I recently came across the blog, Authentic Florida, written by Robin Draper, a native of Siesta Key.
Authentic Florida is full of recipes for delicious and healthy-looking main courses, salads and desserts. Having a sweet tooth, I’m particularly drawn to Robin’s cakes and pies, many of them citrus-based, reflecting the abundance of oranges, Meyer lemons, limes and grapefruit that grow locally in the Sunshine State. Tangy citrus flavours are a big favourite in our house, both for desserts and in main courses (Greg’s Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives is always a big treat), so I’m looking forward to trying Authentic Florida’s recipes for Orange Rolls, Meyer Lemon Bars, Key Lime Pie (of course!) as well as Key Lime Pound Cake, Orange Blossom Honey and Buttermilk Pie and Lemon Curd Tart.
But, first, I’m planning to make Robin’s Orange Pound Cake with Straweberries and Whipped Cream, though I may have to forgo the dollop of whipped cream in payment for my sins over the holidays. I’m sure having fresh local strawberries and oranges would make this even better, but luckily we can still make do with the imports we find at the supermarket to provide us with a little taste of Florida sunshine during the long winter up here in the True North Strong & Free. Bon appetit!
Florida Orange Pound Cake with Strawberries
This mouth-watering dessert packs double freshness from Authentic Florida. Try this sweet, tangy orange pound cake filled with flavor and smothered with red, juicy Florida strawberries, topped with homemade whipped cream.
Since I just got back from picking fresh Florida strawberries and had just been to my favorite citrus store and doubly-delicious!
Makes 2 cake loaves.
Time: 1 & ½ hours, plus 1 hour for baking
½ pound (2 sticks) of room temperature unsalted butter
2 & ½ cups of granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (or 5 large eggs)
1/3 cup of orange zest (6-8 Florida oranges) Note: Zest before you juice oranges
3 cups of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
¾ cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 pints of strawberries
Optional: Orange Glaze Ingredients
2 cups of confectioner sugar
3-4 teaspoons of orange juice
Two – 8 ½ X 4 ½ X 2 ½ inch loaf pans, greased
Bowls for mixing
Hand held sifter
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour loaf pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar. Mix for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
While the mixer is on low, add the eggs – one at a time to the mixture.
Next, add the orange zest to the mixture.
Step Two: Flour Mixture
Separately, in a large bowl, sift together the 3 cups of flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
Step Three: Buttermilk Mixture
In another bowl, combine ¼ cup of fresh Florida orange juice, ¾ cup of buttermilk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
While mixer is on slow, beginning with the flour mixture, alternately pour the flour and then the buttermilk mixture into the bowl, ending with the flour until all is blended.
Pour the final blended mixture in the loaf pans evenly. Smooth the tops.
Bake for 45 minutes (to 1 hour). Check at 45 minutes by inserting a cake tester to see if it comes out clean. When done, let cakes cool for 10 minutes.
While the cakes are baking, combine ½ cup of orange juice with ½ cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Let cakes cool (in pans) for 10 minutes on a baking rack. Take the cakes out of the pan and set on the rack again. Under the baking rack place a deep cookie sheet.
Pour the orange syrup over the cakes. Let soak into the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
Step Seven (Optional Step)
Create an orange glaze by taking 2 cups of (sifted) confectioner sugar and mixing with 3-4 tablespoons of orange juice (add more if needed to make it pour well).
With a spoon, drip or pour over the cakes. Let the glaze dry.
Clean 2-3 pints of Florida strawberries and cut in quarters.
Use ready made whipped cream or make your own using 1 cup of heavy whipped cream and ¼ cup of sugar in a mixer for 2 minutes.
Place cake on a plate, add the strawberries, top with whipped cream.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa recipe, Orange Pound Cake.