An Orangey Orange Cake for Mothers Day!

IMG_6793My favourite kind of cake is the just-right amount of moist, English style tea cake. No frosting please.
My favourite flavour in cakes and bakes is citrus. Love the tang that goes right along with the sweetness, makes it pop really!
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I had been pining for such a slice forever. Experimented a fair bit, but the resultant bakes didn’t hit the right notes. Till I found this recipe on Suma Rowjee’s wonderful blog Cakes and More.What a simple recipe! And flawless!!
Even a nervous baker like me got it right the very first time. It simply is, mix wet, mix dry, mix wet and dry and bake.  This recipe of yours made my day Suma! Cannot thank you enough 😀
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I drizzled it with orange syrup and topped it with candied orange peel. Coz there’s no such thing as too much orange 😉
Ah! An Orangey Orange Cake ❤
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Makes one 8-inch round cake

For the Cake
1 cup all purpose flour/Maida, sifted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup yogurt/ dahi
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated orange zest (The recipe calls for 1 tbsp. I wanted mine real orangey and zesty so used 2)
1 tbsp orange juice
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan
1Sift together the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.3Whisk together the wet ingredients- yogurt, oil, orange zest and juice, egg, and vanilla in another bowl.
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5Fold in the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix.
67Pour into the prepared pan.
8Bake for 30-35 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick after 30 minutes.
9Cool in pan for about 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
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Make holes all over the cake with a thin wooden skewer and pour the syrup. Spread it all over the surface and sides with a brush
Top generously  with candied orange peel and serve.
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For the candied orange peel and Orange Syrup

(Recipe adapted from here)

Peel two oranges and scrape off the pith (the white part on the inside) as much as you can; else the candied peel gets bitter.
Cut the peel into thin long strips.
Boil 2 cups of water. Drop in the peel and boil for 5-6 minutes. Drain.
Boil ¾ cup of sugar with a cup of water and add in the sliced peel. Keep boiling till the peel is cooked.  When done the peel starts looking shiny and translucent.
Drain the syrup and use the candied peel to top the cake.
I had about ¼ cup of syrup left. I suggest the best way to use it is, to make orange syrup to drizzle the cake.

For the orange syrup
The ¼ cup of leftover syrup needed half a cup of fresh orange juice to balance the sweetness.
The orange syrup can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to ten days. It tends to thicken, so dilute a little and warm up before using.

If you need a recipe only for the syrup
Boil together equal amount of fresh orange juice and sugar for about 4-5 minutes. Say about half a cup of each. Add a few drops of lemon juice. Cool and use it to drizzle over the cake.

The syrup can be used to make an orange Spritzer with some water and soda water. I also used it to substitute orange blossom water when I made the Arabian Semolina Dessert Cake, Basbousa.

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Choco-Orange Zebra Cake

Celebrating my 50th blog post with my first ever zebra cake! The joy of attempting a  bake with some amount of trepidation and getting it right! 🙂
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I am a newbie in the world of baking, barely three months old. Been doing quite a few breads but cakes still make me a little nervous. Looking at perfect zebra and rainbow cakes, I was a bit in awe and wondered if I would ever get there! Was very skeptical when I started off, all prepared for a leopard in case the zebra didn’t play 😀
But the cake when sliced made me smile wide.

I made a chocolate and an orange zebra and loved the stripes. It is a beautiful, dramatic tea cake and not at all difficult to make! And so very moist! I am going to play with the rainbow soon.

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake
INGREDIENTS
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) powdered sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola is fine) (I used a little less than a cup, about 2 Tbsp less)
2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (equals 3 teaspoons) baking powder (if not available, substitute with 1 teaspoon baking soda)
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 Tbsp orange zest (skip it to make a vanilla chocolate zebra)

Preparer a baking tin by lining with parchment or butter paper.
Mix the flour and baking powder and sift twice.
Mix eggs and sugar and beat well till light and creamy.
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Add ¾ cup of the milk and the oil and beat till all is well combined. Add in the vanilla extract.
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Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients  and mix it till just well comnbined. Do NOT overbeat or overmix.
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The batter should be a medium dropping  consistency. Neither too thick , nor too runny.  Add more milk if it is too thick. Add some flour if the batter is too thin.
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Divide the batter into two.
Add the cocoa to one and the orange zest to the other half.(You may add a few drops of orange colour if desired. I didn’t)
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Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Now to the assembling,which needs to done carefully as this actually creates the zebra pattern.
Take two equal sized ladles. Each should be able to hold three tablespoons of batter. Or use 3 Tbsp fulls of  batter for each addition. It is easier to do with a ladle.
Add a ladle of the chocolate batter to the middle of the baking pan.
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Quickly follow with a ladle of the orange  batter dropping it over the chocolate batter ,right in the middle.
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Continue doing this alternating the batters, till both the batters are used up.

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So a ladle of chocolate followed by a ladle of orange and then chocolate again and so on! What fun! Felt like I was back in my craft class 😀
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Do not stop and wait for the batters to spread. Keep going. They will spread on their own. And this is what will form the pattern. Do not tap or tilt the tin.

Bake at 180C for 40-45 minutes. Do not open the oven for the first 20-25 minutes else the cake will shrink and not rise. Check by inserting a toothpick after 35 minutes or so.
Cool completely and slice wedges and see the lovely zebra pattern emerge!
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This recipe is from Suma’s wonderful blog here that I often visit to get clarity on all matters baking.
Happy Zebras! ❤

Sharing an eggless recipe that works beautifully for zebra and rainbow cakes. It is a tried and tested, super simple recipe. Recipe credits are Ruchi Jain’s.
She is a very close , school time buddy. Thanks Ruchi  🙂

Ingredients
Malai/Heavy cream- 1 cup
Powdered Sugar- 1 cup
All purpose flour- 1 ½ cup
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Baking soda- ¼ tsp
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Cocoa- 2 Tbsp/ colors as desired for a rainbow cake.

Mix all ingredients apart from the cocoa(or colors, if using them)
Divide the mixture into 2 parts.
Add cocoa to one and orange zest to the other to make the cake above.
Follow instructions as given above for assembling the cake batter.
Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for 40-45 minutes till done.
Here is a tricolor cake Ruchi did for Independence Day using this recipe.
Happy Baking  ❤

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Another look at the Zebra
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