Sunday, August 11, 2013

Orange Grand Marnier Cake

Out of the many cakes I have made, this particular one got the most compliments in regards to the lightness of flavor and texture. The icing is made with whipped cream and is less sweet than buttercream.  The orange flavor is a mix of orange juice, zest and grand marnier but it is not overpowering. Between the light icing and the chiffon layers, this cake would be good as a part of afternoon brunch or tea.

Orange Grand Marnier Cake
adapted from Sky High, Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes

Ingredients/ Cake
8 eggs, whites separated from yolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
2 tbs fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbs grated orange zest
orange food coloring (optional)

1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 water
1/4 cup sugar

1 tbs grated orange zest
6 oz chopped white chocolate
2 tbs Grand Marnier
2 1/2 cups cream
optional toppings- white chocolate shavings or candied orange peel

Prepare 3 nine inch cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper.  Leave the pans ungreased. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix together the egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest and water, set aside.  In another bowl sift together the salt, flour, baking soda.  Stir in just 1 cup of the sugar until blended.  Pour the egg yolk mixture into the dry and whisk until all becomes a smooth batter.   Add the optional orange food coloring until desired color is met, bearing in mind that the egg white mixture will dilute the batter color.

Pour the egg whites into a bowl of a standard mixer. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar.  Beat egg whites until they reach a frothy consistency.  With the mixer on medium speed, continue to beat and slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar.  The mixture should reach a soft peak stage. This is important, any beating beyond this will insure that your cake will be dry.

Scoop out 1/4 cup of the egg white mixture and fold it into the egg yolk/flour batter.  Continue with this process, folding in egg whites to batter until no white streaks remain.  Pour batter in equal amounts into pans.

Bake the cakes until a tester comes out clean, which should be about 16-18 minutes.  Remove pans and run a butter knife around the inside eggs of the pans, releasing the edges of the cake layers. Cool cakes in pans.  As they are cooling, the syrup and frosting can be prepared.

For the syrup,  add the sugar and water to a saucepan.  Place the saucepan over medium heat and let simmer, stirring constantly.  Once the syrup has reduced to about 1/2 cup, remove from heat. Wait until syrup reaches room temperature and then stir in the Grand Marnier.

The frosting starts with a double boiler set up.  Add the white chocolate and 1/2 cup of cream.  Let the chocolate melt in the pan over simmering water. Remove from heat and let this also come to room temperature.  When the desired temperature is reached mix in the Grand Marnier and orange zest.

Then chill a bowl with mixer beaters. Fill the bowl with the remainder of the whipping cream and beat until almost a stiff consistency.  Then fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture.

Peel off the parchment and invert one layer of cake onto cake round or cake plate.  Brush the face up side with 1/4 cup of the syrup and then follow up by adding 1 cup of the frosting on top, smoothing it out evenly. Place the second layer on top and repeat the process.  Then do the last layer and frost top and sides.  If desired, garnish the top with chocolate shavings or candied orange peel.
                               **LAST YEAR: Strawberry Shortcakes**