{Strawberry Blood Orange Cake} – Tort cu portocale rosii si capsune

strawberry blood orange cake

If you asked me years ago about Valentine’s Day, I would have said I hate it, it’s too commercial bla bla bla, but years have gone by and I realized that we need more and more days that celebrate love in any way, whether we call it V-Day or some other way, just let them be and let’s enjoy it. I prefer looking at 14 February as the day when we should be gentle with each other, be patient, express our love more and just be there for each other. Of course, these are things that should be done all year around, but let’s face it, life is not as pink as we imagined in childhood or teen years, is it?! We often end up telling ourselves that we should love more, express more, feel more – and that’s when celebrations like this one step in, as a reminder of all that, so let’s enjoy this day to the maximum and look at its deepest meanings, not at its pink or red colored gifts.

This strawberry blood orange cake wasn’t designed for Valentine’s Day, although it’s so refreshing and delicious that I would highly recommend it for any special day. Instead, I designed it to celebrate the upcoming spring. It has layers of moist, rich sponge and a refreshing strawberry and blood orange filling. Once layered, the cake is covered with the most delicious, richest, creamiest, flavorful cream cheese frosting, which you’ve seen on this blog before, but I love it so much that I don’t miss any occasion on making it. Its mild tartness and intense vanilla flavor is just what this cake needs to become the perfect treat for this time of the year. Don’t you just love it how, despite being still winter on the calendar, people already feel like spring? The snow is still on the ground, but in stores you can find fresh strawberries, tulips and other spring flowers. That’s what this cake represents – the way winter and spring intertwine at this time of the year, the richness of winter food and ingredients and the freshness of spring, bright, light fruits, vegetables and greens.

It’s barely half way through February, but we had such a lovely spring day today – sunny and bright, warm and joyful, the town and people looked so happy. Now I know winter is not over yet and we’ve had heavy snow in March in the past, but we’re almost there and I couldn’t be happier. I’m a person to love the sun, light and being warm, flowly skirts and loose t-shirts and this winter has been nothing but cold and boring so I’m happy to get rid of it asap.

{Strawberry Blood Orange Cake}
 
Author:
Serves:: 8-10 servings
Ingredients:
Cake:
  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 30g shredded coconut
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 250g white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons blood orange zest
  • 125g sour cream
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 130g white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 145g butter, softened
  • 300g cream cheese, room temperature
Strawberry Blood Orange Filling:
  • 200g fresh strawberries, diced
  • 300g blood orange segments
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 50g white sugar
  • 10g fruit pectin
Candied Blood Orange Slices:
  • 2 blood oranges, finely sliced
  • 100g sugar
  • 100ml water
Directions:
Cake:
  1. Prepare 2 18cm round cake pans by lining them with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Add the shredded coconut.
  3. Mix the butter, oil and sugar in a bowl until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the eggs, one by one, then add the vanilla and orange zest, as well as the sour cream.
  5. Mix the buttermilk with baking soda in a cup.
  6. Fold in the flour, alternating it with buttermilk. Always start with dry ingredients and end with wet ones.
  7. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated then pour the batter into your prepared pans.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Let the cakes cool in the pan then cut them in half lengthwise. You will get 4 layers of cake - well, 3 in my case as one of them dissapeared by magic when my little man entered the kitchen.
Strawberry Blood Orange Filling:
  1. Combine the fruits in a saucepan. Add the orange zest, sugar and pectin and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes then remove from heat and let it cool completely.
Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  1. Mix the egg whites, salt and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a hot water bath and mix with a whisk until the egg whites are frothy and hot.
  2. Remove from heat and continue mixing with an electric mixer at least 5 minutes or until the bowl cools down and the egg whites turned into a stiff, glossy meringue.
  3. Add the butter, all at once and continue mixing for 5-6 minutes. At first, the mixture will turn soupy and curdled, but keep mixing on low speed until it comes together into a creamy, smooth frosting.
  4. Mix the cream cheese with vanilla extract then add the buttercream made earlier, spoon by spoon, mixing just until incorporated.
  5. Spoon a few tablespoons of cream into a pastry bag and place aside.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Place one sponge on a platter then pipe a circle of cream cheese buttercream on the outer edge of the sponge. Fill the center with part of the strawberry orange filling and cover with another sponge.
  2. Repeat the same process with the cream and filling.
  3. Cover the cake with the remaining cream cheese buttercream and place in the fridge.
Candied Blood Orange Slices:
  1. Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the orange slices and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.
  3. Remove from heat and let the slices cool in the syrup.
  4. Drain the orange slices well and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven at 350F for 10 minutes or until they begin to caramelize slightly. Just stay close to the oven as the line between perfectly caramelized and burnt is fine.
  6. Allow the slices to cool completely then use them to decorate the cake.
  7. Serve the cake chilled.

strawberry blood orange cake


ROMANIAN!

