Showing posts with label easy glaze. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy glaze. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Particular Happiness of Orange Cake by Cleo Coyle



When I was a little girl, my pop, who grew up during the Depression, told me the story of how he received an orange one Christmas. His two brothers and sister each received one, too. A single orange. They were thrilled.

After my father told me that story, I never looked at an orange the same way again.

Truly, an orange is a beautiful thing—round and bright and vibrant as the sun. As the holidays recede and winter settles in with its frozen snow and black ice, daylight feels scarce and sunshine precious. In January, in New York City, I think an orange just may be a miracle.

Certainly at this time of year in most grocery store produce aisles, citrus fruits are mounded high. Nothing that plentiful can be a miracle, can it? I know I've taken such bounty for granted, made it an afterthought.

Well, today the abundance of oranges is my primary thought. Like Krista and Terry with their citrus-inspired recipes on Sunday and Monday, I’d like to celebrate the season of citrus with a recipe, too. And so I bring you...


Cleo Coyle, who dearly
misses daylight, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

SUNSHINE IN WINTER

OR 


THE PARTICULAR
HAPPINESS
OF ORANGE CAKE


If you like Creamsicles, you’ll love this deliciously simple orange-vanilla coffee cake. It’s moist and rich like a pound cake, yet bakes up quickly in a single-layer pan. It requires no special skill to bake or glaze, and only dirties one bowl! Huzzah!

Serve it as is or with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, or orange sherbet. For a sweeter and fancier finish, drizzle it liberally with my simple Orange-Vanilla Glaze.

Finally, should you make and eat this cake, I hope you’ll pause and smile with your first bite, remembering all those children of yesteryear whose eyes went wide with delight at the sight of a single orange.





Cleo's One-Bowl Orange-Vanilla
"Creamsicle" Coffee Cake


 
To get a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Makes one 9-inch cake
 



Ingredients:

½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup orange juice (with pulp or not, your call)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon orange zest (grated peel from 1 medium orange)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

 
For dusting pan:
1-2 Tablespoons butter
2-3 Tablespoons “sugar in the raw” (turbinado sugar)



(Optional to finish)
Cleo's Orange-Vanilla "Creamsicle" Glaze - see recipe below





Step 1 – Make batter with one bowl mixing method: First pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stop the mixer. Add in eggs, milk, orange juice, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Continue mixing until well blended. Now add the flour and baking powder. Continue mixing only enough to blend ingredients. The batter will be somewhat thick (although not as thick as cookie dough). Just be sure not to over mix or you will produce gluten in the flour and your cake will be tough instead of tender.



Step 2 – Prepare pan: Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Place 2 tablespoons of raw sugar into the pan and roll it around, dusting bottom and sides. Pour batter into pan and shake to even out. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the top a bit. When I’m not glazing this cake, I sprinkle an additional tablespoon of raw sugar on the uncooked batter.




Step 3 – Bake: In the pre-heated 350 degree F. oven, bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on your oven. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the cake’s center. When it comes out clean (with no batter on it), the cake is done. Cool the cake in the pan but on a rack so air can circulate under the bottom of the hot pan. Don’t try to remove until the top of your cake is cool to the touch.




Serving tips: You can certainly serve the cake slices directly from the pan. To remove the cake from the pan for a prettier presentation run a knife around the pan’s edge. Place a flat plate over the top of the pan and carefully flip it. The cake’s bottom may stick a bit to the pan. Gently tap to loosen. (If the cake is still sticking, simply run your knife around the pan’s edge one more time.) When you’ve removed the cake this way, it’s (obviously) upside down. Flip it once more so that it’s upright on your serving plate. Slice and serve.

For a sweeter and fancier finish, drizzle the entire cake with my simple Orange-Vanilla Glaze below.


Cleo’s
Orange-Vanilla
“Creamsicle” Glaze


Yields: 1 cup of glaze, enough to liberally cover one 9-inch cake

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons whole milk
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons orange juice (Be sure to add separately)

Step 1 – Warning: First of all, I must warn you not to dump everything into your saucepan at once. Follow these steps as written or your glaze will curdle when your milk and orange juice meet!

Step 2 – Create sugar paste: Place butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat. When butter has melted, stir in the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, until dissolved. The mixture will be thick and pasty. 

Step 3 – Add vanilla and OJ: Remove the pan from heat. Add vanilla and orange juice. Stir well to blend. Return pan to low heat, tilt pan, and whisk until smooth. This may take a minute. (Note: This mixture should never boil or you’ll get a scorched taste in your glaze.) While glaze is still warm, drizzle over cooled cake. I pour the warm glaze into a glass measuring cup and pour a thin stream in a zigzag motion across the cake until it’s completely iced.


 
 

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:


 
Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.



Friday, May 21, 2010

RED HAT CAKE a la Shirley Jackson by Cleo Coyle

When I am old, I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along public railings and make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain and pick flowers in other people's gardens.
And learn to spit...

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

~ Jenny Joseph


THE RED HATTERS
by Cleo Coyle

Not long ago, Shirley Hunt Jackson (78 years young) e-mailed me, letting me know how much she and the "Red Hat Ladies" enjoyed my Coffeehouse Mysteries. She signed her note "Queen Mother." Intrigued, I wrote back, asking about these ladies. I thought they were a small, local reading group. Au contraire!


