Italian Orange Cake

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Cuisine Apron Dress in White Linen from Libbie Summers Yum Yum Smile Shop
Orange Gingham Trimmed Linen Napkin from Libbie Summers Yum Yum Smile Shop

A had my first warm slice of this cake on the island of Sardinia. It was a game changer –not too sweet, refreshing and easy to make. The perfect weeknight OR entertaining cake. There’s something about bringing a sprite little cake pulled from the oven just a few minutes before straight to the dinner table.
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Italian Orange Cake
serves 8

What you need:
1 orange
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia extract (optional) *recipe to follow
Powdered sugar for dusting

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 7-8″ springform pan with non-stick baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and spray the top of the parchment. Set aside.
2. Boil and Process Orange: Add orange to a small saucepan with boiling water. Boil orange, moving around often, for 30 minutes. Remove from water to drain. Cut into quarters and remove any visible seeds. Add the entire orange to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse to process until any large chunks are gone. Set aside. (BOILING IS OPTIONAL, I think it makes the rind less bitter and produces more juice but if you are in a time crunch just pulverize the thing!)
3. Start Batter: In a large mixing bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, whisk in yogurt and butter until incorporated (Note: there may still be lumps of butter in batter…this is totally cool.). Set aside.
4. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
5. Finish Batter: Gradually add flour mixture to batter until incorporated. Do not over mix! Stir in pulverized orange and extract (optional).
6. Bake Cake: Pour mixture into prepared springform pan and bake until set in the middle (about 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 205ºF.)

To Serve: Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
*Fiori di Sicilia Extract Recipe: 1 part orange extract + 1 part lemon extract + 2 parts vanilla extract
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El Diablo Cake

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Siobhan Egan
Cuisine Apron Dress from Yum Yum Smile Shop
Published in Paprika Southern, Fall 2019

El Diablo Cake
Spiced devil’s food cake, orange buttercream, marigolds 

Serves 12-16
Libbie Summers A Food-Inspired Life Paprika Southern Magazine Fall 2019
What you need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups vanilla sugar* (can sub regular granulated sugar)
  • 9 ounces butter, room temperature
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
  • Orange Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)
  • Orange marigolds for decorating (optional, but lets be honest- they make the cake!)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and cocoa dust or flour dust three 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, basking soda, salt, cinnamon and chipotle pepper. Set aside.

In a medium heatproof bowl, add cocoa and whisk in boiling water until fully combined. Stir in milk and set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (scrapping the bowl as needed). Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Add vanilla and mix to combine. With mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Add half of the warm cocoa mixture and mix to combine. Repeat, alternating the dry and wet ingredients until both are fully combines and the batter is smooth.

Divide batter between the three pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 25-30 minutes).

Turn cakes out of their pans to cool completely before frosting with Orange Buttercream Frosting and decorating with marigolds.

*Vanilla sugar is granulated sugar that has been steeping with vanilla pods for over a week.

 

Orange Buttercream Frosting
All-butter buttercream, orange kick

Yields 5 cups
Libbie Summers A Food-Inspired Life Paprika Southern Magazine Fall 2019
What you need:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 4-8 tablespoons evaporated milk

What to do:

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and powered sugar together until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the extracts and half the milk and mix until thoroughly combines. Add additional milk as needed for desired thickness.
Libbie Summers A Food-Inspired Life Paprika Southern Magazine Fall 2019

Check this out! I’m wearing the Cuisine Apron Dress in Black Linen from my Kitchen to Street Apron/Dress line from the Yum Yum Smile Shop! Head over there to learn more about the line!

 

 

French Country Fig Tart

By Libbie Summers

There’s a certain time of year in the South when the figs are heavy and the weather is hot –the same time of year that the house smells like France.
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French Country Fig Tart
serves 8

What you need:
20 small or 8 large fresh figs, divided (stems cut and figs halved or quartered depending on their size)
1 cup pecan halves (I, of course use fresh Georgia pecans)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 egg
Juice and zest of one large juicy orange
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Prepare a 8-9 inch pie tin with non-stick baking spray or butter. Set aside.

