Orange-Olive Oil Cake

Another cake post, I know. For some reason I have been on kind of a baking spree lately. Perhaps it's the crazy weather, 70 one day and 50 and raining the next. Perhaps it's waiting for spring produce to arrive. Or maybe I've just been craving sugar. Either way, this cake is not very sweet and could possibly be called somewhat healthy, due to all of the olive oil (healthy calories!) and orange juice. Or at least that's what I tell myself after my second slice. So far I have resisted eating it for breakfast, but it's been close. Throw a dollop of yogurt on there and some (unsweetened) berries, and you are basically eating a yogurt parfait. With cake, but that's beside the point. Orange-Olive Oil Cake (adapted from Food & Wine)

3 cups cake flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup olive oil

1 cup milk

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

For strawberries:

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced

2 tablepoons sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Plain greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, then line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, milk, eggs, orange juice, zest, and Grand Marnier. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and invert cake onto rack, letting cool for at least two hours.

Meanwhile, mix strawberries, zest, sugar, and Grand Marnier in a medium bowl. Let sit for about half a hour, until juice begins to form.

Slice cake, and top with a spoonful of greek yogurt, strawberries, and more orange zest.

Belgian Waffles

There probably aren't too many people who think it's the best idea to transport a stand mixer in a carry-on bag from Minnesota to New York. I have, however, done this, and to top that I also brought a waffle-maker back to my apartment after Christmas. As you can't make waffles without one (sad but true), it was something I had been wanting for quite a while and was even willing to give up precious New York cupboard space to house it. For my first official foray into waffle-making, I stuck with the classic Belgian Waffle, from my mother's recipe archive. This recipe could also easily be made gluten-free by substituting all-purpose flour for a gluten-free mix. I do however, have some grand plans for pumpkin waffles and savory cornmeal waffles sometime in the not so distant future. Belgian Waffles

(makes 3 large or 6 standard size waffles)

1/4 c butter

2 cups flour

2 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 cup whipping cream

5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

Heat waffle iron to manufacturer's directions.  Melt butter in microwave or in a pan on the stove and set aside to cool.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, nutmeg & salt and set aside.  In a large bowl, beat butter, milk, and cream, then add the egg yolks.  Stir in the flour mixture.  In a small bowl beat egg whites till stiff peaks form.  Fold into waffle batter just till blended.  Ladle batter into iron to cover about 2/3 of griddle & cook.  (About 3-5 minutes -- until steam stops and the waffles are golden brown.) Serve immediately with maple syrup.

Also, as you may have noticed, I changed my header. Thoughts? How do you like the new look? Anyone like the old one better?