Desi in calendar e inca februarie si frig, in realitate vremea din ultimele zile in partea asta de Romanie ma duce cu gandul la primavara, la arome fructate, la soare, la fuste largi si vaporoase, la sandale si vreme calduroasa. Sunt o persoana solara, fara lumina de la soare, fara razele care sa-mi mangaie parul nu rezist prea mult timp, ma deprima zilele intunecate nesfarsite, iar iarna asta a avut din plin din aceste zile care parca nu se mai terminau. Asa ca eu una, in pofida trecerii timpului atat de rapida, sunt fericita ca de apropiem de primavara.

Si desi maine e Valentine’s Day, tortul acesta nu a fost facut pentru aceasta ocazie, ci pentru a celebra tocmai apropierea primaverii. Mi se pare magnific cum, desi inca iarna, elemente ale primaverii si-au facut aparitia – capsune proaspete, lalele – inconjurate inca de pere, mere, portocale, toate sinonime cu iarna din punct de vedere culinar. Asa ca tortul acesta reprezinta imbinarea perfecta dintre iarna si primavara, trecerea dintre cele doua anotimpuri, trecerea de la mancarurile grele si torturile bogate, la cele fresh, usoare, aromate. O parte din elementele acestui tort au mai fost prezentate pe blog asa ca garantez pentru reusita lor si va invit sa va delectati pupilele (si papilele) cu acest tort delicios!

Ingrediente:

Blat:

  • 400g faina alba
  • 1 1/2 lingurite praf de copt
  • 1/2 lingurita sare
  • 30g nuca de cocos
  • 125g unt, moale
  • 100ml ulei vegetal neutru
  • 250g zahar alb
  • 2 oua
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 2 lingurite coaja de portocala
  • 125g smantana
  • 250ml lapte batut
  • 1 lingurita bicarbonat de sodiu

Crema de branza pe baza de bezea belgiana:

  • 3 albusuri
  • 130g zahar
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 1 1/2 lingurite extract de vanilie
  • 145g unt la temperatura camerei
  • 300g crema de branza

Jeleu de capsune cu portocale rosii:

  • 200g capsune proaspete, cuburi
  • 300g segmente de portocale rosii (segmente inseamna felii de portocala fara coaja)
  • 1 lingurita coaja de portocala
  • 50g zahar
  • 10g pectina de fructe (eu am folosit Gelifix Dr. Oetker 3:1)

Felii de portocala confiate:

  • 100g zahar
  • 100ml apa
  • 2 portocale rosii, taiate felii subtiri

Mod de preparare:

Blat:

  1. Pregatiti doua tavi rotunde de 18cm si preincalziti cuptorul la 180C.
  2. Cerneti faina cu praful de copt si sarea intr-un bol apoi adaugati nuca de cocos razuita.
  3. Mixati untul, uleiul si zaharul intr-un bol pana obtineti o compozitie cremoasa, fina.
  4. Adaugati ouale, unul cate unul, apoi vanilia, coaja de portocala si smantana.
  5. Amestecati laptele batut cu bicarbonatul.
  6. Incorporati faina in amestecul de unt, alternand-o cu laptele batut. Incepeti si terminati cu ingredientele uscate.
  7. Turnati blatul in cele 2 tavi pregatite si coaceti pentru 40-45 minute sau pana blatul trece testul scobitorii.
  8. Lasati blaturile sa se raceasca in tava apoi taiati-le in jumatate. Veti obtine 4 discuri de blat – desi in poze veti vedea doar 3 straturi caci in cazul meu, unul dintre discurile de blat a disparut in mod misterios dupa ce un anume baietel si-a facut aparitia in bucatarie.

Jeleu de capsune si portocale rosii:

  1. Combinati toate ingredientele intr-un vas si fierbeti 5 minute doar pana fructele sunt usor moi.
  2. Luati de pe foc si lasati amestecul sa se raceasca complet.

