Good Day Westchester!
The last post, where we recreated and simplified our Serradura and the plentiful pours of Port that accompanied the desert, had me thinking if there were any other Portuguese inspired delicacies that I could share with our readers. You could probably say that the following recipe is both informative to you the reader and a great excuse to finish the bottle for me!
After checking with our Portuguese friends “Bolo” means cake and “Aranja” is an orange. So most of the title is spoken for. The olive oil is what sets this orange cake apart. The cake is pretty easy to make, and if cut in small portions can actually serve a large group of people. If you move quickly in the kitchen you may have it on a plate in 90 minutes with bake time.
You will need the ingredients below as well as a large glass baking pan (oven safe), a citrus zester, and a stand mixer (or a bowl and whisk). I seriously recommend a glass baking pan. A glass pan will produce a lighter outer crust on your cake. The darker pans and sheets will darken the outer portions of the cake and almost give you a burned tasting crust. Pyrex pans work very well. If your oven takes a while to get to temperature, preheat it to 350 degrees now.
1 1/2 cups of Olive oil
1 1/2 cups of orange juice (freshly squeezed will enhance the cake’s flavor)
1 tsp of Vanilla extract
2 cups of sugar
Zest of 5 oranges (zest of 1 orange should be reserved for dressing your cake)
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 1/2 tsp of salt
Confectioners sugar (for the topping)
I try my best to clean as few pots, pans, and bowls as possible, so I add all of my dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, flour, and sugar) to my mixing bowl and whisk to combine at the slowest speed allowed. WARNING do not put the whisk on high unless you want a sweet flour shower in your kitchen.
Add in your wet ingredients slowly. Start with the eggs, followed by the olive oil. By the time the eggs and oil are well mixed you may start to turn up the mixing speed. Next incorporate the zest and orange juice and vanilla extract. Keep the mixer going until you feel like all of your ingredients are well incorporated.
Generously spray your glass pan with a non stick baking spray. Pour in your batter and place in your 350 degree pre-heated oven on the top shelf. Cooking times will vary with humidity and oven differences. I would start checking my cake with a toothpick test every five minutes at the 60 minute mark. Poke your Bolo De L’Aranja with a toothpick, if the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is cooked. My cake was perfect in 75 minutes.
The cake will be easier to cut when cooled. If you and your guests or family can resist keeping your hands off of it, once it cools cut your cake into squares and place in a serving plate. Dust with confectioners sugar and sprinkle on the zest that we reserved. This cake looks good, tastes amazing, and best of all will leave your home or apartment smelling like sweet citrus.
Now I have some cake to accompany my port. Make yourself one of these cakes today!