While I was trying out new recipes from The Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook I realized that I had a whole bag of oranges that would be perfect for making this orange poppyseed cake! It happened to work out that it was also right around Thomas’ birthday, so I made the cake two days before, and managed to frost it just before the clock struck midnight and his birthday began! I also gave it the proper Star Wars decorations that any birthday cake honoring Thomas should have. 😀
I’d never made a layer cake before, or even frosted an entire cake, only cupcakes, so I divided the work. Doing the cake a day ahead worked out pretty well, because the cake was well cooled and easy to work with, and I was all fresh to start on the frosting the next day. I think the hardest part of this recipe was the orange zesting. It calls for 6 tablespoons of zest altogether, 4 for the cake, and 2 for the frosting, which is a lot! I had Thomas come in and relieve me when my hands started to get sore. At least the number of oranges it took for the zest (6-7) was about the amount you need for the fresh orange juice required, so no weird zested oranges to keep! I didn’t have as much poppyseed as required by the recipe (1/3 c.), maybe only half as much, but it still worked out fine.
The frosting was a learning experience too. All the frostings I made in the past were powdered sugar & butter/shortening based. This one is macrobiotic and made with tofu, agar agar and olive oil and maple syrup. After mixing it all you let it sit in the fridge to firm, cut it into pieces and then process until smooth. Even with 3/4 cup of maple syrup I thought it wasn’t quite sweet enough and added about 2 tbsp. of agave syrup.
Results: This is a macrobiotic cake! You can’t really tell by the cake part, but the frosting is definitely different than traditional or vegan cakes. It is only moderately sweet, and after you get used to that, it provides a nice contrast with the sweet cake. (Because of the frosting though, I’d be hesitant to serve it to non-health food eating people, but hey, you never know?) I thought the flavor of this cake really improved after a couple of days in the fridge. It was delicious, and we ate the whole thing over the course of the week. I bet the lemon variation of this cake would be especially awesome. I’m excited to try more of the desserts in this book. It’s a good way of showing your palette that you can enjoy desert without all that insane sweetness. I’ve never been a super big fan of sweets, so this is especially good for me!