Crema de branza pe baza de bezea:

  1. Combinati albusurile, sarea si zaharul intr-un bol rezistent la caldura. Puneti bolul pe o baie de aburi si infierbantati amestecul bine, amestecand continuu pana zaharul e topit complet iar amestecul e fierbinte.
  2. Luati bolul de pe baia de aburi si mixati albusurile cu un mixer electric cel putin 5 minute pana obtineti o bezea ferma, lucioasa, iar bolul s-a racit complet.
  3. Adaugati untul la temperatura camerei si mixati bine. La inceput, compozitia va fi apoasa, moale, dar continuati sa mixati pana obtineti o crema de unt bine legata, cremoasa, fina.
  4. Mixati crema de branza cu vanilia, apoi adaugati crema de unt, lingura dupa lingura.
  5. Turnati cateva linguri de crema de branza intr-un pos si dati deoparte.

Felii de portocala confiate:

  1. Combinati apa si zaharul intr-un bol si fierbeti pana se topeste zaharul.
  2. Adaugati feliile de portocala si fierbeti-le 10 minute la foc mic. Lasati portocalele sa se raceasca in sirop.
  3. Scurgeti feliile de portocala bine apoi asezati-le pe o tava tapetata cu hartie de copt.
  4. Coaceti la 180C pentru 5-10 minute sau pana feliile de portocala incep sa se caramelizeze.
  5. Scoateti din cuptor si lasati-le sa se raceasca complet.

Pentru a asambla tortul:

  1. Asezati un disc de blat pe un platou apoi turnati cu posul un strat de crema pe marginile blatului. Umpleti centrul cu jeleu de capsune si portocale apoi acoperiti cu un al doilea disc de blat si repetati procedeul si cu restul de crema si jeleu.
  2. Acoperiti tortul cu un strat de crema de branza si dati la rece.
  3. Decorati tortul cu felii de portocala confiate si capsune proaspete.

strawberry blood orange cake

{Blood Orange Upside Down Cake} – Tort intors cu portocale rosii

orange upside down cake

There are days when I love working on a dessert for hours, like entremets, and there are days when I simply can’t think of anything too complicated and I just want to whip up something really quick to go with a cup of tea. And this was one of those days – gloomy and somehow foggy outside, I just couldn’t bring myself together to do more than an orange upside down cake infused with a blood orange syrup. It sounds simple and it really is, trust my words! The base of this cake, the genoise, is by definition a soft cake and I enriched it with melted butter for both a softer texture and an improved taste. The great thing about genoise is that it can be used either for this kind of cakes or as a base for other delicious creations. I often used it in my entremets and although it’s not the most exquisite cake out there in terms of ingredients, I like its texture and taste, especially when you add a touch of butter. Butter makes everything better, isn’t it?! Mind you, I had a bread and butter sandwich this morning for breakfast so there’s the answer to that question.

The topping of this cake consists of thinly sliced blood oranges. Now, mine weren’t all as “bloody” as I would have wanted them to be, but having this color contrasts makes the cake more beautiful than I ever predicted it would be. Once the cake was baked, I decided it needed more syrup so I made a blood orange syrup and gently soaked it up with even more flavor. Don’t expect an overly sweet cake of some sorts as the sugar quantity is minimum and I like it that way. I definitely prefer aroma over sugar and in fact, many of the recipes you find on my blog have the sugar cut down to as little as possible simply because I believe that too much sugar kills any flavor, leaving you with an overly sweet taste that requires a few mouthfuls of water and not another bite of dessert. My definition of dessert is a mix of sugar and flavor that balance each other and complement one another, not overpower. In fact, I strongly believe that moderation is the key to a healthy life and I somehow hate this idea of making the sugar the culprit of all our health problems and giving it all sorts of names that don’t do it justice. Sugar and butter are part of my religion!

{Blood Orange Upside Down Cake}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Genoise cake:
  • 4 eggs
  • 90g white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 50g butter, melted and chilled
  • 3 blood oranges
Blood orange syrup:
  • 150ml blood orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)
  • 40g sugar
  • Zest from 1 blood orange
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F - 180C and line a 22cm round cake pan with parchment paper (only the bottom of the pan).
  2. Take your 3 blood oranges and remove the skin (including the thin white skin) with a sharp knife. Cut each orange into thin slices and place them all in a single layer on the bottom of your prepared pan. Place aside.
  3. Sift the flour with salt in a bowl.
  4. Combine the eggs with sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix about 7 minutes on high speed until triple in volume, fluffy and pale.
  5. Using a spatula, incorporate the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix gently, from bottom to top and make slow moves, trying not to deflate the eggs.
  6. Take 3-4 tablespoons of batter in a smaller bowl and drizzle in the melted butter. Mix with your spatula until incorporated then transfer this mixture into the bigger bowl and mix just as gently. This is done because butter tends to sink at the bottom of the bowl so you'd have to mix into the batter for a longer time thus deflating it more and more and over-mixing it. But mixing it with a smaller quantity of batter first prevents it from sinking and incorporating it becomes easier. It's just a small trick I learnt and been using with great success for genoise cakes.
  7. Pour the batter over the oranges and level it. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until well risen and if you press the center of the cake with your fingertips, it springs back. The toothpick test can be used as well.
  8. When done, remove from the oven, loosen the edges of the cake with a knife and turn it upside down on a platter. Carefully remove the parchment paper and let the cake cool down.
Blood orange syrup:
  1. Mix the juice with sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Cook the syrup for 10 minutes until slightly reduced then remove from heat and add the orange zest.
  3. Let the zest infuse for 5 minutes then strain through a fine sieve.
  4. When the syrup cools down, carefully pour it over the cake with a spoon, making sure it soaks the cake evenly.
  5. Serve the cake chilled.

