Saturday, 30 May 2015

Orange & Vanilla Pound Cake (Ghana Style)

I have such fond memories of baking this cake as a little child. Festive occasions were my favourite, the smell and aroma of this beautiful cake added to the festive mood for me. My mom loved giving edible gifts at Christmas time and guess who did the hardwork? My sister and I! We would bake pounds and pounds of this cake during Christmas but I didn't mind cause I loved the aroma as well as eating it. I remember my sister and I would experiment and make version in which we add fizzy drinks such as coke and fanta. Oh yes we did! and they always turned out really nice. So I am sharing with you today one of our versions made with orange juice and it's rind. Try it and let me have your feedback.

INGREDIENTS:

  • This makes a pound of cake
  • 500g butter (use butter for cakes and pastry)
  • 480g castor sugar (standard 500g, but for this version, I use 480g)
  • 525g self raising flour  (standard 500g but for this version, I use 525g)
  • 10 medium size eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp orange rind
  • 1/3 tsp lemon rind (optional)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder or better grated whole nutmeg
  • Juice of one orange
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 loaf tins or cake tins of your choice, well buttered and lined with parchment paper

METHOD:

1. Pre heat the oven to 220oC. At least ensure the oven is preheated 30minutes before baking.
2. Using a fine sieve, sieve the flour and nutmeg. This helps to incorporate air into the flour. Set it aside.
3. Using a hand or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until it has doubled in size, looks pale, light and fluffy. To test if it’s ready, use a spatula to lift a bit of the cream, gently shake the spatula. If the cream drops off easily then it’s ready. If not, continue creaming the cake butter.


4. Whisk eggs until it has doubled in size and light and fluffy.


5. Add the whisked eggs to the cake butter, a bit at a time. Creaming after every addition. Cream until the eggs are well incorporated into the cake butter.


6. The next step is to add the flour. I prefer to do this stage by hand, using a wooden spoon to mix, however you can continue using the mixer. In adding the flour, I do this in 3 parts. Add the first portion of flour and fold it into the cake butter. Using the flat side of the wooden spoon, mix the flour into the butter by using 3 or 4 folds. The cake butter should be well mixed before adding the next two batches of flour. Do not beat or over mix at this point. You want to maintain the air bubbles in the cake butter.
7. Once the cake butter is well mixed, add the orange juice, vanilla essence, orange and lemon rind and fold it into the mixture.
8. Now add the baking powder and fold it in the mixture. Make sure it is well incorporated without over mixing the butter. Once the baking powder has been added, work quickly to start baking.
9. Put the cake butter in the lined cake tins. Ensure that it is 1/3 less full to give is room to rise. Gently tap and shake the cake tins to evenly distribute the cake butter in the tin.
10. Put the cake tins in the oven, all at the same time and quickly. Leaving the oven door open for too long will let the temperature drop. You don’t want this to happen. Once the cakes are in the oven do not open the oven in the first 35 minutes. This is the time the cake starts to rise and it needs constant temperature for this action to be successful. Opening the oven will let the temperature drop.
11. Check the cake in 40-45 minutes into baking. To check that the cake is ready use these two testing tips:
a. The cake pulls slightly away from the sides of the cake tin.
b. A skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
12. If the cake passes the above tests then it is ready. Remove from the oven and let it cool down before turning the cake out of the tin.
13. Enjoy the cake!
 



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