Last month I participated in my first vintage recipe redo and swap after prompting from blogger ‘Gal Pal’ Christianna who had picked up a great vintage hymnal at an Arizona Swap Meet. This month more have joined in the fun and the recipe chosen was ‘Company Time’ Lemon Cake.
The Rules. We 1) must change at least three ingredients in the original recipe to make it our own, 2) stay true to the intent/spirit of the recipe.
At the risk of promoting myself as a ‘Recipe Psychic’, each time I have gotten one of these recipes I’ve had a vibe about them. My first feeling was that ‘company time’ was girls who play bridge during the day, adult ‘girls’ that is. They dress for each other in fabulous dirndl skirted 50’s dresses, full makeup, high heels and a glint in their eye. Of course I included a cocktail.
My angle: if we were candidates on The Next Food Network Star I’d say I stayed true to my ‘culinary point of view’: local, seasonal. For all of you old enough to remember the head-cocked RCA dog and find yourself in that position now reflecting curiously on all the citrus orchards you have NOT seen in Colorado, I have an out. Days after this assignment I received an abundant box of oranges and grapefruit from a generous relative wintering in Florida. I swapped the lemon for orange and went gluten free.
I must say I L-O-V-E this challenge. It is absolutely out of the box for me. I take it very seriously and research like I’m getting a PhD. After a few weeks of mentally cycling through approaches (this time I feverishly searched for a grapefruit dessert ideas because I had a cocktail idea already, then went to orange macarons, orange pound cake flambé and decided ultimately on what I made), I research all the aspects to make it all from scratch, from a recipe I create myself. I have been fortunate my instincts and study have paid off without multiple redo’s.
This turned out so well! It is delicious with a genuine taste of orange and nothing sickly sweet. It’s cut further by the orangey martini cocktail. All of these recipes can be used for other things; mix and match. I’m a Gemini. Love options.
Gluten Free Orange Cardamom Cake with Orange Curd Filling and Cream Cheese-Cointreau Frosting and Candied Oranges
Orange Curd filling
Instead of regular frosting we added freshly made Orange Curd between the cake layers. It is fresh and bright with flavor.
Candied Orange Slices
I had never made these but wanted them as a decoration on the cake. They had the ‘bite’ of marmalade when done. They can be made ahead and stored, refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.
· 3 cups of water
· 2 oranges, sliced into ¼ inch width slices
· 1 cup sugar
1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add orange slices and heat over medium heat until reaching a boil (about 15 minutes).
2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until orange slices soften fully and syrup becomes thick. I cooked these a total (including the time for the first step) 45 minutes.
3. Remove orange slices and place on a rack to cook and drain. Reserve the syrup for the frosting.
Gluten Free Orange-Cardamom Cake
This cake is a hybrid in consistency of a layer cakes and a pound cake. Gluten free cakes tend to not be as light as wheat flour layer cakes anyway but I was striving for a more dense consistency. It is that but without the typical moistness of a pound cake (more like a layer cake in that way). It has a light flavor of orange. This makes 3 9-inch round layer cakes.
· 2 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, softened
· 2 cups sugar
· Zest of 1 orange
· 3 eggs, room temperature
· ½ cup milk
· Juice of the zested orange
· 4 cups gluten-free flour blend (or substitute wheat-based cake flour if not gluten-free)
· 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if not gluten free)
· 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 1 ½ tablespoon cardamom
· ¾ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together butter, sugar and orange zest.
3. In a bowl combine eggs and milk. Add to butter/sugar mixture to combine.
4. Beat in flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and salt. As you are beating add the orange juice. Batter will be thicker more like a bread batter. You can add more milk or juice if you want it to be more liquid.
5. Fill three greased/floured 9 inch round cake pans with a third of the batter each. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack to cool slightly then remove from pan to fully cool. Cake should be fully cooled or it will cause the filling and frosting to melt.
Cream Cheese-Cointreau Frosting
I wanted the tang of the cream cheese and soft taste of orange so as to not overwhelm the cake and filling combination but complimens it. I did not want this final ingredient to make this cake ‘orange-a-rama’. It did not. Was a perfect note.
· 2-8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
· ¾ cup confectioners sugar
· 2 tablespoons Cointreau (or orange other liqueur)
· 2 tablespoons orange syrup from the candied orange slices
· Orange juice to taste
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together all ingredients. Add more orange juice to suit your taste.
1. If a cake layer is really uneven, take a long serrated knife and cut off any area that is protruding way above the edges of the layer to allow best layering.
2. Place the bottom layer on the cake plate you plan to use. Cover it with orange curd about ¼ inch thick.
3. Add the next layer and again cover with orange curd.
4. Add the final layer (this one can be rounded on the top) and frost the entire cake top and sides with the Cream Cheese-Cointreau Frosting. Cut orange slices in half and decorate the top of the cake with them.
The Bronx cocktail
This old school gin martini is made fresh with the orange juice. Squeeze the juice yourself; makes all the diff.
· 1 ½ ounce gin
· ¼ ounce dry vermouth
· ¼ ounce sweet vermouth
· 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes. Shake, strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange slice!
Visit the first Vintage Recipe Redo and Swap post: Apple Fritters turned into Gluten Free Apple-Pork Empanadas with an Apple Vodka Martini (recipe how to infuse the vodka yourself)
I’m dedicating this to my new friend Barb Kiebel who adores the color orange.