Learning 2 Bake, from Scratch – III

Orange Cake

From: Mark [that’s me]
Source: Williams-Sonoma.com via Rob

1 ½ cup sugar
6 eggs (room temperature)
separated plus 2 egg whites
1 orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice (room temperature)
2 ¼ cups cake flour, sifted
1 Tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil (canola recommended)
¼ cup water
½ tsp cream of tartar

[This one has instructions!]
Preheat oven to 350 with rack in lower ⅓. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper on bottom.
Sift together dry ingredients, except cream of tartar. In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients, except egg whites. [This is easier by hand than in a mixer; it’s very runny and splashes everywhere.] Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until batter is smooth.
Beat 8 whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold half of whites into batter until almost blended, the rest of whites until just combined.
Divide into pans, smooth tops [important to smooth]. Bake 25 minutes until toothpick clean. Cool on wire rack 20 minutes then knife around edge and invert onto rack; cool completely.

This looks more like cake! What could go wrong?

Unbeknownst to me, my cake pans are 8-inch. Most of the batter fit, but I baked them on cookie sheets so I wouldn’t slosh batter all over the oven putting them in. This turned out to be a wise decision because they overflowed as they rose.

My oven’s heat is uneven. The half of the cakes toward the center of the oven rose more than the outside halves. Of course, not symmetrically enough that stacking them opposite would fix it.

The sides of the cake pans are not vertical; there is quite a slant to them, although not pie pan slanted. So they didn’t stack evenly.

I also used the rest of the runny icing from the previous attempt. Adding a jar of orange marmalade did not thicken it and there was already too much confectioner’s sugar in it from earlier attempts at thickening.

The resulting leaning ziggarut in a lake of orange frosting is what inspired me to take pictures from then on.

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