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Orange Layer Cake
Beautiful Bright Flavor
Yes - I'm on a layer cake kick. I tend to do that - find one type of food and then go a bit crazy exploring different varieties. Nobody seems to complain when I'm in Cake Mode though. Matter of fact, I tend to get quite a few more calls and emails when it's pictures of great big, tall, towering, ridiculous confections. I don't mind. I like the extra company!
Citrus works beautifully in cakes. Lemon, orange, pineapple, lime - all share a bright burst of flavor that just pops. Usually in the background of a white cake, citrus fruits add a bit of freshness that's unlike anything else. This orange cake is a perfect example. Take the time to work with fresh juice, and you'll be amply rewarded in flavor!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
How to Make Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Butter and flour three 8 inch cake pans, or a 10-inch tube pan.
3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center, and set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg yolks until thickened and they become the color of lemons. Beat in orange juice, water, vanilla and both orange and lemon zest.
5. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat well with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
6. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold stiffened egg whites into batter, being careful not to defate the egg whites. Transfer batter to prepared pans.
7. Bake the layers for about 30-35 minutes, and a tube pan for about 55 minutes. In either case the cakes should be dry on top, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. If using layers, allow the cakes to cool in their pans for ten minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. With a tube pan, invert the pan immediately, cool for ten minutes, then turn onto a serving platter. In either case, allow cakes to cool completely before filling and frosting.
8. If you have layers, fill the cake layers with Orange Filling, and frost with Orange Buttercream Frosting. Garnish with Candied Orange Slices.
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