Saturday, January 31, 2009
A cake that cures!
Tonight we are invited to our friends for dinner and a movie. I was thinking what to bring as a hostess gift and considered purchasing some Greek loukoumades (honey balls) from the Greek bakery. But given that we already brought some over to them during the holiday season, I decided to bake a homemade offering instead.
I had been scouring recipes on-line and decided to see what my fellow blogger 'kickpleat' had in her recipe index...I decided that the orange crumb cake sounded just perfect for this season. And, I had all the ingredients to boot! With plenty of Vitamin C - it's the perfect cake to cure what ails you!
What also excited me about this cake was that it calls for olive oil instead of butter or traditional sunflower / canola oil. If you know me, you'll know that A) I'm Greek and B) that I really enjoy olive oil and use it often in my cooking. It is not uncommon to find traditional Greek cakes made with olive oil, like this variation of an orange cake and this apple cake.
Vitamin-C Crumb Cake taken from "Everybody Likes Sandwiches"
2 c flour
1 1/2 c brown sugar
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cardamom
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 c olive oil
3 T orange juice
1 c yogurt
1 t vanilla extract
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 8 or 9 inch round or square pan. I used a springform cake pan. Set aside.
2. Stir flour, sugar, orange zest and spices in a medium sized bowl. Add oil and orange juice and stir lightly until mixture forms clumps. Remove 1 cup of this mixture for the topping and set aside.
3. In another bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda until blended. Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture, stirring until batter is smooth.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Now here is where my recipe differs from kickpleat's. I suggest holding off on adding the crumble topping to the cake until perhaps the last 10-15 minutes. When I added the crumble topping from the beginning, the crumb topping disappeared and sunk into the cake batter. If anyone can explain to me why this occurred, I would be very grateful.
Baking the cake released a fragrant, citrus-y aroma, which reminded me of Spring. If only Spring was near. With over 4 feet of snow on my front lawn and February 1st being tomorrow, Spring just seems light years away. Drowning your mid-winter woes in a slice of orange cake seems like the perfect way to ring in a new month.
UPDATE: I sampled the cake and it was dense and sweet with a very moist interior and a chewy exterior. The taste had a subtle orange flavour. Our hosts served the cake with ice-cream and it was the perfect accompaniment.