Did I get a song in
I was thrilled when Jenni asked me to contribute with a guest post to her
blog! Guest posts are a lot of fun, even if there’s a bit of anxiety
from the moment of the invitation to the decision of what to cook and write
about. I got to know Jenni through The Secret Recipe Club, and the first
thing that appealed to me on her blog was its name: “The Gingered Whisk”.
How beautiful! She’s got red hair and loves to bake, so her choice of
name for the blog was simply perfect!
To celebrate The Gingered Whisk in full style, I wanted to make something
with a ginger-red color, and a ginger flavor. So here is a cake topped with
blood oranges, and a drink with the amazing red color of hibiscus
flowers. Both the cake and the tea are flavored with a little ginger, for
OLIVE OIL CAKE WITH CANDIED BLOOD ORANGE (adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2011)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the candied orange
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix in a saucepan 3 cups of water
with the sugar, honey, and cardamon. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar
dissolves. Add the orange slices, reduce heat to medium-low, and
simmer until the orange slices are tender, and the syrup is reduced to 3
and ¼ cups (about 40 minutes). Arrange the slices in a single layer on the
baking sheet, and strain the syrup to remove the cardamon. Reserve syrup
and oranges separately (this preparation can be made one day or two in advance,
To make the cake.
Heat oven to 350°. Brush a 9 inch spring form pan with oil. Whisk both flours,
baking powder, ground cardamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
In another bowl, beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of oil for 1 minute with an
electric mixer. Add the egg yolks and beat until combined, then add the flour
mixture. Mix in the yogurt, grated ginger, orange zest and vanilla.
Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until they
form soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beat until the
peaks firm up. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two
additions. Transfer to the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake
until a toothpick comes out clean (25 to 30 minutes).
Pierce hot cake all over with a metal skewer, and slowly drizzle 1/4 cup
warm syrup all over. When the syrup is absorbed, pour another 1/4 cup,
and let it soak through. Let the cake cool in the pan over a rack, once
completely cool, run a knife around the edges and open the sides of the
pan. Arrange the candied slices of orange over the cake, and serve
with additional syrup to drizzle over the slices, if so desired.
Now, time for tea…
VANILLA GINGER BISSAP (from Global Table Adventure)
4 cups boiling water
1/8 cup hibiscus
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
sugar, to taste
Boil the water, add the hibiscus, ginger, vanilla extract, and steep for a
few minutes. Marvel at the gorgeous color… Add sugar to taste, and enjoy the
tea hot or cold, over ice cubes.
As I mentioned before, I am quite fond of blood oranges, I love the
“surprise-effect” of cutting them open, not sure how red they will be.
During cooking to make the candied slices, some of the red tone was lost, but
their flavor wasn’t compromised at all. One of the changes I made to the
recipe was to reduce the amount of syrup added to the cake, because as written,
it seemed excessive. I didn’t want to make the airy structure of the cake
compromised by too much syrup.
If I had to pick my top three favorite cakes of all times, this one makes
this highly selective list. I am officially a cardamon-lover, its flavor
is like no other spice, and in this cake, absolutely perfect. Of
course, a little drama always happens when I make a cake, and this one was no
exception. The cake should be baked in an 9 inch spring form pan, which I
carefully prepared. But, I didn’t put away its bigger sister, the 10-inch
pan. Obviously, I poured the batter in the larger pan, and only noticed
my mistake half-way through baking. So, my cake was slightly thinner than
it should. No major harm done. Just two pans to wash instead of
The syrup made for the cake was a great sweetener for the hibiscus tea, by
the way. Just a little teaspoon in the cup, sipped slowly with a slice of
Jenni, thanks for having me over! I had a ton of fun with this post,
it was a great opportunity to dare and face my cake fears… 🙂