Learning 2 Bake, from Scratch – II

Orange Cake

From: Erna [that’s grandma]
Source: Leona

1 ½ cups flour
6 eggs (whites separate)
1 orange rind
½ cup orange juice
2 cups Swansdown™  flour (after sifting)

Bake one and one quarter hours slowly.

This is the recipe that inspired the Learning 2 Bake effort. If you know anything about cakes, which I did not when I attempted this, you will immediately notice some problems with this recipe.

The first question I had was, “what does one do with the separated eggs?” A coworker informed me that this is common: Beat the whites until stiff and fold them in as the last step. OK. I can do that.

When the dough turned into a brick in the mixer, my suspicion that two different sorts of flour really was a problem – not so much the different types, but the flour/liquid proportions were wrong. I attempted to de-brick it by adding water. This resulted in a lumpy paste even after several minutes in the KitchenAid. It easily fit in a half gallon ZipLock bag, which easily fit in the trash can.

Clearly there is a problem. Perhaps the first ingredient is “water” not “flour”. This resulted in a much better, although runny, batter. Folding the beaten egg whites into thickened it. Into a cake pan and into the oven it went.

Conveniently, I had six egg whites left over, so why not Italian Buttercream Frosting? One good reason would have been that the recipe only calls for five egg whites. If you want runny icing, adding one more is how you get it.

Beep! Beep! Beep! Ah, my cake is done! If you’re not laughing, you should be.

The result was not a cake. Neither was it a custard. The egg settled to the bottom creating a custard-ish layer, followed by a cake-ish layer, topped with a bread-ish layer. It didn’t taste terrible, but it definitely was not a cake – and nor was it orange. The orange rind zest got tossed with the first failed batter and I did not have another orange. It was edible, though.

Off to Teh Intertubes!

SwansDown used to make a “green box” flour that contained pre-added, pre-measured baking powder and salt. They no longer make this, although they do still make the “red box” flour, which I had purchased, and their web site FAQ has the amounts to add, which is very considerate.

Looking at the original recipe, I found that I had transcribed “sugar” as “flour”, which explains the not-custard, not-cake, bread-ish flavor.

I also found a very similar recipe at Williams-Sonoma (dot com). Sorry, grandma, but that is the subject of the next post.

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