On our long, long car ride home from Utah, I had lots of magazines to catch up on. While flipping through the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, I saw a recipe for Marmalade Cake and was intrigued by it having semolina flour in it. I had just recently purchased some semolina flour and had been looking for recipes to use it in.
The recipe also has ground almonds as well as fresh orange and lemon juice and orange marmalade. I really thought I’d make the recipe just as it was written (surprise), but I’d remembered a French Yogurt Cake I’d made for TWD a while back and I put orange marmalade on top of slices of the cake and didn’t really care for the bites of orange peel. So (surprise) I did change the way the cake was made. And I was happy it still turned out really good. This cake is super moist, since it is doused in an orange syrup and left to sit overnight. The cake is made with egg whites that are beaten to a stiff peak as well as with the yolks. Here’s where I made just a tiny mistake.
I love putting zest in with sugar and rubbing it in with my fingers and I knew I wanted to add zest to the cake, but leave out the bigger chunks of orange peel from the marmalade. So I rubbed the zest in the sugar, THEN read the directions that say to beat the whites to a stiff peak with the sugar. And I knew there probably shouldn’t be anything else in with the eggs and sugar so they would stiffen. Well, beat I did. The recipe says to bean the egg whites for 8 minutes. About 15 minutes later, and with still egg whites that did not stiffen, but did become pale and slightly fluffy, I gave up and called it as good as it was going to get. I knew the cake just wouldn’t rise up as nice and fluffy. But I’d hoped it would still taste good. And it does!
The recipe says to bake in an 8 inch square pan, but I wanted to try little cupcakes, so I made 12 cupcakes and put the rest of the batter in an 8 inch round pan. And I ended up with 12 nice little cupcakes that the boys devoured and an 8 inch round cake. The cake tastes great. It IS very moist, as I mentioned and has a great orange flavor and that little bit of crunchy-nuttiness from the semolina and ground almonds. If you DO really like marmalade, you could dollop some on top of slices of the cake, or whipped cream would be good, too. I went with just a little bit of powdered sugar and some chopped almonds as the original recipe suggested. The recipe called for golden raisins, but I left those out.
I was surprised (and happy) that the boys ate two of these each in one sitting. The boys ate the cupcakes the evening I made these and they were still great even without their overnight rest. So here’s my adapted version of the Food Network cake.
Orange Almond Cake, adapted by Katrina Smith from Food Network Magazine’s Marmalade Cake, April 2010
For the cake:
1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for the pan
3 large eggs, separated (room temperature)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
zest of half a large orange (1 tablespoon)
3/4 cup (3 oz.) all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups semolina flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (the original recipe didn’t have salt, I added some)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 1/2 large oranges)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/2 cup orange marmalade (heated and strained, orange peel removed)
Powdered sugar and/or chopped almonds for topping
For the syrup:
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 an orange (juice about 1/4 cup) and strips of the peel with as little pith as possible)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners and lightly grease an 8 inch round pan with oil. Set aside.
Beat the eggs whites and sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. In the meantime, in another bowl, whisk together to sift the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl (this can all be done by hand after beating the egg whites). Add the oil, orange and lemon juices and the strained marmalade to the yolks and mix to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients, then fold in the beaten egg whites until just combined.
Fill the cupcakes liners and pan with batter (you could do all cupcakes, they’d be perfect for a shower or party). Bake until the cake is golden and springs back when touched. The cupcakes took 12 minutes and the 8 inch round cake took 17 minutes. (The original recipes says an 8 inch square pan should take about 30 minutes.)
While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Bring 3/4 cup water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Squeeze in the orange juice and add the peel. Simmer until syrupy, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Pour the syrup over the cake while both are still warm. Cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight. Top with powdered sugar and/or almonds.