Notes: Serve this cake with lightly sweetened softly whipped cream.
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1 unpeeled orange (10 oz.), rinsed and very thinly sliced crosswise (about 1/8 in. thick; discard ends)
3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
How to Make It
In a 9- to 10-inch nonstick, ovenproof frying pan (with sloping sides) over medium-high heat, stir honey and orange juice until boiling. Cook without stirring until mixture is foamy, slightly thickened, and reaches 230° (carefully tilt pan so mixture is deep enough to register on thermometer), 2 to 4 minutes. Chill until thickened, about 15 minutes. Slightly overlap orange slices in concentric circles over syrup.
In a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange peel.
In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir half the flour mixture into butter mixture just until incorporated. Stir in milk, then remaining flour mixture, just until incorporated. Carefully scrape batter over orange slices in pan and spread level.
Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes for regular, 25 to 30 minutes for convection. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Invert a flat plate over pan. Invert cake onto plate and lift pan off, being careful with hot syrup. Let cool completely, then cut into wedges.
I was somewhat disappointed in this recipe.
1 - The batter was so thick that I had to drop it in small spoonfulls and try to smooth them together without letting the syrup ooze through. What a pain!
2 - Once the cake was baked, the syrup was too sweet and had a distinct bitterness due to the orange rinds. I think if the orange slices were actually candied before making this recipe, they would not have been so bitter. We pulled them all off because we couldn't eat them.
The cake portion was good, not too sweet and had a hint of orange flavor. I ended up slicing the top off and using the rest to make small trifles.
I've made this recipe many times with good success. It's not quite as complicated as it seems. The flavor is bright and refreshing. Note: don't overcook the honey-orange syrup or it will take on a burnt flavor and if the cake is overcooked, it will be a tad dry. Best to test it several times as it bakes.
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