Sunday, March 7, 2010
SMS Roasted Pecan Cake with Orange Curd and Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
Roasted Pecan Cake with Caramel Orange Marmalade and Burnt Orange Buttercream was one of the first recipes that caught my eye when I received The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, so I was happy that Leslie at Lethally Delicious chose it for this week's Sweet Melissa Sundays selection. However, after reading through the recipe I became a little intimidated. Three components, each featuring a technique I wasn't familiar with, and a list of ingredients that included 15 eggs and 5 sticks of butter sounded like a lot of work and time. Also, early reviews of the cake weren't great and I almost opted out because I didn't want to end up with a cake that I messed up or was disappointing.
I'm so glad I didn't wuss out! I halved the cake recipe and decide I would build a very short layer cake. As I mentioned above, early reviews of the marmalade filling were that it was too sweet and overpowered the rest of the cake. One of my fellow bakers noted that orange curd would be a good substitute so I ran with that idea. I love lemon and lime curds and reasoned that I would enjoy an orange curd as well. I found the recipe below at Food & Wine and it was super easy to make. I was still torn about making the buttercream because I'm not a big fan of frosting so I went with my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe and used orange juice and one of my new favorites, fiori di sicilia, a orange-vanilla extract that I ordered from King Arthur Flour.
I am thrilled with the end result - a light nutty cake sandwiching sweet creamy orange curd and topped off with cream cheese frosting with just a hit of orange flavor. A generous helping of pecans tossed on the top added just the right amount of crunch and texture. My husband commented this cake is one of the best things I have made in a while!
Thanks for hosting this week Leslie! The full recipe can be found on her blog, here and my changes are below.
Flo Braker via Food & Wine
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces
In a small heavy saucepan, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in the sugar, then whisk in the citrus juices and zests. Add the butter and whisk constantly over moderately low heat until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes; do not let it boil. Immediately strain the curd into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and cut 6 small steam vents in the plastic. Refrigerate the curd overnight; it can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I use reduced-fat)
1 stick butter, softened
4 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp fiori di sicilia
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Cream cream cheese and butter in bowl with electric mixer until fluffy. Add orange juice and fiori di sicilia and mix to combine well. Add confectioner's sugar and mix until frosting is fluffy.