Sunday, March 4, 2012

Orange Bundt Cake

Orange Bundt Cake - made February 26, 2012 from Let Them Eat Cake by Susan G. Purdy (book #197)

If you're ever looked at all the recipes I've posted, you'll realize I'm not much for nonfat/lowfat baking (really?? ha).  I believe it's better to have a small portion of the good stuff, full-fat, massive calories and all, than a lot more of the semi-it's-supposedly-better-for-you low-fat, low-calorie stuff.  I would rather exercise portion control and literally exercise than dismay my taste buds with something that's not low enough in calories or fat to make up for the taste or texture deficiencies of a frankenfood.  There are some low-calorie foods I genuinely like and prefer to the full-calorie-bomb version but not often.

In baking, there are all sorts of ways to "cheat" and skip the fatty, high-calorie ingredients.  Applesauce has been used as a substitute for butter, for example. (Not usually by me, mind you, but other people do so.)  Egg whites are often used but  the poor yolks are deemed high in fat so they're left out.  There's also low-fat buttermilk, low-fat cream cheese, and low-fat sour cream to replace their fully-fat brethren.  I generally am leery of those kinds of substitutions.  Like I said, 9 times out of 10, you might save 1/3 of the calories of the real thing but oftentimes, the taste and/or texture is also 67% or less (many times less) so it's not worth it to me.  I'd rather eat 2/3 of a serving of the real thing than all of a 1/3-less-calories portion of something else.

So it's probably baffling that I even own this baking book since it's all about recipes that "taste like the real thing" but with a fraction less fat and calories.  Huh.  I must've gotten it either a) on sale or b) when I was "dieting".  But, true to my word, I am making a recipe from it as part of my baking challenge.  I did not cheat and substitute back in any of the "good" ingredients.  I faithfully used the applesauce and nonfat sour cream.  The canola oil isn't particularly low calorie but it is canola and there's only 1/3 cup of it.  Surprisingly, I thought this cake came out really well.  It's lighter than a pound cake and only slightly more dense than a chiffon cake.  Plus the orange flavor was really good.  The only mistake I made is I had to ice it while it was just a trifle too warm as I was taking it to my parents' and I couldn't wait any longer to pour the icing on because I had to leave for church and take the cake with me.  So the icing kind of melted/puddled around the cake rather than staying on top of it.  Other than that, it exceeded my expectations as a "low-cal" cake.  I still advocate portion control though since even low-cal things add up if you have too much of them :).

2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour
1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup nonfat sour cream
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 tablespoons packed grated orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice

Orange Icing Glaze
1 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (I didn't have lemons so I used all orange juice)

1.   Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350⁰F.  Generously coat one Bundt pan or two loaf pans with cooking spray, then dust with flour; tap out excess flour.
2.   In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3.   In a large, grease-free bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Gradually add ¼ cup of the sugar, whipping until the whites are stiff but not dry.  Remove the bowl from the mixer, shake the beaters into the bowl, then return the beaters to the mixer without washing them.  Set the whites aside.
4.   Using the same beaters with another bowl, combine and beat together the oil, the remaining 1 cup of sugar, the whole egg, sour cream, applesauce, vanilla and orange extracts, grated orange zest, and orange juice.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture in several additions.  Scrape down the bowl and beaters.  Fold in the whipped whites.
5.   Turn the batter into the prepared pan(s).  Bake for the Bundt for 40 to 45 minutes, the loaf pans for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springy to the touch; there will be a shallow crack down the middle and a cake tester inserted in the center will come out dry.  Cool the cake(s) in the pan(s) on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove cake(s) from pan(s) and cool completely on the rack.  Before serving, spread with icing glaze.
6.   To make the icing glaze: Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and lemon juice.  Adjust for consistency and flavor, adding more liquid or sugar as needed.  Glaze should be runny, like heavy cream.