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.

Orange Curd
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.
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  1. Beautiful cake! I love the plate, too! Very pretty!

  2. Your cake is gorgeous! Great job and the orange curd sounds delicious!

  3. Yum way to go! Your cake looks very good. I love the orange curd recipe too. Very nice! I had to pass on this one but after seeing yours Im bummed!

  4. Great to see another take on the recipe.
    I love the name of your blog. Very cool.

  5. Orange extract. That's exactly what we were thinking the frosting needed. My orange flavor just wasn't quite there, although I think the cream cheese would have taken it to another level. Good idea in general.

    I agree that there were a LOT of new techniques with this one! But now that I've successfully made meringue not once, but twice, bring it on :-)

  6. Wow that looks so good! I love lemon curd but have never had orange curd where has it been all my life! x x

  7. Great job! Your cake looks delicious.

  8. I love the direction you went with this cake! Orange curd and cream cheese frosting cures all of its faults and let the lovely flavor of the layers shine through. Thanks for baking with me this week!

  9. Wow, I'm glad you didn't wuss out either because your cake is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing that orange curd recipe - I definitely want to try that. Glad the cake was a ht for you guys :)

  10. Its very nice and informative post. thanks for sharing us.

  11. How cool you made orange curd! I loved lemon curd when I made it so I should try this. I love the sandwich effect. Thumbs up from me=)

  12. What a delicious filling! I really liked the frosting too!


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