One of the greatest thing about the blogging community, namely the food blogging community is that is provides continuous inspiration and reasons for self-improvement.
Aside from sharing content and enabling the flow of information all over the world, you are allowed to learn from the blogs your read and admire. Things that worked for them, things that didn’t. Things that they chose to improve and develop.
Take this yogurt cake, for instance. Featured first by Ina Garten of the indelible Barefoot Contessa, as a lemon yogurt cake, it was reincarnated as a grapefruit yogurt cake with the help of Deb of SmittenKitchen. The pictures looked so good, I think I drooled a bit on keyboard. Oftentimes, I am rendered helpless at mere sight of food, pictorial or otherwise, and I feel compelled to recreate it in my own home.
In this case, I was all set to make the grapefruit/lemon version of this cake because I was curious to see how these two citrus flavors would marry. But then something happened in a local Tribeca corner store: I spotted blood oranges, brazen and menacingly blood red, and had a different plan.
I brought a few oranges home, just enough to make the cake and squeeze some fresh juice for drinking. Because how can I pass up the opportunity? When I can’t stop talking about the blood orange juice from Citarella, available all year round people, and a treat far worthy than ice cream or a cookie; when blood orange sorbet from Ciao Bella (available, alas, seasonally) is my favoritest sorbet in the whole wide world! I am, what I would call, a blood orange junkie.
And I so hoped that the blood red color would stain my yogurt cake to a lovely pinkish hue, but my hopes were for naught – as the loaf stayed a yellowish color, no pink in sight. The taste however, was sharp, citrusy and had a bite to it.
While I dialed up the zest to twice the amount the recommended amount and added a bit more juice and sugar, I think that in the end, what would have made this cake completely irresistible would have been some of the blood orange flesh. Next time perhaps.
I also omitted the glaze, being that I dislike super sugary things and find most sugar glazes unappetizing and a killjoy for me. But most of you out there, I am sure, would disagree.
In the end, the cake was devoured as quickly as it was created, leaving behind it a few lonely, unattended crumbs as evidence of the cake’s one time existence. And for what it’s worth, I can’t wait to make this with lemon, grapefruit, orange – you name it. And perhaps this loaf will inspire someone out there to go and concoct a version all their own. Because, as I said before, one of the most beautiful things about the internet and blogging is this forum of sharing, improvement and inspiration. Let us continue to share.
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 & 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
5 teaspoons grated blood orange zest (about 2 blood oranges)
1/2 cup blood orange juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed blood orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, blood orange zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup blood orange juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the blood orange-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and blood orange juice and pour over the cake.