Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baking with Sweetwater

Jerry V. sent this amazing sounding cake recipe, just in time for Florida citrus season!

The holidays for our family has always been a whirlwind, but a good one. Holiday baking may just be one of our favorite parts of that whirlwind. This time of year, our ovens bring forth an almost constant stream of cookies, cakes, breads and other yummies. One thing you can always count on during December is the orange cake.
Our family's orange cake tradition has been handed down from my Grandmother, Josephine Veneziano. She'd make this moist, sweet but not too sweet pastry with a hint of citrus each December, and it made her famous in her neighborhood. She never would tell folks where she got the recipe, or how she developed it, as far as I know, and when she passed it on to my mother, she stressed about how we should keep it in the family. So, why am I sharing it with you now?
Simple. I'm not.
The recipe has been modified by everyone in the family who has been given it, starting with my mom. This version comes from my sister, Jen Thurman. Grandma's and Mom's versions are good, but I like Jen's a little more (sorry Grandma). Her version is a little more moist and has a bit more orange flavor.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups margarine
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 orange rinds
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
Cream the butter and sugar. Dissolve the baking soda and milk. Add the soda/milk mixture, eggs, and all other ingredients to the butter/sugar mix. Mix together, then pour into 2 8" or 9" round pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Top with an orange juice and sugar glaze while still warm.
In keeping with tradition, I've come up with my own version as well. Take the recipe above, and replace the 2 orange rinds with the rinds of 3 - 4 lime (6 - 8 Key limes) and the orange juice with the lime or Key lime juice.

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