Friday, January 7, 2011

Orange Cake recipe

We got some citrus in bulk back in December, and now we're hurrying to get it eaten up. So I was looking for ways to use up some oranges, and I came across this recipe in Nourishing Traditions, which calls for the juice and rind from two lemons and two oranges. While it was a little putsy to grate the rinds off four citrus (hey, a little physical activity never hurt anybody), the results were quite tasty. Waiting for this cake also takes patience. I
t took one day to soak the flour, letting the cake cool overnight, and then waiting another 24 hours (at least) to let the juice soak into the cake before it was ready to eat. But it was so wonderfully moist and had such a pleasant citrus taste.

Orange Cake
from Nourishing Traditions, my adaptations and comments in parentheses

2 1/2 c. freshly ground and sifted spelt, kamut or whole wheat flour (the flour I used wasn't freshly ground, but I get it from an organic mill in the area, and they grind flour fresh and then we keep in cold, so until I can afford a grain grinder, this will have to suffice)
1 c. piima cream or creme fraiche (I only had kefir, so that's what I used)
1 c. whole plain yoghurt (this I did have!)
1/2 c. water
1 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. Rapadura (This is the commercial name for dehydrated cane sugar juice. I don't have that brand name, but I did use some organic cane sugar, processed in the same manner. And actually, I only used 1 c. I usually go on the skimpy side of sweeteners, because I don't like things too sweet.)
2 eggs (from our chickens, of course!)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. vanilla extract
grated rind of 2 oranges and 2 lemons (if these aren't organic, make sure you scrub the waxy coating off the rind. Yuck.)
1 c. crispy pecans, finely chopped (I didn't have any, so I used finely chopped crispy cashews. I put them in my food processor and grated them just long enough to powder them. Any longer would've made them into a nut butter!)
juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons
1/4 c. of whey (I made some by straining some kefir.)
1/2 c. raw honey (I only used 1/4 c.)
1/4 c. of brandy or dry sherry (this is optional, and I didn't use it because I didn't have any)

This delicious cake incorporates the principles of both lacto-fermentation and enzyme nutrition. The flour is soaked in cultured cream and yoghurt and, after cooking, the cake is soaked for another day or so in a mixture of oranges juice, lemon juice, raw honey, whey and brandy or sherry. This imparts enzymes to the cake along with flavor and moistness.

Mix flour with yoghurt, cultured cream and water. Cover and leave in a a warm place for 12 to 24 hours. (I started the soaking process mid-afternoon on Day 1.)

(Evening of Day 2.) Cream butter with Rapadura and eggs. Beat in baking soda, salt, vanilla and grated rind. Gradually incorporate the soaked flour and fold in the nuts. Pour batter into a well-buttered and floured fluted bundt pan or angel food cake pan. (I used an angel food cake pan.) Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or more, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. (overnight)

(Midmorning of Day 3.) Place lemon juice, orange juice, honey, whey and optional sherry or brandy in a container and set in simmering water until honey is dissolved. Slowly pour this mixture over the cake until the liquid is absorbed. Cover with a towel and leave at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. (Cake will look like it's swimming in liquid, that's okay, it will soak in eventually.)

(Noon of Day 4, liquid had soaked in and I was ready to eat!) To serve, loosen sides with a knife. Turn over onto a serving plate and tap pan until cake falls out.

This cake was moist and tasty, though the 3-year-old didn't seem to like it... he said it was "tough." I wonder if he got a piece of nut that he wasn't expecting. From the picture, you may be tempted to frost the cake, but I'd say resist the temptation, it doesn't need it! Also, I was glad that I skimped on the sweetener, I liked it, and so did my husband. If you are used to sweeter things, you may want to use the full amount.

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