Use this Orange Flower Cake as a blueprint for other citrus cakes. Serve it plain, with a dusting if confectioners sugar, or poke the top with holes and saturate it with a tart glaze as follows.
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour, plus some for flouring the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 cup packed light brown or granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon orange flower water or vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Butter for greasing the pan
confectioners sugar for dusting
Scant 1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
3. Sift together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 3/8 teaspoon salt. Beat 2 large eggs with 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest and 1 cup packed light brown or granulated sugar until light and frothy.
4. Whisk in the flour mixture until almost incorporated, then whisk in 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon orange flower water or vanilla extract and 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted.
5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Cool the cake on a rack 5 minutes, then invert to cool completely. Transfer to a platter and sift confectioners sugar over the top.
Or, to glaze and soak the cake, cool the cake in the pan 5 minutes while you make the citrus glaze.
1. Combine a scant 1/4 cup orange juice and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar in a saucepan.
2. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack; with a toothpick, poke holes into the top of the cake.
3. Spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it soak in before adding more.
From The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider. Copyright 2007 by Sally Schneider.
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