I made this cake months ago but waited until now to publish it to avoid bothering you with my too-much-candied-orange-peel drama. The recipe was a simple orange cake – which is something I love – spiced with a bit of cardamom – which is something I’ve learned to love – and I just added the bits of candied peel because I no longer wanted to look at them every time I opened my fridge. So it is completely up to you to decide how you want to bake this cake – I just urge you to do it, because it is delicious and oh, so tender.
And speaking of pound cakes, I’m looking for a good 9x5in loaf pan and would love to know there’s a brand you would recommend; I’ve browsed some at Amazon but haven’t chosen yet – your opinion would be very useful to me. Thanks!
Orange cardamom pound cake with candied orange peel
slightly adapted from the great The Art and Soul of Baking
2 cups (240g) cake flour*
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks/170g) unsalted butter, softened
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream**
1/3 cup drained and chopped candied orange peel (optional – recipe here)
1 cup (140g) confectioners’ sugar
½ to 1 tablespoon orange juice, or more if necessary
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Butter a 21x11cm (8½x4½ in) loaf pan and line with baking paper; butter the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, zest and cardamom until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with the spatula.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape the bowl occasionally. On low speed, add the sifted ingredients in three additions alternating with the sour cream in two additions (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Stir in the candied orange zest (if using). Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth the top then bake for 45-55 minutes, until firm to touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. When cool, remove from the pan and peel off the paper.
Glaze: sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl and gradually add the orange juice, stirring until desired consistency. Pour over the cooled cake. Set aside for 30 minutes before serving.
* homemade cake flour: 1 cup (140g) all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons corn starch
** homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)