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!
- 4 eggs
- 90g white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120g all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 50g butter, melted and chilled
- 3 blood oranges
- 150ml blood orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)
- 40g sugar
- Zest from 1 blood orange
- Preheat your oven to 350F - 180C and line a 22cm round cake pan with parchment paper (only the bottom of the pan).
- 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.
- Sift the flour with salt in a bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mix the juice with sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Cook the syrup for 10 minutes until slightly reduced then remove from heat and add the orange zest.
- Let the zest infuse for 5 minutes then strain through a fine sieve.
- When the syrup cools down, carefully pour it over the cake with a spoon, making sure it soaks the cake evenly.
- Serve the cake chilled.
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!
- 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:
- Preincalziti cuptorul la 180C si tapetati fundul unei tavi rotunde cu hartie de copt.
- Curatati portocalele de coaja si taiati-le felii subtiri. Asezati portocalele in strat subtire pe fundul tavii si dati deoparte.
- Cerneti faina cu sarea intr-un bol.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transferati amestecul de unt si aluat in bolul mare si amestecati usor cu o spatula.
- Turnati blatul peste portocale si coaceti pentru 35-40 minute sau pana blatul e bine crescut, auriu si trece testul scobitorii.
- Scoateti din cuptor si cat e inca cald, intoarceti tortul pe un platou. Lasati sa se raceasca complet.
Sirop de portocale rosii:
- Combinati sucul de portocale cu zaharul si fierbeti pe foc medium pana scade putin.
- Luati de pe foc si adaugati coaja de portocala. Lasati sa infuzeze 5 minute apoi strecurati, caci tinde sa devina amarui in caz contrar.
- Lasati siropul sa se raceasca apoi insiropati tortul.
- Serviti tortul de la rece.