Thursday, December 11, 2008

Orange Cardamom Cake

I have a couple recipe notebooks mostly made up of recipes cut from magazines or printed off the Internet.  This year I decided not to renew my magazine subscriptions to Cooking Light and Vegetarian Times and actually start making some of those recipes.  They are both great magazines, but they were just piling up.  I went through those stacks and cut out every recipe I was interested in or possibly thought I would make.  I divided them into two different notebooks, one for breads, desserts, and other baked goods, and the other for everything else.  And I'm actually making some headway with them!  I counted today and I've made 10 recipes from the baking/dessert group and about 7 0r 8 from the everything group (this tally is just from the magazines, it doesn't include all the new recipes I've tried from food blogs!).    I have a lot more to go, but I have a goal of trying one or two new recipes a week until I get them all made.  I've added many new recipes from food blogs and other sources and I intend to weed out any I don't like as I go, although so far, every new thing I've tried has been a keeper.  Today's recipe is one of the ones I got from Cooking Light, and it comes from the December 2007 issue.  I finally got a nice Bundt pan the other day, and this is the recipe I decided on to try it out.

Orange Cardamom Cake
Makes 16 servings
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
2/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, leveling with a knife.  Combine 3 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add orange juice, canola oil, orange rind, lemon rind, vanilla, and eggs to the flour mixture.  Beat with a mixer on low speed until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  • Spoon batter into prepared cake pan, spreading evenly.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then remove cake from pan.
  • To prepare glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 4 1/2 teaspoons orange juice, and lemon juice in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Drizzle glaze over warm cake; cool cake completely on wire rack.  Calories 294, Fat 10.4g,Protein 3.8g, Carb 46.6g, Fiber 0.8g
This cake turned out well and it was delicious.  It is lightly spiced with a nice orange flavor.  I thought the spices and the orange flavor were more prominent a day after I made it, so this may be one of those things that is a little better left over.  This would be a great cake for a holiday party or family get together.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap and My Christmas Tree

So, after taking a break from blogging for a little while, I wanted to show everyone how my Thanksgiving Dinner turned out.  I was happy with everything overall, but of course there are always a few things I'd do to fine tune some of the recipes for next time.  I couldn't find any brussel sprouts, so I made acorn squash with a recipe inspired by Sweets by Sarah.  I left out the butter, sprayed them with olive oil, used only one or two tsp of sugar with the nuts and sprinkled a little coriander and allspice over the top of it all.  They were really good, and probably my favorite thing from the whole meal.  The Impossible Pumpkin Pie from FatFree Vegan Kitchen was also wonderful and I will definitely make it again.  The Buttermilk Cluster Rolls took a little more work than I anticipated, but they turned out good.  I would advise anyone making the recipe to start out with only 5 or 5 1/2 cups of flour and work your way up.   Mine was too dry and I ended up kneading buttermilk into it for a long time before it was right!  I would also bake it for a little less time or maybe at a lower temperature, since I don't like my rolls quite as crusty on the outside as these were.  The mashed potatoes were also delicious, I love rosemary with potatoes.  The Roasted Root Vegetables with Maple Glaze were yummy too and I think I like them even more with the carrot/parsnip/turnip combo than the way I first made them.  Rounding out the meal was Cranberry-Ginger Relish and Cranberry Spice Pinwheel Cookies.  I'm sure some of you are saying "Where's the turkey or turkey-like thing?"  It's a cop out I know, but I used a canned vegetarian meat substitute called FriChik.  It's really very good.  A few days ago we got our Christmas tree up and it smells wonderful.  There's really nothing like the real thing!  Don't forget to check out my Christmas music playlist on the sidebar - click on the songs and you can play them full length right off my blog :)

Clockwise from top left:  Acorn squash, skillet cornbread dressing, more acorn squash, and roasted root vegetables with maple glaze.

Buttermilk Rolls