Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Cake Has Fallen and It Can't Get Up!!

Morning, Dear Ones! I certainly hope Chloe Dawn explained to you why I didn't have up a new post yesterday...computer problems! I haven't read what she wrote yet, but she assured me she explained everything to you. She's such a sweet girl!
Well...this weekend I wanted to have a little birthday lunch for a friend of mine. I made a wonderful huge chicken salad with all kinds of fixings to go in it, deviled eggs and cheese rolls. I had my table set with a sweet little table cloth and even stopped in the middle of the day and made a set of blue and white napkins to go with my dishes.


A few weeks ago I posted about the Mitford book series. If you've read them you are very familiar with the Orange Marmalade Cake made by Esther Bollik (I don't remember how to spell her last name!). My friend has read all the books and I thought I would surprise and bake this cake that is supposed to be so wonderful for her birthday. I have the companion cookbook and this is the picture of that beautiful cake! It had so many steps and went on and on, but anything for a friend, right?
I bought all my ingredients from the grocery store - zillions of eggs, heavy whipping cream, butter, an orange for the orange zest, the orange marmalade - just everything! Now let me tell you, to make this cake, you gotta be ready to do some serious baking. Step after step after step and three layers, too, not two layers like the picture above shows. I was so careful and did everything just right.
I must tell you, I'm a PEEPER! A peeper is someone who opens her oven door just a little too soon before the cake batter is done! Do you know what happens when you do that!? Well, I couldn't wait and slowly opened the oven door and just like letting the air out of a balloon, down down down went the centers of my cake layers! I almost threw them out! But closed the oven door and let them finish the last ten minutes of baking time.
I assembled my cake just so but still wanted to cry because of the mess I'd made. After I had iced this special cake - it looked more like a white volcano - someone may have thought I'd punched it in the center through all three layers.
I carefully spread the orange marmalade on top and it just slowing slide down into the center. I quickly put the cake into the fridge for the night!

The birthday lunch was very nice and my friend appreciated it. I went to the kitchen to retrieve the volcano cake and starting singing "Happy Birthday" to her. When I arrived at the dining room, I started to laugh and told her the story. Well, I cut the cake and guess what? It was delicious even with the volcano top!
So Dear Ones, if you ever want to make this cake, it's worth it! It is so delicious - just don't open the oven door until the baking time is over.
I know this is really a long recipe, but I thought I should include it in case you would love to try this Orange Marmalade Cake yourself:
Esther’s Orange Marmalade Cake

For the Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened and a little more for greasing pans
3 ¼ cups cake flour, more for dusting pans
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (to zest an orange, lemon or lime, use a veggie peeler to remove the outer (colored) peel, leaving the bitter white pith, and use a chef’s knife to mince the peel. You may also use a kitchen utensil called an orange zest, which produces finely grated orange peel)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature



For the orange syrup
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice ( I just used OJ straight from the carton :)
¼ cup granulated sugar


For the filling
1 ( 12 ounce ) jar orange marmalade


For the frosting
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream, chilled
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The Cake Preheat the oven to 350’. Lightly butter three 9 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, then lightly butter and flour the paper, shaking out any excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Sift a second time into another bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light in color, about 4 minutes. Add the 2 2/3 cups sugar in a steady stream with the mixer running. Beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to stop at least once to scrape down the batter from the sides of the bowl. After all of the eggs have been added, continue to beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the oil and beat for I1 minute. In a small bowl combine the orange zest, vanilla, and buttermilk. Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half of the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients, scrape down the sides, and add the remaining buttermilk.

Pour the batter among the prepared pans, smooth the surface, rap each pan on the counter to expel any air pockets or bubbles, then place in the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, (please, don’t peek before the finished cooking time or the layers will fall!) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 20 minutes.

The orange syrup In a small bowl stir together the orange juice and ¼ cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved. While the cakes are still in the cake pans, use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes at ½ inch intervals in the cake 2 layers. Spoon the syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to be completely absorbed before adding the remainder. Let the layers cool completely in the pans.

The filling Heat the marmalade in a small saucepan over medium heat until just melted. Let cool for 5 min.

The frosting In a chilled mixing bowl using the wire whisk attachment(if you have one), whip the heavy cream with the 4 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the sour cream, a little at a time and whisk until the mixture is a spreadable consistency.

To assemble the cake Invert one of the cake layers on a cake plate and carefully peel off the parchment. Spread one-third of the marmalade over the top, smoothing it into an even layer. Invert the second layer on top of the first, peel off the parchment, and spoon another third of the marmalade on top. Place the third cake layer on top, remove the parchment, and spoon the remaining marmalade onto the center of it, leaving a 1 ¼ inch border around the edges. Frost the sides and the top border with the frosting, leaving the marmalade on top of the cake exposed. Or, if you prefer, frost the entire cake first, adding the marmalade as a garnish on top. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
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Here's a little Note Song for you ~

MacArthur Park
MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it'cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

~ sung by Richard Harris