Torta all Arancia (Orange Cake)
6 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tspn pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp superfine sugar, divided
grated zest of 2 oranges
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 tspn cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup superfine sugar
zest of 1 orange in large strips (with no pith attached)
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded
2 to 3 tbsp Cointreau or other orange liqueur
- Separate the cold eggs. Place the yolks in a large bowl and the whites in a stand mixer. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Very lightly coat with butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tube pan with feet and removable bottom.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine well.
- Use a handheld mixer to beat the egg yolks, oil, vanilla, and 1 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in the orange zest and juice.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating to just combine.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, beginning at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high. When the whites are foamy, add the cream of tartar. At the soft peak stage, add the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
- Using a large flexible spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten the batter, then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula.
- Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately invert the pan onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely in the pan upside down on the rack.
- While the cake bakes, prepare the orange syrup.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the orange juice, sugar, orange zest, and the vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the liqueur, and continue to simmer until the syrup reduces and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a pourable container. Allow the syrup to cool slightly.
- Flip the cake over, carefully run a thin knife around the edges of the pan, and turn the cake out onto a serving plate or cake stand.
- To serve, place the cake on dessert plates and serve with warm orange syrup.
Recipe courtesy of Grace's Sweet Life by Grace Massa Langlois