Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Tweak Here, A Tweak There...

I know baking is a science, not like cooking where adjustments to a recipe are a little more forgiving.  Exact measurements, a balance between liquids and solids, time to rise, to beat, to rest.  I like to think that tweaking a cake or cookie recipe isn't as drastic as say, a bread recipe...and for the most part, the tweaking I've done has been pretty successful (aka edible).

I made an orange cake this past weekend by adding and subtracting to a basic yellow cake recipe.  Once again, I think it turned out well.  A little rich due to the whipping cream I added, and perhaps my liquid to solid ratio was a little off.  Baking time was extended another 10 minutes, I had a few cracks atop the final outcome and a couple of holes inside the cake.  Happily, a little dusting of confectioner's sugar hides a multitude of sins.  As for taste?  Lovely...more than a hint of orange, but not in your face.  This will be made again.

Orange Cake
Adapted from the Basic Yellow Cake recipe from Wilton
--makes one 8-inch layer cake

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1//4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line or grease 8-inch cake pan.  Sift together cake flour, salt, and baking powder.  Cream sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla and zest to butter-sugar mixture.  Combine well.  Alternately mix flour mixture and liquids to butter-sugar mix.  Beat well to make sure it all comes together.  Spread batter into cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.  Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Notes--The Wilton recipe makes 2 8-inch cakes.  I halved the recipe.  You can easily substitute milk if you don't have whipping cream on hand.

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