Sunday, May 22, 2016

Orange You Glad: Orange Cake with Rosemary Sugar

A friend's mother makes a tried and true dessert from a clipping she has in her recipe box: Lemon Loaf, a delicious and tangy confection that's tender on the inside while crunchy and sweet on the outside. It's a classic quick bread with a soaking syrup poured over while the loaf is still warm, and I (and everyone in my friend's family) love it. But you know how this mouse thinks, and of course I had to tinker just a bit. I wanted to know how it would work made with orange instead of lemon. After all, they're both citrus, and both excellent flavors in their own right. It was only logical it would be just as delicious as the original. What I didn't know was that the addition of a "secret" ingredient would make the whole thing sublime:

Orange Cake with Rosemary Sugar Slices

Orange Cake with Rosemary Sugar

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
zest of one orange
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup rosemary sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature

For the topping:
1/4 cup rosemary sugar
juice of one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8x8-inch square (or similar capacity) baking pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and orange zest until combined. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then stir in the eggs. Blend in half the flour mixture, followed by the milk, then the remaining flour mixture and stir until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing out to the edges, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Remove and let stand while stirring together the sugar and orange juice for the topping, allowing the sugar to dissolve in the juice as much as possible. Using a toothpick, gently prick the entire surface of the cake, then spoon the topping over, allowing it to soak in as you go. Let cool completely and serve.

Notes: The rosemary sugar provides a subtle, piney note that balances the brightness of the orange. Definitely try it if you have it! But please still make this cake with vanilla sugar or regular sugar if you don't. I decided to bake mine in a cake pan, but you can use a standard loaf pan and bake a little longer, watching that the edges don't get too dark. If the cake is still around after a day, I suggest storing covered in the fridge, but remove and let warm to room temperature before serving.


1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious! I've been in the mood for orange lately! Can't wait to try it!


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