Monday, March 17, 2008

Orange Date Cake - Arusuvai Friendship Chain

After much wiffling and waffling....I finally decided how to use the orange extract I received from Deeba of Passionate about Baking as part of the Arusuvai Friendship chain. I baked this lovely citrus cake with luscious dates - especially for our very own orange blossom - our almost 3 year old daughter. Just as she fills our home with sparkling eyes and shy smiles, with stubborn cries and pouted lips, the fragrance of this cake warmed our hearts. This was for a sentimental family occasion and she loved that there was something special for her.
And for me it seemed fitting that a gift from someone who I have not even met yet, but seem to know so well, should be used to create a gift for someone so dear to me.

Thank you so much Deeba - it added that special touch to a beautiful day when my daughter got all saucer eyed looking at "her" cake (we are in possessive mode these day) as it came out of the oven - the one she helped stir and mix and pour orange "joosh" into.

This was the first time I experimented with a cake...I usually pretty much stick to baking recipes and wasn't at all sure how this one would turn out. Now that this frontier has been breached - well my oven had better be scared - very scared!

I loved that the cake turned out so moist and fluffy with a nice crust. The flavour of orange seeped right through. It didn't need an orange glaze which most recipes recommended.....The dates which popped up in between were a nice addition and I think soaking them in the orange juice and orange zest really helped make them juicy.This one will definitely be made many more times and hopefully become a fond childhood memory for our daughter.

I am also sending this recipe and story to Sugar High Fridays #41, which is being hosted at Habeas Brulee and this month's theme is all about Sweet Gifts.

Orange Date Cake


Flour - 1 and 3/4 cup
Butter - 3/4 cup
Light Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 2
Orange extract - 2 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup (Pour half a tablespoon of lime juice into half a cup of milk and set aside for 5-10 minutes till it separates - strain and use)
Grated zest of 2 medium organges (about 2 tbsp)
Juice of 2 medium oranges (1/2 cup)
Chopped seedless dates - 3/4 cup

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Soak chopped dates in the orange juice and orange zest for about half an hour. Grease a ring mould or a 8" cake pan and keep aside.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl; beat eggs well and keep aside.
4. Strain the dates and keep aside the orange juice and zest.
5. Take the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar; add the dry ingredients(flour,salt etc) a little at a time alternating with the wet ingredients (egg, buttermilk and orange juice), ending with the dry ingredients.
6. Pour in the vanilla essence and orange extract. Mix in the chopped dates and the orange zest.
7. Pour in the batter into the greased cake pan and bake at 180C for 45 minutes or till done. Check with a skewer to see whether it comes out clean when pierced into the cake.
8. Let cool inside the oven for about 5 minutes, then remove and let cool outside for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan when fully cooled and set aside for sometime on wire rack.


Finla said...

I like cakes like these.
Looks delicious

Srivalli said...

Oh finally such a beautiful creation...I am sure your lil one loved it...its so simple to make the lil ones happy right...

btw I might have somebody for you to send the arusuvai...let me check and get back to you..

jayasree said...

delicious looking cake. Looks moist and has a lovely crust.

Raaga said...

Can I stop over on my way back from work????

Unknown said...

that cake looks so lovely and moist..

Rachel said...

That's a nice use of the ingredient..the cake looks love;y!

Bharathy said...

Did you say this is your first attempt in baking cakes Miri??
Absolutely fantastic!!..apt one with the mailed ing..:)

As srivalli had mentioned we wuld get back with a contact soon :)


Miri said...

Thanks Happy cook, Srivalli, Jayasree, Sowmya, Rachel!

Bharathy, its the first time I have tried baking a cake without sticking to a recipe - not the first time baking a cake! LOL!

Raaga - I'll be waiting with a cuppa tea :)

sunita said...

Miri, I love orange flavoured cakes and as for dates, I'm addicted to your cake is definitely my type...looks wonder your li'l princess enjoyed it...btw, my six and a half and five and a half year olds are always in the possessive mode :-DD

Jayashree said...

The pic where you have just one slice of the cake looks delicious.....the cake looks moist and perfect.

Bharathy said...

Miri,I have mailed you regarding arusuvai.Pls check and reply :)

bee said...

two of my favourite flavours. this must have been very fragrant and flavourful.

Laavanya said...

That looks like a lovely moist cake.

Mansi said...

That's a nice pairing of flavors, and believe me, anything that's a hit with kids is a huge milestone! kids are the best critics for food:)

Vaishali said...

The cake looks gorgeous. I can only imagine how vivid and flavorful it would be with the tropical orange flavor. Mmmm.

Sagari said...

Orange and dates wowwww nice combo miri

Cham said...

Cake looks moist, i love the orange flavor

remya said...

cake looks orange flavour

Dhivya said...

lovely cake,,nice way u've used the ingredient

Pooja said...

wow !
that looks co lovely :) .
Nice idea Miri.

Deeba PAB said...

WOW Raji...this looks great. Well done & a great entry for SHF! I love the pictures too...& the lines about the possessive daughter & her "joosh"!! Time to be a Daring Baker & a Master Baker! Thank you for using the ingredient so well! Lol

Miri said...

Thanks so much Deeba :) And for egging me on to DB - I hope to move my rear and get there eventually - with your encouragement!

Cynthia said...

Ummmm, it must be so fragrant and delicious.

Shah cooks said...

nice combination and if your daughter liked it, then it must be really good!

The Apron Queen said...

The heck with cooking supper! I'm making a bunch of desserts after reading SHF!!

Stop by for a visit. I'll even save one of my baked apples for you! :D

Confessions of an Apron Queen:

Anonymous said...

yummyyy!!! but only with a glaze....

Anonymous said...

Hi Miri,

Loved your Orange Date Cake! Nice presentaion with beautiful snaps :)

I am Anu, a novice blogger from My Scrawls. I have posted my version of Dates Walnut cake in my blog. Do visit my blog when u get time. Would be happy to receive your comments :)