Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Orange Yogurt Cake
The first time I had orange cake was during my holiday at Paris several years ago. We were at the Musée du Louvre, and after hours of exploring the museum, we decided to take a quick break at a cafeteria in the museum. The sweets and cakes selection was small that day. I chose an orange cake to go with my café au lait.
The café au lait was instant coffee (Nescafe, I believe) with above boiling temperature water served in a styrofoam cup and came with a plastic stirrer. The “lait” part of the café was a sachet of powder milk creamer. The coffee was a disappointment- sad, bad and undrinkable. I didn’t know that they would serve that sort of coffee in Paris. Did I also taste a little bitterness there? Sorry, I digress...
After a sip of the coffee flavoured water and burning my tongue in the process, I wasn’t expecting much from the orange cake. It was a petite size loaf shaped pound-like cake with a sticky sweet glaze. It was very plain and nothing out of the ordinary. But I fell in love with the cake the moment I took a bite. I guess there is always something to fall in love with in Paris, and for me, it is this orange cake.
Back in Perth, it is not easy to find a simple orange cake like the one I had at Musée du Louvre. There is the orange and poppy seed muffin, the flourless orange cake, and the orange and almond cake. But they are just not quite the same. And then I found this Orange Yogurt Cake recipe. The orange cake came out moist, fluffy but not light, not overly sweet and had the perfect balance of orange flavour. It's almost like the orange cake I fell in love with in Paris.
Since oranges are in season at the moment in Australia, this is the perfect time to make the orange yogurt cake. So on Sunday, we took an hour and a half drive to the Orange Grove Orchard at Chittering to get some fresh oranges. I got some rosy red and acid free oranges that we couldn't get from the major supermarkets. The Orange Grove Orchard is the only place that I know of that sells them.
I also brought a dozen of their very limited edition free range eggs. The orange farm has a little area that is home to their pet chickens and ducks. You can often see the chickens just wandering off everywhere doing what chickens do, which is pecking the ground and crossing the road. I figured, happy stress free chickens equals lovely eggs equals amazing cake.
Now back to this amazing orange yogurt cake that I was raving about before. I like this cake chilled. The cake will taste better the next day as the orange flavour intensifies and the cake becomes firmer.
This cake needs icing or it will be boring and sad. You can adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more or less orange juice. If you prefer a runny glaze type icing, I recommend poking a few small holes in the cake. This way when you pour the icing over, the cake will be able to absorb some of the icing making the cake even more awesome.
Orange Yogurt Cake
(Adapted from Women's Weekly Baked, via Off the Spork)
Orange Yogurt Cake
125 grams butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
220 grams caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
300 grams self raising flour
1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
250 grams yoghurt
240 gram icing sugar
30g butter, very soft
2 tablespoons orange juice (more or less to your preference)
Preheat oven to 160 degree celcius fan force. Line a 14cm x 21cm loaf pan with baking paper.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until pale. Add the sugar and orange rind, and beat on high speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually add in the egg yolks, one at a time, on medium speed. Continue to beat until fully combined.
Mix in the sifted flour on low speed until just combined. Add combined juice and yogurt on low speed until just combined.
Beat the egg whites in a small clean bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture. Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.
When cool, spread the orange icing over the cake.
Orange icing: Stir or whisk the sifted icing sugar and butter in a small bowl. Warm the orange juice in the microwave (about 15 secs on high), and stir in enough juice to make the icing spreadable.