Friday, February 25, 2011

............ thank you Ina

For many that know me well , know that I am not a baker. I enjoy cooking , everyone says I cook well ( thank you) - however "baking" mortifies me .

Being an aquarian , there is a free spirit within us that does not like to be sequestered. Rules are made to be broken and does it really matter if I put in one teaspoon of this or half a teaspoon of the same thing.

In the world of baking it does.You see baking is a precise science, it involves accuracy , it involves good chemical reactions between baking soda and buttermilk which produce the fluffiest cakes , and precise ratios of liquids that help a cake rise and impress.

However , I have started to overcome my phobia of baking, by tackling baking recipes that involve mixing together wet and dry ingredients. How difficult can that be ? I ask myself. Not difficult at all , to me a marriage made in baking heaven . There is room for a little extra of this and smidge of that .

So, I now welcome you to the world of Ina Garten , one of the cooks I idolise , whose recipes never fail me, but always impress .  She is famous for starting all cake recipes with a pound of butter and in an effort to lighten things up she makes this delicious Lemon Yogurt cake  - which is so mind boggling simple I don't know why I did not make this sooner.

The other day I adapted her recipe and turned it into a Lemon- Blueberry Cake - yummy.

Then I was eating one of my favourite oranges, the Cara-Cara orange. So deliciously sweet and juicy , I thought I would try and adapt her recipe and make it with oranges , and for an over the top finale, decorate the top of the cake with glazed orange segments . The inspiration for this came from watching Jamie Oliver's new cooking show ( travelling around europe) where he made a Honey and Pistachio Cake during his trip to Greece.

So, with yoghurt at hand, I used low fat , 2 sturdy mixing bowls , and quite literally 5 minutes of your time ( it takes longer for the oven to reach temperature) - you will make a cake that will impress everyone and give Top Pastry Chefs a run for their money.

This morning I enjoyed sharing this cake with my wonderful neighbour Lisa - goes perfectly with a nice cup of coffee and wonderful conversation.

Cara-Cara Orange Yoghurt Cake with Glazed Oranges
adapted from an Ina Garten recipe and inspired in part by Jamie Oliver

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup low-fat yoghurt ***
1 cup sugar
3 extra large organic eggs at room temperature ( very important)
zest of one cara-cara orange
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
the juice of half an orange


1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed cara-cara orange juice

Glazed Orange Segments

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
half a cara-cara orange thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 350F and spray a non-stick loaf pan with some canola oil and dust with flour - guaranteed not to stick .

In one bowl measure out the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt, place to the side.

In another bowl place the yoghurt, 1 cup sugar, room temperature eggs, orange zest, vanilla extract and the juice of half an orange. Whisk until well combined .

Pour the batter in to the floured loaf pan and place in oven, bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean .

Meanwhile, make the Glazed Orange Segments. Place the water and sugar and water in a saucepan and add the orange slices . Bring to boil then immediately turn down to a simmer , you want the syrup to thicken slowly and cook and soften the orange slices in the meantime. Keep an eye on this step , if it looks like the water is evaporating too quickly , add a splash of hot boiling water and stir gently and continue to cook for approximately 15 minutes.

Once the syrup has been almost absorbed by the oranges turn off the beat and allow to cool . Should the orange glaze become hard and stuck to the saucepan, gently reheat to loosen up the sugar syrup , then place on top of the cake for decoration after you placed the glaze and it has set slightly.

While the orange segments are been cooked make a thin  glaze for the cake, Mix 2 tablespoons orange juice into 1 cup confectioners sugar and mix well until you have a nice runny consistency. Pour over the cake once it has been removed from the loaf pan and cooled.

*** I use the Mountain High brand Low-fat yoghurt. It is best to use a thick style greek style yoghurt , and there are plenty easily available in the supermarkets. A lot of low-fat yoghurt tends to be a little runny and this will ruin the consistency of the batter .

NOTE: you can also make this cake with regular oranges , just not too sure if they will be as sweet as the cara-cara oranges.

1 comment:

  1. Please tell me what size loaf pan you used. This recipe sounds delicious!