mixing blades and draw a “U” shape, the mixture should retain the shape for a second or two. Add in the cold sour cream. Mix it for about one minute, until the sour cream is fully combined. Turn off the electric mixer and set it aside.
- Sift in the flour and the baking powder. In total, the flour and the baking powder should be sifted twice. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture. Once the flour and the baking powder has been incorporated, add in the diced orange compote and fold it into the batter. Don’t over mix.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small bowl and add the vanilla. Pour this into the batter and fold the butter until it is fully combined.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and tap it lightly (about 3 or 4 times) on the table.counter/work surface. Bake at 180 C for 35-45 minutes.
- While the cake is cooking, mince the pistachios into small pieces and make the apricot glaze by heating some apricot jam and water in a pan.
- Once the cake is done, the top should be puffed up. Remove the cake from the cake pan and cut off the top. Flip the cake over so that the orange slices that you placed on the bottom of the pan is now on top. Cover the top of the cake with the apricot glaze and sprinkle the pistachios in a line (see the photo).
What I love about this cake is that if you don’t like oranges, you can substitute the oranges with something else like lemons (I just did that last night) or grapefruits or strawberries! I might see if I can do strawberries, it would look so pretty don’t you think? If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me in the ask box 🙂
Hugs and puppies!
P.S Best served a day after it’s made with lots of whipped cream 🙂