I have good news and bad for you. The bad news is that this is the week that I am moving, and so I’m sorry, but I don’t really have time to cook, edit and post delicious food for you. And truthfully, we are probably going to be living off of Chick-Fil-A and Papa John’s. But the good news is that I have brought you a truly awesome line-up of guest posters all this week! To start us off, I would love for you to meet Sally, of Bewitching Kitchen. I first met Sally when I signed up for The Secret Recipe Club. Sally’s blog was my very first assignment, and I instantly fell in love with all her great recipes – and particularly all her sourdough recipes! Sally loves her three puppies, and is a microbiologist and biochemist! You know I can’t say no to a fellow nerdy scientist! Check out the lovely post that Sally has done for you:
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 good measure.
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, keep refrigerated).
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. ENJOY! 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 one… 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 cake. 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… 🙂
Jenni lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her amazing husband, two girls, two dogs who think they are children, and a feisty cat. She is the creator of The Gingered Whisk, a recipe blog dedicated to finding easy, healthy-ish, and tasty weeknight meals that kids and adults alike will love. She is super passionate about helping every member of a family learn to love great food. When not cooking, eating, or thinking about food, she is often hiking around area parks, creating intricate legos castles with her girls, watching nerdy tv with her husband, or curled up in a corner somewhere reading a good book.