I hope the blogger and the NY Times I stole these images and recipes from forgive me, but with the recent Boston Massacre I needed to deal with it all somehow...so I cooked and baked my way towards processing the senselessness of it all.
Too affected to document what I made, I am reduced to sharing the original poster's images. My bad, lo siento, big time. But it was so so good...a super moist blood orange pound cake we capped with fresh strawberries and twirls of whipped cream, preceded by the most delicate cheese ravioli along with asparagus tips and sugar snap peas all in a succulent parmesan broth....that I have to share the yum. This is the comfort food that sustained us here tonight. Here are the links and fotos to our most bittersweet and blessed meal...
Blood Orange Vanilla Loaf Cakes from Dorie Greenspan
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 blood oranges, zested and juiced
- 2 Tablespoons blood orange juice (I squeezed the juice and then reduced it on the stove, resulting in 2 Tablespoons of syrupy, concentrated juice.)
- 1/8 teaspoon orange oil
- 1/2 plump, moist vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved or 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 stick plus 7 Tablespoons (15 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I browned mine a bit, but it isn’t necessary)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice (I used 1 1/2 oranges for the syrup as the size of the oranges I had varied a bit.)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-x2 1/2-inch loaf pans (I used one regular loaf pan and two mini-loaf pans), dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. (Even if the pans are nonstick, it’s a good idea to butter and flour them.) Place the pans on an insulated baking sheet or two regular sheets stacked one on top of the other.
- Melt the butter, or brown it if you choose. Set it aside to cool.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Put the sugar, the zest of the two oranges and the pulp from the vanilla beans, if using them, in a large bowl, and working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist and thoroughly imbued with the fragrance of blood orange and vanilla. (If you are using vanilla extract, add it later, after you’ve added the eggs.)
- Squeeze the juice of the blood oranges that has been zested; you’re aiming for about 1/4 cup. Either use 2 Tablespoons of the juice for the cake (and reserve the remaining juice for the syrup, or heat the roughly 1/4 cup of juice on the stove, bring to a boil to reduce until you have 2 Tablespoons. Set it aside to cool.
- Whisk the eggs into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract, if you’re using it. Add the blood orange juice and the orange oil, and then whisk in the cream.
- Continuing with the whisk or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3-4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2-3 additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes (if you make mini-loaves, they’ll bake in 30-40 minutes), or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (As soon as the cakes go in the oven, make the syrup). After about 30 minutes in the oven, check for the cakes for color — if they are browning too quickly, cover them lightly with foil tents.
- Meanwhile, make the syrup: Stir the water, sugar and blood orange juice together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl to cool.
- When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pans and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper and, using a thin skewer, cake tester or thin-bladed knife, poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cakes all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it up. Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.
Spring vegetables in Parmesan broth with goat cheese ravioli
This was our main accompanied by a baguette..
2 hours. Serves 6
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 to 2 ounces rinds from Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 dozen asparagus tips
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
Goat cheese ravioli or fresh pasta squares
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. In a soup pot, simmer the chicken broth, water, garlic, Parmesan rinds and herb trimmings until aromatic and flavorful, about 90 minutes. Strain and return to the soup pot.
2. In a wide pot, blanch the asparagus tips in plenty of rapidly boiling, generously salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Use a wire skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Cut the sugar snaps in half on a bias, then blanch them in the same way, stopping the cooking with the ice water bath and holding in a separate bowl. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.)
4. When ready to serve, warm 6 shallow pasta bowls. Bring the Parmesan broth to a simmer, taste and correct seasoning with salt to taste.
5. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil. Cook the goat cheese ravioli or fresh pasta squares until the pasta is tender, 3 or 4 minutes. Divide the ravioli among the serving bowls. Warm the asparagus tips in the same pot of water and divide them among the pasta bowls. Warm the sugar snaps in the same pot of water and divide them among the pasta bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with chives and then ladle over roughly one-third cup of hot Parmesan broth. Sprinkle with a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pass the remainder at the table.