Valentine's Day Blood Orange Bundt Cake
Our friend Daniel, and owner of Jupiter Foods, has shared his delicious Blood Orange Bundt Cake recipe with us. Jupiter Foods is an amazing local resource for the freshest local produce. Lucky for us, blood oranges are in season right now, and the last time we checked, were available at Jupiter Foods. www.jupiterpetaluma.com
Eating seasonally often dictates that old ideas of “traditional” dishes are really a product of marketing. Apple pie at Fourth of July picnic as an example, apples just are not in season in July. A better choice for summer might be peaches or cherries but somehow these do not translate into “traditional”. Take Valentine’s Day, what do you first think as romantic dessert to end a beautifully prepared meal? Maybe Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries, Strawberry Shortcake, or Blue Berry Crème Brule? Although decadent and delicious these desserts all have fruit that is not in season unless you happen to be near the the equator. So, how about Citrus?
I have modified my favorite online recipe for Lemon Cake into this lusciously loving Blood Orange Bundt Cake. The blood orange juice reduction is added to the bottom of the baked cake before unmolding to give a sweet orange packed tang where the “cake meets the plate” punch that is not overpowering.
Blood Orange Cake
Yield: 12-16 pieces
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons blood orange zest
1 1/4 cups whole milk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Blood Orange Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 tablespoon blood orange zest
Blood Orange Sugar Topping
- 1 tablespoon blood orange zest (the redder the better)
- 2 tablespoons castor sugar (superfine) Granulated will work too
Start by zesting five blood oranges with a rasp, I like to keep the darkest red zest for the sugar topping for the best color presentation. Juice the five oranges AFTER you have removed the zest. Divide and set aside three tablespoons of juice for the glaze to be made later on.
Separate the darker red zests to use for the sugar topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Grease a bundt pan very well making sure to really get into all crevices then lightly flour pan. Set aside. For failsafe release of the cake from the pan. I use a spray called “Baker’s Joy”. This product has baking spray and flour in one can!
Lightly whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer (if you’re using one) fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs on low until they are thickened and very pale yellow in color. Turn mixer on low and slowly add sugar to running mixer and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and blood orange zest. Slowly pour in dry ingredients on low speed until combined.
In a small saucepan, heat milk until very hot and butter is just melted. Do not boil and whisk the mixture to help the butter along. Pour into batter and mix until smooth. Batter will be very thin. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
While the cake is baking, pour the juice from the five blood oranges into a small saucepan and simmer on low heat. Stir occasionally reducing the juice by half. This should take about 30 minutes, be careful to not scorch the juice. Sometimes my reduction is runnier than others, what we are doing here is thickening and intensifying the blood orange flavor. Set aside
Once done, remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan. Pour the blood orange reduction all over the baked surface (bottom). I find using a rubber spatula helps spread the thickened juice all around. Release the sides of the cake with a butter knife to ensure it isn’t going to stick. Turn cake onto a large round platter or cake stand. Allow cake to finish cooling until warm to the touch.
While cake is cooling, prepare blood orange sugar and glaze. For the blood orange sugar, thoroughly mix the zest and superfine sugar together and let it sit for 5 minutes. Set the mixture aside.
For the glaze, whisk powdered sugar and blood orange juice juice, using more or less juice as needed to get desired consistency. I like to keep this fairly stiff so the drizzle of glaze doesn’t melt into the warm cake. Once cake is cooled down slightly, drizzle glaze over warm cake using a pastry bag or a zip lock bag with a small corner cut off for an improvised pastry bag.
- Nancy Leoni