Something odd happened today.
I baked a cake. Crazy, right?
Okay, I may need to explain. This is weird because:
- There was absolutely no reason for me to bake a cake today. No birthdays, nobody coming to visit – just me at home doing laundry.
- I don’t love cake. In fact, given a choice between cake and, oh, just about any other dessert, cake is generally the loser. (Especially cake with no chocolate.)
- I am not a fan of citrus in desserts. Lemon bar? No thank you! (In fact, I’m not a fan of citrus in a lot of dishes. I blame my mother’s very, very lemon chicken…but that’s a story for another day.)
But this cake…this cake seduced me. It invaded my thoughts. I craved this cake. And I have no idea why!
Let me tell you a story.
Yesterday afternoon, I got an email from my friend Jessica titled Whole Orange Cake. In this email was a link. I clicked on the link, and was taken to a description of a cake unlike any cake I knew. A cake make with whole oranges. Yes, my friends! Whole oranges, peels and all!
“I wonder what this tastes like,” I thought innocently. “It sounds pretty good.” Then I moved on…or so I thought. But I continued to think about this mysterious whole orange cake. When I least expected it, the orange cake would pop into my head. Watching the new Alex Cross movie – whole orange cake! Ironing pants for work – if only I had orange cake for breakfast! Lunchtime at work – I bet that orange cake would taste pretty good right now…
Finally, I decided that there was no help for it. I just had to make the Whole Orange Cake.
So I did.
And it was delicious. And pretty. And orangy and cakey and everything that I hoped it would be. (And yes, I served it to myself on an orange plate.)
Has a recipe ever consumed your thoughts until you just had to make it? Or am I just crazy? What’s your opinion of citrus in desserts?
Whole Orange Cake (The original recipe that Jess sent me can be found here. I made a couple of minor changes in italics.)
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 oranges (about 1 lb. total), ends trimmed, then cut into chunks and seeded (I needed three oranges, but they were pretty small.)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- (I added 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. orange juice