Thursday, March 26, 2009

godfather cake 'torta di moro'

I called this one 'The Godfather Cake' and the first bite knocked me out. Rich olive oil gives it a voluptuous depth, and an unexpected crispy bite. Moros, or 'blood oranges' counter back with a spark of bright, citrus flavor. A Dio, dolce mia vita...
2 blood oranges (Moro)
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. kefir, or plain yoghurt
1 c. sugar
3 lg eggs
1 3/4 c. Wondra, superfine flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt

the bath:
1/4 c. Aperol*, optional
2 t. clover honey
1 blood orange juiced (about 1/2 c.)
squeeze of lemon
*Originated in 1919, Aperol is an Italian orange aperitif made from a blend of spirit, rhubarb, chinchona, genziana and a secret combination of herbs.

Preheat oven to 350 & lightly butter one round 9" cake pan. Grate the zest off 2 oranges and mix in a bowl with 1 cup sugar until sugar turns a deep orange. Remove the flesh segments of one orange and place in a small bowl (this is a little tricky but a paring knife will help). Squeeze the juice of the second orange into a measuring cup. Depending on how much juice you get, add kefir until it gets to the 2/3 cup mark. Pour this into a mixing bowl; add eggs and whisk well.
In another bowl; mix flour, baking powder/soda and salt. Gradually whisk the juice mixture, sugar mixture, and then the orange segments into the flour. (segments should break into bits)
Gently fold olive oil into batter until it is evenly distributed. Pour into single pan and bake on center rack 45 minutes. When the top is light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean-it's ready. Leave to cool and set 10 minutes.
Mix the ingredients for the bath to desired taste and sweetness; you can heat gently or simply blend at room temperature. Pour onto a dish platter, place cake in the center and dust with powdered sugar. (Adapted from NY Times Melissa Clark, 'Secrets of the Cake Stand')

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