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Spanish Orange Cake The Ritz




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Spanish Orange Cake The Ritz
Gourmet November 1986

For the cake:
1 1/2 stick (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups confectioner's sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped candied orange rind

For the orange pastry cream:
1/2 cup strained fresh orange juice
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the glaze:
1/2 cup bitter orange marmalade
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier, plus additional if necessary
about 3/4 cup Orange Syrup [recipe follows]
3 1/2 cups Orange Buttercream [recipe follows]

For garnish:
2 navel oranges
1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted lightly and chopped fine
4 strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise

Make the cake: Line the bottom of a buttered 8-inch springform pan with
a round of wax paper, butter the paper, and dust it with flour, shaking out
the excess. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter, add the confectioner's sugar, a little at a time, and beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat
in the flour, sifted, gradually until the batter is combined well. Stir in the candied rind, spoon the batter into the pan, smoothing the top, and bake the cake in the lower third of a preheated 350-degree F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, remove the side of the
pan, and invert the cake onto the rack. Remove the wax paper carefully, invert the cake onto another rack, and let it cool completely. The cake
may be made 1 day in advance and kept wrapped in plastic wrap at
room temperature.

Make the orange pastry cream
: In a small heavy saucepan boil the orange juice until it is reduced to about 2 tablespoons and let it cool. In another small heavy saucepan combine the milk with 3 tablespoons of the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil over moderately high heat. In a heatproof bowl whisk together the yolks, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and a pinch of salt until the mixture is combined well, add the cornstarch, sifted, and whisk the mixture until it is just combined. Add half the milk mixture in a stream, whisking, pour the yolk mixture into the remaining milk mixture, whisking, and boil the mixture, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes, or until it is very thick and smooth. Strain the pastry cream through a fine sieve set over a bowl, stir in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the reduced orange juice, reserving the remaining 1 tablespoon for the buttercream, and chill the
pastry cream, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 hour.

Make the glaze
: In a small saucepan heat the marmalade and the Grand Marnier over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is heated through and strain the glaze through a sieve set over a small bowl.

Assemble the cake
: Slice the cake into 3 even layers with a long serrated knife, transfer the top layer cut side up to a 7-inch cardboard round, and invert the middle layer onto a flat plate. Invert the bottom layer onto another flat plate (this will become the top of the cake) and brush each layer evenly with about 1/4 cup of the orange syrup. Let the layers stand for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they have absorbed the syrup, spread the layer on the cardboard round with about 1/2 cup of the buttercream, and spread half the pastry cream carefully over the buttercream. Transfer the middle layer soaked side up onto the assembled bottom layer with 2 large spatulas, spread it with about 1/2 cup of the remaining buttercream, and spread the remaining pastry cream carefully over the buttercream. Transfer the top layer crust side up onto the middle layer with the 2 spatulas and spread the sides of the cake with 1 cup of the remaining buttercream. Spread the top of the cake with 3/4 cup of the remaining buttercream and reserve the rest for decoration.

Prepare the garnish
: With a serrated knife cut a thin slice from the stem end of 1 of the oranges and cut a second slice 1/4 inch thick. With the serrated knife remove the peel (the rind and the pith) from both oranges, cut the oranges into segments, cutting away the membranes, and drain the segments. Put the cake carefully on a cake rack set in a shallow baking pan and press the almonds onto the sides of the cake, gathering the excess almonds in the pan and reapplying them to the cake, until the sides are coated completely. Put the orange slice in the center of the cake and around it arrange the orange segments and the strawberries in a spiral pattern. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large tar-shaped metal tip with the remaining buttercream and pipe a border around the top edge of the cake. (A similar border may be piped around the bottom of the cake with any remaining buttercream if desired.) If the glaze has thickened slightly, thin it with the additional Grand Marnier. Brush the fruit with glaze, letting the excess run in between the fruit and up to the buttercream border, until the entire top of the cake is glazed, transfer the cake carefully to a platter, and chill it, covered with a large inverted bowl, for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

Orange Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup strained fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

In a small saucepan combine the sugar, orange juice, and Grand Marnier, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and let the syrup cool. The syrup keeps, covered and chilled, indefinitely. Makes
about 3/4 cup.

Orange Buttercream
1 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon reduced fresh orange juice
(reserved from the orange pastry cream)
2 1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and 6 tablespoons water, bring the mixture to a boil, covered, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved, and boil the syrup, uncovered, until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees F. (tilt the pan so that the thermometer can register).
While the syrup is cooking, in a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg yolks until they are very thick and pale and the mixture forms a ribbon
when the mixer is lifted. Add the syrup to the yolks in a stream, beating constantly, and beat the mixture until it is cooled to room temperature.
Beat in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each new tablespoon after the previous one has been absorbed completely, add the reserved reduced orange juice and the Grand Marnier gradually, and beat the buttercream until it is fluffy. The buttercream may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Let the buttercream stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

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