Personally, I prefer consuming fresh oranges and tangerines when they're in season. Sweet and juicy, the are full of vitamin C and redolent of the sunshine we miss so much during long winter months. But that doesn't prevent me from using citrus year round on a daily basis, from enjoying a simple olive oil and lemon juice salad dressing, to a nice gin and tonic on the rocks at the end of a hectic week.
I also use citrus a lot in cooking and baking. Most of my baking has developed on its own in the last couple of decades, as I experiment with flavors, textures and various combinations in aiming for both healthy and flavorful results. Sometimes unintentional mishaps occur and are remembered as pleasant results, other times they leave a funny memory behind.
Experience, however, becomes a cook's best friend in time. I now consider myself to have arrived in some aspects of my culinary world, so that I can forgo the occasional measuring spoon, the exact amount of an ingredient called for, or even substitute totally new candidates for fun. What it takes is an intimate understanding of the chemistry between the elements and the possible interaction of the ingredients when they meet unexpectedly in a batter or a sauce. If one can imagine and dare to take that first step, the rest is easy as pie - or a piece of cake.
The following is a product of my curious mind which wanted to know what I would obtain if I made a cake without using any dairy. Thus the liquid ingredients are comprised of the oil, eggs and the two large navel oranges which go – pith and peel – into the food processor. Clementines or tangerines will do well in this recipe, but be certain they are seedless.
Fresh Citrus Cake
2 large navel oranges, washed, cut into pieces (or 6 seedless clementines)
3 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water
2 ¼ cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
Spray a Bundt pan and sprinkle bottom with toasted slivered almonds.
Chop unpeeled oranges in the food processor until they are pea sized.
In a mixing bowl whisk eggs with oil and sugar.
Add prepared oranges, stir.
Sift flour with the rest of the dry ingredients into the orange egg mix. Stir with a wooden spoon until no flour shows.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes - or tests for done.
Cool, remove from pan.
Enjoy with your tea, coffe or milk !
Bon Appetit ! Afiyet Olsun !
Füsun Atalay ~ Copyright © Will of my Own - 2011