orange upside down cakeorange upside down cake

 


ROMANIAN!

Sunt zile cand am un chef nebun sa lucrez, sa bibilesc un tort ori un desert, insa sunt si zile in care nu vreau sa petrec prea mult timp in bucatarie.. si asta a fost una din acele zile. Dar voriam totusi ceva dulce, ceva bun si cum aveam si cateva portocale rosii acrisoare, delicioase si atat de frumoase, m-am gandit repede ca un genoise imbogatit cu unt s-ar potrivi la fix. Noua ne-a placut mult rezultatul. Nu e un tort prea dulce, dar e aromat si se face foarte usor si repede – solutia perfecta pentru zilele cand nu ai chef de stat in bucatarie ore in sir!

Ingrediente:

Blat genoise:

  • 4 oua
  • 90g zahar
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 120g faina alba
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 50g unt, topit si racit
  • 3 portocale rosii

Sirop de portocale rosii:

  • 150ml suc de portocale
  • 40g zahar
  • Coaja de la 1 portocala

Mod de preparare:

Blat genoise:

  1. Preincalziti cuptorul la 180C si tapetati fundul unei tavi rotunde cu hartie de copt.
  2. Curatati portocalele de coaja si taiati-le felii subtiri. Asezati portocalele in strat subtire pe fundul tavii si dati deoparte.
  3. Cerneti faina cu sarea intr-un bol.
  4. Mixati ouale cu zaharul si vanilia cel putin 7 minute pana isi tripleaza volumul. Practica uzuala a genoise-ului cere ca ouale sa fie incalzite cu zaharul pe baie de aburi, proces care ajuta incorporarea aerului mai bine, dar nu consider necesar acest lucru pentru un astfel de tort. E suficient ca ouale sa fie la temperatura camerei.
  5. Incorporati treptat, folosind o spatula, faina cernuta. Luati deoparte 3-4 linguri de aluat si amestecati-l cu untul topit. Untul tinde sa se lase la fundul bolului, insa amestecandu-l cu o cantitate mica de aluat prima data, incorporarea lui in restul de aluat devine mai usoara.
  6. Transferati amestecul de unt si aluat in bolul mare si amestecati usor cu o spatula.
  7. Turnati blatul peste portocale si coaceti pentru 35-40 minute sau pana blatul e bine crescut, auriu si trece testul scobitorii.
  8. Scoateti din cuptor si cat e inca cald, intoarceti tortul pe un platou. Lasati sa se raceasca complet.

Sirop de portocale rosii:

  1. Combinati sucul de portocale cu zaharul si fierbeti pe foc medium pana scade putin.
  2. Luati de pe foc si adaugati coaja de portocala. Lasati sa infuzeze 5 minute apoi strecurati, caci tinde sa devina amarui in caz contrar.
  3. Lasati siropul sa se raceasca apoi insiropati tortul.
  4. Serviti tortul de la rece.

orange upside down cakeorange upside down cake

{Blood Orange Polenta Cake} – Chec cu malai si portocale rosii

orange polenta cake

Food shopping is fun, I love it, especially when I need to re-stock on my baking ingredients. There’s nothing that excites me more than buying chocolate, cocoa powder, flour, sugar and various fruits to bake with. I usually go shopping with a list and try to buy only what’s on the list. Only try as every single time I end up buying something that’s not on the list – and exactly this is what happened with these beautiful blood oranges. The moment I grabbed them from the food aisle my mind was already imagining all sorts of desserts using them and that beautiful red color of the orange juice. I was so excited that I forgot to buy flour, no kidding!

