Recently he posted a recipe that intrigued me, for "Orange Cream Cake," by "Mystery Chef." I'm not sure what exactly I liked about it. Maybe it was because it featured handwriting that looked like my grandma's. Or maybe it was because it was found in an antique Booth Tarkington novel (not The Magnificent Ambersons, which he also wrote, which was made into a movie I love by Orson Welles - but still, Booth Tarkington).Or maybe it was the utter lack of instructions after the ingredient list - it felt like a challenge.
Apparently I'm not the only one who loves a challenge, because next thing I knew, Brewed Bohemian had tackled the recipe and posted suggested directions.
It sounded good, but it also sounded like it needed frosting, specifically vanilla frosting - to make it kind of an orange creamsicle. Emma and I also prefer our cakes to be of the "cup" variety, so we made some minor variations with the baking time. We made the entire thing in my Kitchenaid mixer, folding in the beaten egg whites at the end.
Orange Cream Cake
1/4 c. butter
1 1/3 c sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 t. baking powder
1/3 t. salt
2/3 c. milk
1 t. orange extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put paper liners into cupcake tins.
Separate the eggs. Whip egg white until stiff peaks form; set aside.
Cream butter and sugar, then add egg yolks.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
Mix the orange extract into the milk
Alternate adding the flour mixture &amp; milk mixture into the sugar/butter/egg mixture
Fold in egg whites.
Divide batter among 12 cupcake tins; bake for 22 minutes, until cupcakes are lightly golden and spring back to the touch.
Emma and I were super excited to try these, so we burned our fingers and ate one of the cupcakes right out of the oven. It was hot but delicious - a very light and delicate cake, not dry at all, with a slight chewiness at the edges.
We decided to go with a traditional vanilla buttercream frosting, and we used the recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, one of my most reliable standby cookbooks.
Traditional Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Oddly enough, the frosting was delicious and the cupcakes were delicious - but we didn't really like the combination. The light cakes were overwhelmed by the rich buttercream. The combination improved the next day, but the cupcakes were best right after they cooled.
No, I do not decoratively pipe my frosting. I heap it on until it seems like there's enough, then I add a bit more.
That's my contribution to this week's Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Be sure to check out the other entries this week!
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."