Monday, June 6, 2011

Drunken Date Orange Cake

I am obsessed with desserts that uses fruits and often go crazy experimenting on any recipe that features fruits cooked or raw. And Orange is one of my most favorite ingredients ever. Last week my hubby got a good deal on a case of sweet navel oranges, and I got an excuse to use orange in everything.
My husband loves the Christmas fruit cake that I make, but that one usually needs a lot of prep...think soaking raisins, dates and nuts in rum for a month etc. So I modified a simple orange blossom cake to taste like his favorite. I use Patron Citronge to soak the dates, for its sweetness and orange-y flavor. Its a perfectly good cake even without the liquor. But whenever I make this cake, I use 1 1/2 times the recipe and use the half portion for the "special" kids cake without the liquor, but with the glaze.  The liquor version is moist and has a slight kick to it (without a doubt). So serve it responsibly! :-)
So the modified version with liquor is as follows:

Ingredients:1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature.
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup + More to drizzle, Patron Citronge (or your choice of Rum)

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped nuts

Optional Glaze ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Soak the chopped dates, nuts and orange peel in orange liquor, overnight. The trick in soaking is in using a flat bowl or a plate. That way, you don't use up too much liquor. Now cover the plate in cling wrap to avoid the alcohol from evaporating.
 In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until blended. Beat in applesauce. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition, adding the extracts at the very end. Fold in the soaked, drained orange peel, dates and nuts, reserving the soaking liquor for later.
 Pour into a greased 9-in. spring-form pan. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for about 5-7 minutes in the pan,  now with a spoon, drizzle the remaining liquor over the cake while its still warm, until the cake is evenly coated with the liquor.

 Optional Glaze: 
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine glaze ingredients; bring to a boil. Pour over cake. Cool completely in pan.
The liquor cake will stay good in room temp for 3 days and in refrigerator for a week. keep it covered in an airtight container in either case. Enjoy.
Yields about 10-12 servings.

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