Polenta is very common in Romania. It’s a dish we pair with many things, from steak to stews or soups or my favorite – with feta cheese and sour cream. But desserts using polenta are rare and only known in some parts of the country. In fact, I vaguely remember a polenta dessert from my childhood and I clearly never tasted one as an adult. Until now that is because I totally love this polenta cake and it really blew my mind away with its texture and delicate taste. Of course you could replace the polenta flour with all-purpose flour, but it’s not going to have  that slightly crunch when you bite into it and the color won’t be as yellow and beautiful. The blood oranges are not compulsory and could be replaced with simple oranges or maybe lemons. But look at that beautiful pink glaze! It’s only made with orange juice and powdered sugar and it looks so delicate and pretty, don’t you think?!

5.0 from 1 reviews
{Blood Orange Polenta Cake}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Cake:
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 200g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 140g polenta flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Juice from 2 small blood oranges
Blood orange glaze:
  • 120g powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons blood orange juice
Directions:
Cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F - 180C and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Place it aside until needed.
  2. Mix the butter with sugar for 5 minutes or until fluffy and creamy.
  3. Stir in the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each egg addition. Stir in the vanilla and orange zest as well.
  4. Combine the flour with polenta, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix half of the flour into the batter.
  5. Add the orange juice and fold in the remaining half of the flour mixture.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  7. When done, remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake upside down on a platter and let it cool completely.
Blood orange glaze:
  1. Combine the powdered sugar with blood orange juice and mix well.
  2. The glaze should be thick but still slightly runny. If it's too thin, add more sugar until it reaches the desired consistency. If it's too thick, add a few drops of orange juice at a time until it thins down to the consistency you're after.
  3. Pour the glaze over the chilled cake and let it set.
  4. Decorate with blood orange slices if you wish.

orange polenta cake


ROMANIAN!

Va propun astazi o reteta care foloseste malaiul nostru de toate zilele intr-un mod foarte creativ si delicios – intr-un desert. Suprinzator pentru unii, perfect normal pentru cei care au gustat macar o data mamaliga cu zahar, acest desert e aromat si atat de elegant cu aceste culori superbe – galbenul intens al malaiului si rozul perfect al portocalelor rosii. Portocalele rosii nu sunt obligatorii, desi la cat de frumoasa e glazura, nu le-as inlocui cu nimic altceva. Desigur, pana si malaiul il puteti inlocui cu faina normala, dar reteta devine un banal chec care, desi gustos, nu are nimic in plus fata de alte checuri si ii lipseste textura pe care malaiul i-o da. Va recomand sa-l incercati in varianta asta inainte de toate si apoi sa decideti daca are nevoie de alte modificari sau nu. Veti fi cu adevarat surprinsi de cat de bun este!

Ingrediente:

Chec cu malai:

  • 250g unt la temperatura camerei
  • 200g zahar
  • 4 oua
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 1 lingura coaja de portocala
  • 200g faina alba
  • 140g faina de malai
  • 2 lingurite praf de copt
  • 1 praf de sare
  • Sucul de la 2 portocale rosii mici

Glazura de portocale rosii:

  • 120g zahar pudra cernut
  • 2-3 linguri suc de portocale rosii
  • 1/2 lingurita coaja de portocala
  • Felii de portocale rosii pentru decor

Mod de preparare:

Chec cu malai:

  1. Preincalziti cuptorul la 180C si tapetati o tava de chec cu hartie de copt.
  2. Amestecati faina, malaiul, praful de copt si sarea intr-un bol si dati deoparte.
  3. Mixati untul cu zaharul, vanilia si coaja de portocala pentru cel putin 5 minute pana obtineti o compozitie cremoasa, fina.
  4. Adaugati rand pe rand ouale, mixand bine dupa fiecare ou, apoi incorporati amestecul de faina si la final adaugati sucul de portocale.
  5. Turnati aluatul in tava de copt si coaceti pentru 35-40 minute sau pana trece testul scobitorii.
  6. Cand e gata, lasati checul sa se racoreasca in tava pret de cateva minute, apoi transferati-l pe o tava/platou si lasati-l sa se raceasca complet.

Glazura de portocale rosii:

  1. Amestecati cele doua ingrediente intr-un bol. Glazura trebuie sa fie groasa ca o smantana. Daca e prea subtire, mai adaugati putin cate putin zahar pudra. Daca e prea groasa, mai adaugati, picatura cu picatura, suc de portocale pana capata consistenta necesara.
  2. Turnati glazura peste chec si serviti-l rece. Putina frisca sau chiar smantana acra merge foarte bine cu o felie de chec. Nu uitati de o cana de ceai sau lapte!

orange polenta cake