2. Prepare Batter: In a food processor fitted with a blade, add nuts and process until fine (scraping down sides of bowl as needed). Add flour and sugar and pulse just until combined. Add egg white, egg, juice and zest and pulse until combined.

3. Finish Batter: In a medium mixing bowl, add batter and ALL BUT 12 of the small fig halves (6 if you are using large figs).
Fold together thoroughly.

4. Finish Tart: Pour batter into prepared pan and use remaining figs to decorate the top.

5. Bake: Place tart pan on baking sheet and bake until golden brown (about 40 minutes).

To Serve: Serve warm with vanilla ice cream (optional) or room temperature. Best eaten within 24 hours.
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Raspberry Cherry Blossom Mousse

By Libbie Summers
Photography Assisted by David Dempsey

Even if it isn’t served in a hand-painted cherry blossom trifle dish, this gorgeously delicious mousse will wow any dinner guests. Creamy, rich in flavor and not-too-sweet it’s perfect for a spring brunch table.
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Raspberry Cherry Blossom Mousse
serves12-16

What you need:
4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
12 cups fresh raspberries, divided or two 10-ounce bags frozen raspberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups super fine sugar (pulse regular sugar in a food processor to make it fine)
2 teaspoons cherry extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Pink food coloring (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting

What to do:
1. Bloom Gelatin: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Make the Raspberry/Cherry Puree: In a blender, add 10 cups of the raspberries with 1 cup sugar.  Puree until smooth. Using a fine sieve, strain the puree into a bowl to remove the seeds (don’t worry some seeds will get through and that’s okay). In a microwave oven, melt the gelatin for 10 seconds on low power. Whisk the gelatin and cherry extract into the raspberry puree. Stir in pink food coloring if desired to enhance the color.

3. Whip Egg Whites: In a large pyrex bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the whites at medium-high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the raspberry cherry puree.

4. Whip Cream: In a standing mixer fitted with a whip attachment or using a hand mixer, add the heavy cream and beat until creamy. Add pink food coloring if desired to keep the dessert super pink. Continue to beat until firm.

5. Finish Mousse: Fold the whipped cream into the raspberry cherry mixture. Pour into a trifle dish or individual dishes and refrigerate overnight.

To Serve: Top with remaining fresh raspberries and dust with powdered sugar.

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Watch this beautiful Cherry Blossom-inspired Dessert Course come together!

Sprinkle Rainbow Cake Decorating (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

An imperfect rainbow of sprinkles, mega marshmallows “clouds” and a balloon dog pot of gold! Don’t worry about everything being perfect, just have fun. The end result will ALWAYS bring a smile.

What you need: 
1 frosted layer cake (we used a 8-inch and 6-inch vanilla cake)
4 (6-inch) cardboard cake rounds
1 cup (each) sprinkles in rainbow colors (we used in this order purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and pink), the full amount of each will depend on the size of your cakes.
1 bag extra large marshmallows
1 Jimmie the Balloon Dog Cake Topper Kit

What to do: 
1. Working with the bottom or larger cake first, place one cardboard cake round on either end and set aside. Using a sheet tray, pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the purple sprinkles along the longest edge. Straighten the edge with a ruler or dough scraper and pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the blue sprinkles next to the purple. Continue with the green (1/2-3/4 cup) sprinkles.
2. Holding the cake by the ends with the card board rounds, line up the cake at the at the end of the tray and roll (using pressure) the cake across the stripes of colors.
3. Use the extra sprinkles to fill in any gaps. Remove cardboard round on the top and cover the top of the cake (purple will be the bottom) with the extra green sprinkles.
4. Repeat the striping process with the smaller cake, starting with the yellow sprinkles. Then orange and finally pink.
5. Use the extra yellow, orange and pink sprinkles to fill in any holes. Remove bottom top cardboard cake round (yellow will be at the bottom) and cover the top of the cake with pink sprinkles. Remove bottom cardboard cake round and carefully place smaller cake atop the larger cake.
6. Top cake with marshmallows.
7. Top marshmallows with a pot of gold Jimmie the Balloon Dog!
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