Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Food: Orange Sponge Cake

I'm a cookie baker and I seldom bake cakes. I usually have a craving for something sweet and make something without consulting my husband. This time, though, I asked him what he would like and he said, "cake!" "What kind?" I said. "Pound cake!" he said. Well, I looked at several recipes that required over a pound of butter. I just couldn't make a pound cake for the 2 of us in good conscience. I found this recipe for a sponge cake instead. It was a good compromise: my husband liked it and I know just from the ingredients that it didn't do as much damage to our figures as the pound cake would have.

This recipe is from an old Taste of Home magazine and with all the egg beating required, it's the only time I've ever really needed a stand up mixer, but alas, I don't have one and managed just fine with the electric hand mixer. The cake is light and tasty and well worth the effort!

Orange Sponge Cake

6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tsp grated orange peel
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 to 5 tsp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in 2/3 cup sugar. Add orange juice and orange peel; beat 3 minutes longer. Gradually add flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt and mix well.
In a large mixing bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into batter.
Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan (I used a bundt pan). Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on lowest oven rack at 325 for 45-55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Removed cake to a serving plate.
For glaze, melt butter in a medium bowl in microwave. Add confectioner's sugar, water and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Pour over cake, allowing it to drizzle down sides.
Yield: 12 servings, approx. 310 calories.

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