Shirley was serving as the head of a Red Hat Society chapter. These Red Hatters (I discovered) were members of a large international organization after my own heart. Their mission, essentially, is to make an art of being eccentric -- to grow old with panache, camaraderie, and laughter. And the wonderful poem (above) titled "Warning" by Jenny Joseph is practically their mission statement. You can read more about the Red Hatters here.


And, yes, I must add (for those of you who also enjoy reading my Coffeehouse Mysteries) Madame Dreyfus-Allegro-Dubois, the flamboyant octogenarian who has become one of my series' most popular recurring characters, would have loved being a member of the Red Hatters. :)

Shirley Hunt Jackson
Red Hat Queen
(pictured right)

(Isn't that hat amazing?
She even makes her own.)

Now what does all this have to do with Red Hat Cake? I'll tell you. With Memorial Day weekend coming up soon (in the USA), I thought some of you might appreciate a quick and easy dessert recipe for taking to family functions or serving at your back yard barbecues.

In my own kitchen, I usually bake from scratch, but I know so many busy moms out there (especially in the USA) really appreciate cake-mix-starter recipes.

Given the reason for this holiday, I also found myself thinking about the many friends and loved ones I've lost over the years. My mother passed away well over a decade ago. She never saw any of my mysteries published. This is one very personal reason I was so deeply touched when Shirley expressed her love of my books. She even treated me as one of her family by sending me a cookbook of her favorite recipes, which she originally put together for her children and grandchildren.

Today, I am pleased and honored to share one of Shirley's recipes from that book (with a little collaboration from my own kitchen)....




RED HAT CAKE

Quick Cherry
Streusel
Coffee Cake

courtesy of
Shirley Jackson
and
Cleo Coyle


Note from Shirley Jackson:
"I made this coffeecake for the first time at Pam's home in Houston for group of Red Hat friends. This coffeecake taste just like a yeast bread that has taken you a long time to make. Sure does make your kitchen smell cozy."

Note from Cleo: Over the years, I've seen many cake recipes with a cake mix as starter. I've seen many "pie-filling-over-cake-mix recipes," too. But I've never seen yeast used as an ingredient (have any of you?). The use of yeast in this recipe gives the streusel a sweet bread-like flavor and texture, but without kneading or rising time. It's also fantastic chilled, so it makes a great summer cake, too. Thank you, Shirley!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT OR SHARE
THIS RECIPE IN PDF FORM


INGREDIENTS

For dough base:
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 packet (1/4 ounce) dry yeast
2/3 cup very warm tap water
2 eggs

For topping:

5 Tablespoons butter (salted is fine)
1 can (1 pound 5 ounce) cherry pie filling
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar


Step 1 - Make dough base: First preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit and coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray (or grease and flour it to prevent sticking). Then, in a large mixing bowl, measure out 1-1/2 cups of the dry cake mix. (You are reserving the remaining mix for the topping). Add the flour and dry yeast. Now add the 2/3rds cup of very warm tap water. Allow the yeast to come alive and bubble for a minute. Finally, add the 2 eggs. Beat everything for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl often. Dough will be thick. Using a rubber spatula or back of a spoon, spread it across the bottom of your coated baking pan.

 

Step 2 - Make streusel topping: Melt butter in a saucepan and pour it over the remaining cake mix. Mix the butter in well with the dry mix. It should be lumpy and crumbly. (See photo.)


Step 3 - Assemble coffee cake: Spoon the cherry pie filling evenly across the top of the dough in the baking pan. Sprinkle sugar on top of the filling. Finally, using your fingers, crumble the streusel topping over it all. (There is quite a bit of topping in this recipe. I decided to hold back some of mine so the bright redness of the cherries would really show through.)

 

Step 4 - Bake and glaze: Bake the coffee cake for 30 minutes in your preheated oven (375° F). Cool the coffee cake on a rack (to allow air to circulate under the hot pan bottom). When the top is fairly cool, drizzle with glaze. See my Quick Glaze recipe below. After cake is served, refrigerate leftovers to keep fresh. This cake is also delicious chilled!


 


CLEO'S FAVORITE
QUICK GLAZE:


Cleo's note: Shirley's cherry streusel coffee cake glaze used corn syrup, water, and powdered sugar. With her indulgence, I am forgoing that one (because I'm not a big corn syrup fan) and giving you my favorite butter glaze instead. Here is the simple recipe...


Ingredients:


2 Tablespoons butter (salted is fine)
2 Tablespoons whole milk (cream or half-and-half)
1 cup confectioner's (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

Over medium heat, warm butter and milk in a saucepan. Do not let this mixture brown, burn, or boil or you will have a scalded taste in your glaze. As soon as butter has melted, stir in the sifted confectioner's sugar, a little at a time, until it is completely melted. You must work with the glaze quickly, while it is still warm. Using a rubber spatula or spoon, drizzle the warm glaze over the coffee cake. If the glaze hardens up on you, place the saucepan over the heat again and whisk until liquefied and smooth again.


RED HAT CAKE
GLAZED...





CARE FOR A SLICE?



Eat with joy!


 
~ Cleo Coyle, author of 


To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:





The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.