Author Jamie Schler has a sure-fire hit with her new cookbook devoted entirely to oranges, Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet. Her love of oranges started as a child when she lived in Florida and has only grown larger as an adult. I’m not big on one-subject cookbooks; this book made me think twice about that. She’s developed a stunning collection of recipes that make you want to run out to the market and stock up on oranges.
Her love of the orange is reflected in dishes from main courses to dessert. Many of the recipes show off the oranges’ diversity like Orange Fig Sauce, Orange Braised Belgian Endive with Caramelized Onions and Bacon, Beef in Bourbon Sauce, Glazed Apple and Orange Braid, and Chocolate Orange Marmalade Brownies. The photos are beautifully shot and you’ll find many tips and hints to guide you along the way. Schler is an accomplished teacher and hotel owner. Together with her husband Jean-Pierre Dagneaux, she runs the Hotel Diderot in Chinon, France, an ancient city in the beautiful Loire Valley. Her three-star property offers not only first-rate accommodations but also award-winning cuisine. Clearly, Jamie never sleeps because she also makes and sells an amazing line of jams.
This Glazed Blood Orange Cake turned out to be the perfect recipe to test. I didn’t have blood oranges available so I used navel oranges instead. I imagine with blood oranges, the cake might have had a more complex sweet-slightly bitter flavor. Author Schler explains “Thanks to the yogurt and the vegetable oil, this spectacular, intensely orange loaf cake stays moist for several days”. This recipe is Seriously Simple to prepare in the food processor.
Once the cake comes out of the oven you may find the top is high. When I let it cool, I reversed it on a cooking rack and the top flattened out beautifully. Make sure to poke lots of hole in the warm cake and then spoon over the orange syrup to evenly moisten the cakes interior. The author says the glaze is optional so try it either way. This cake is the definition of versatile I’m serving it for Halloween night this year. You can also serve it with coffee or tea for breakfast, as an afternoon snack or at teatime and as dessert for lunch or dinner. I can’t wait to try it with blood oranges.
Blood Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch/ 23 cm) loaf cake
1 1/2 cups (7 ounces / 195 grams) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened plain whole milk or Greek yogurt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
Zest of 3 blood oranges
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
Blood Orange Syrup
1/3 cup (85 ml) blood orange juice
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 cup (135 grams) confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F (180 degrees C). Butter a standard 9 x 5 x 2 1/2-inch (22 x 13 x 6 ½ cm) or 8-cup (2 1) loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and flour the sides of the pan.
- Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, zests, and vanilla until blended and smooth. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined and smooth. Fold the oil into the batter, a little at a time, until well blended and no oil has collected around the edges of the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45–50 minutes or until the center of the cake is moist but set and a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Prepare the orange syrup by placing the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until warm and the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool slightly.
- When the cake is done, remove from the oven onto a cooling rack that has been placed on top of a large foil-lined baking sheet and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edges between cake and pan. Turn the cake out of the pan, discard the parchment paper, and then place the cake upright on the cooling rack. While the cake is still warm, pour and brush the warm syrup all over the top, allowing it to seep into and soak the loaf and to run down the sides. Allow to cool completely. ( At this point you can serve the cake; the glaze is optional.)
- Prepare the glaze by stirring the orange juice into the sugar until the sugar ha dissolved and the glaze is smooth. The glaze should be thin enough to spoon or drizzle over the cake but just stiff enough that some of the glaze will cling to the sides.
- Gently lift the cake off of the rack and onto a serving platter.