Sunday, January 3, 2016

Orange Liqueur Bundt Cake

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I remember my last New Year's post, stating that I would make it my best year ever. It was full of changes, however all of those changes have enriched my life and I am so thankful. 2016 has me looking forward to less changes, but just as much enjoyment as 2015.

It is cloudy and overcast, but I am lighthearted so I have my own sunshine. The perfect match to my mood is this citrus cake. Infused with orange liqueur and orange zest, it brings something lighter to the holiday table.

The recipe includes a topping with marscapone cream and blackberry compote, but I choose something simpler to drizzle on top. The extra options are not included in the instructions below, but I am sure you can come up with a suitable topping for your taste. I chose to enhance that sweet orange flavor with fresh squeezed juice and chunks of oranges.

I really loved how the juice soaked into the cake a little, giving it a different texture. Also, the juicy orange chunks were a refreshing addition.

Orange Liqueur Bundt Cake
adapted from the Cooking Channel

4 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of orange liqueur
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter, softened and cubed
3 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
orange juice, peeled orange segments (optional)

Grease the interior of a 12 cup bundt pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium size bowl. Fill another bowl, smaller in size, with the orange liqueur and milk and stir. Set both bowls aside.

Place the butter chunks into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Then add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes, creating a thick, fluffy mixture. Add the vanilla extract and one egg. Beat until all is evenly combined. Add, one by one, each egg and beat for 30 seconds at a time, scraping down the sides after each egg is beaten into batter.

Continue to beat the mixture, this time on low, and add the flour in 1/2 cup increments. After all the flour is added, change the speed to medium and stream in the milk/liqueur mixture. Once it is all blended and batter is smooth, transfer to prepared bundt pan. Smooth the top and make sure batter is level inside the cake pan.

Place pan in oven on center rack and bake for about 50 minutes and check with tester. The recipe states 1 hour and 10 minutes, but it will vary depending on the color of your pan. After baking, let cool in pan for about 20 minutes and invert onto rack to finish cooling.

Once cool, slice and serve with topping of your choice.

Tips and Notes:
1. Proper baking time is important for the texture of the cake, so keep a watchful eye out.
2. Even though beating the batter works better than folding the dry mixture in, be careful not to over beat.
3. I contemplated mini choc chips in this cake, but I feel it would have over powered the light orange flavor.
                                    **LAST YEAR:Candy Bar Tart**