I finally fixed the white balance on my camera. (Apologies for the previous two non-white-balanced blog entries.)
I also found blood oranges at our local grocery store.
I celebrated these events by baking with the oranges and taking pictures of the results. I thought it might be fun to take one of my favorite Meyer Lemon recipes and use blood oranges instead, so I went back to the source (Tutti Dolci) . This time I decided to try making it with whole wheat pastry flour to see if I could get some whole wheat in there while keeping things light. Also, I was very happy to find a LARGE bag of the stuff at the grocery store! Usually it comes in annoyingly tiny bags, so I was celebrating the flour as well as the blood oranges.
I whisked it together with baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Next, to the oranges!
I zested. The color, the smell, it’s just so fun working with these eerie little oranges. I’m going to miss them when the season is over.
The recipe doesn’t really specific amounts for the zest, so I decided on 4 teaspoons. It also says to pulse the zest with sugar in a food processor, but I just scrubbed up and used my fingers. The kids get freaked out by this part, but I like it.
I put that into the stand mixer along with a quarter cup of butter, and beat on low/medium speed.
I added the egg and the vanilla, and beat again. I don’t know why I only have this sort of sideways shot of the batter, but if you tilt you head slightly to the left, it looks normal.
In a separate bowl I mixed the yogurt and buttermilk together, and then, despite it not being called for the the recipe, I juiced a couple of the blood oranges.
Then I spilled some batter on my iPad.
This was a small spill, as Laurie-spills go, but I really should do something to protect my iPad better when I’m baking. The poor thing.
I wiped it off lovingly, and went back to the bowls. I poured half the flour into the batter sitting in the stand mixer.
Once that was incorporated, I added the yogurt/milk mixture, and the blood orange juice. I used about 4 or 5 teaspoons of it.
I mixed that in, then added the rest of the flour, beat just until incorporated, and stepped back to look, smell, and taste my creation.
I poured it into a loaf pan, and popped it into the oven. At almost 40 minutes, a toothpick came out completely clean, so i took it out and let it sit in the pan for another 15 minutes or so, then moved it to a wire rack.
It smelled great. Sadly, as I discovered quite a while later, it could have used another 5 minutes in the oven. The top is done well, but the bottom is a bit too moist, the result of very slight underbaking. It’s still good, and the flavor is wonderful, but a few more minutes would have made it perfect. I’m confused too, as the toothpick was completely clean and not sticky or gooey. I don’t know. You’d think baking 5 times a week would ensure such things didn’t happen to me, but apparently that’s not how it goes.
But it was a bright sunny day, so I took advantage of the window light, as well as a beautiful piece of fabric my friend Neven gave me, and my properly adjusted white balance. I just played.
So my review? NEXT TIME I SHOULD BAKE THE THING PROPERLY! I’m a little unhappy with myself. But it tastes good and I have enough oranges to try it again, and cook it a little longer. It could be spectacular.
The original Meyer Lemon Pound Cake recipe is here.
BLOOD ORANGE YOGURT CAKE (adapted from Tutti Dolci)
(makes 1 loaf)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons blood orange zest
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
4-5 teaspoons blood orange juice
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray or grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour together with baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, combine the zest and sugar, then use your fingers to make sure they are mixed together thoroughly, creating blood orange sugar. In a stand mixer, beat that with the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In yet another bowl, stir together the yogurt and buttermilk.
Pour half the flour into the stand mixer and beat at low speed until incorporated. Add the buttermilk/yogurt and the blood orange juice and mix, then add the rest of the flour and beat until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when touched. (Maybe bake for another 5 minutes after it seems done!) Cool in the pan for another ten minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.