step-by-step: blood orange olive oil cake

March 2, 2011

I can’t remember a post that I’ve had more fun with than this one. Photographing these blood oranges gave me more pleasure than I should probably admit to. Talk about naturally photogenic. Blood oranges often look like normal oranges on the outside but just wait til you cut into them – the inside¬† colour ranges from a pinky-red blush to a dark, almost black amber.

Oh and the cake? You want to know about the cake? Well, it’s bright and tart and tastes like bursts of summertime in every bite.¬† It’s not overly sweet and it has this tang that sort of lingers on your tongue. It’s also impossibly fluffy and light. I’m pretty sure you should make some as soon as possible.

The recipe is from that American institution, The New York Times. Their food section is so good, isn’t it? I’m always so impressed with their recipes and how they turn out. Yay NYT.

On another note: winter citrus is genius. Right when you’re feeling the absolute worst about how it’s still miles from being spring time and it’s all cold and gross outside (if Minneapolis could stop doing the cold – bit warm/melty – freezing cold/icy thing it would be lovely) winter citrus fruits come into season, ready to cheer you up.

Since I had such fun taking pictures making this recipe, I thought I’d share step-by-step instructions on how it’s done. Also, I don’t know about you but when I see a direction to “supreme an orange” I go a bit cross-eyed, but don’t worry all is revealed in my step-by-step. Enjoy!

Start off by grating orange zest into a bowl with sugar. Rub the ingredients together with your fingers until the orange zest is evenly distributed in the sugar and it looks like this:

Next, supreme an orange (which is just a fancy and efficient way of peeling it) by cutting off the bottom and top of the orange so the fruit is exposed and the orange can stand upright on a cutting board:

Cut away the peel and white pith, following curve of the fruit with your knife:

Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes. Then repeat these steps with another orange.

Break up the segments with your fingers into about 1/4-inch pieces and whack them in a bowl:

Halve another orange and squeeze its juice into a measuring cup:

Add buttermilk or yoghurt to the juice until you have 2/3 cup of liquid and pour the mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well:

Grab three large eggs and whisk ’em in…

…until your mixture looks something like this – beautiful, right? –

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk your dry ingredients into wet ones:

Now it’s olive oil time a.k.a. my favourite time. Fold in the oil a little at a time. It’ll feel like a whole lotta olive oil. That’s because it is. You’ll get over it:

Fold in pieces of orange segments. Pretty:

And finally scrape the batter into a pan and smooth the top and… wait for magic to happen. Et voila! You made a beautiful cake:

Now, eat.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
from The New York Times

Ingredients

  • Butter for greasing pan
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.

2. Supreme an orange: Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4-inch pieces.

3. Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. You will have about 1/4 cup or so. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs.

4. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ones. Switch to a spatula and fold in oil a little at a time. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.

5. Bake cake for about 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

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