02 April 2009

No Fooling, Jess' Birthday

As often happens around here, the best thing I made today wasn't dinner.

Rather, it was this cake for Jess' birthday (which was technically yesterday), and yes, it HAD TO BE ORANGE. And yes, I just happened to have this orange party tablecloth in the closet which went perfectly with the occasion and made even cheerier the gathering of friends to celebrate Jess.

Megan contributed the perfectly orangily (is that a word? it should be!) frosted graham cracker cookies. I was too embarrassed to admit to her that I had just been helping myself to a treat of graham-cracker-as-shovel-for-frosting earlier today. Her cookies were infinitely better, and neater, than that.

Michelle kicked in the blood orange sorbet from Ciao Bella and it was delectable. We thought it must have been procured at a hoity toity market, but no, it was from the grocery down the street (which shall remain nameless because I don't actually like or frequent that place).

In other words, people, as you see clearly, this was a well-deserved dessert feast in honor of Jess. Um, or we were using Jess as an excuse to make what we might have done anyway a little fancier and a lot more ORANGE. Either way, it was a delightful evening!

Back to my contribution: I wanted to make a chocolate orange marble cake but couldn't find a recipe that appealed to me after the success of the chocolate matcha cake from a couple of weeks ago. Finally, I decided I was determined to use the same recipe and just tweak it to be orange instead of matcha. I even emailed Bakerella to solicit her advice, and was impressed that she was willing and able to get back to me, and quickly! Thanks, Bakerella!

In the end, the changes I made were to:
*omit matcha
*add 3 heaping tablespoons of orange zest to the non-chocolate flour mixture
*after adding the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, put in 1/8 tsp. of orange oil, 2 tablespoons of Cointreau and a whole lot of food coloring paste

For the top of the cake, I made a butter frosting. Then, without thinking at all that orange and butter might curdle, I added 3 or 4 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate. Phew. No curdling, though I can't tell you why it didn't happen, or why I was so cautious as to not add milk though I didn't hestitate to mix the OJ and butter....the frosting was much orangier than the cake but I don't know what I could have done differently to the cake. A bit more orange oil?

By the way, even with all this cake and cookie and sorbet induced excitement, I still managed to make dinner.

*white rice
*yesterday's Indian tomato sauce cauliflower
*stirfry of ground turkey, eggs, ginger, leeks and kikurage


ames said...

Looks fabulously delicious!

Katie said...

If you're looking for a good orange cake recipe, try this:


It's from the Bubble Room on Captiva Island, FL and is AMAZING! My family and I are addicts.