cake

Citrus Ginger Cake with Spiced Orange Compote

cakeTHIS RECIPE CALLS FOR:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored extra-virgin olive oil (I suggest Arbosana, Arbequina,or  Nocellara)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated (see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange or Meyer lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange or Meyer lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger, divided
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan (see Variation), line with parchment paper and oil the parchment. Stir together honey, oil, egg yolks, zest, juice and 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger in a medium bowl. Sift whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high in another medium bowl until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir the honey mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Gently fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula until they are well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool completely.

Just before serving, sift sugar evenly over the top of the cake and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Serve with Spiced Orange Compote on the side.

TIPS & NOTES
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4, tightly wrap in plastic wrap and hold at room temperature for up to 1 day. | Equipment: 8-inch cake pan (see Variation), parchment paper

Tip: To bring an egg to room temperature, set it out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.

Variation: You can use a 9-inch cake pan for this recipe, but you will get a thinner cake. Reduce the baking time to 25 to 30 minutes. You can find 8-inch cake pans at well-stocked kitchenware stores or online at surlatable.com.

Spiced Orange Compote ingredients:

  • 8 small oranges, preferably seedless
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise

PREPARATION

Use a 5-hole zester to remove zest from oranges into long, thin, spindly strips (see Variation). Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the zest to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small strainer (reserve the cooking liquid). Rinse with cold water; separate and drain on a paper towel.

Stir sugar into the reserved cooking liquid; bring to a simmer. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the sugar water and add the pod along with cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise. Continue to simmer until the sauce reduces to 1/2 cup and thickens slightly, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, slice off an end of each orange so they stand upright steadily. In careful sculpting slices, remove all the remaining peel and white pith from the oranges with a very sharp knife. Slice the peeled oranges into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Remove any extraneous pith or rind and any stray seeds.

Discard the vanilla pod and whole spices. Stir the zest into the sauce. Layer the orange slices in a serving bowl, spooning the sauce between layers to distribute the zest evenly throughout.

Spiced Orange Compote TIPS & NOTES

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Variation: If you don’t have a 5-hole zester, use a vegetable peeler to remove long strips of the outer skin (zest) of the orange. Cut the zest into thin slivers.

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