Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Orange you glad I like Oranges? Experimental cooking: Orange pork chops and orange pound cake

That orange right there, as you can see is a monster of an orange.  Pup brought back a whole bunch from Arizona when he went home for Christmas.  Apparently they're ripe this time of year, because his Iowa girlfriend was talking about how she "picked them right off a tree".  That one orange was all I needed for everything in today's blog.  I used the whole thing, well except the pith and peels obviously.

Just a warning - my pound cake did not turn out that well.  It was way too dry.  Even though every recipe I've read says that the cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean, by the time mine came out clean the cake had been baking an hour and a half.  Crazy!  And it was only moist in the very middle.  I was not impressed.  The recipe I used was from the Joy of Cooking and only slightly modified.  I'll note my modifications, and maybe some of you more accomplished bakers can help me figure out what went wrong.  Or, maybe it's just a dry pound cake recipe.  I've got some others to try out at a later date.

Orange Pound Cake

2c Butter
2c Sugar
9 eggs (separated or not, bakers preference)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp mace (I used cloves)
2 Tbsp rose water (I used orange juice from one orange segment which was 2 Tbsp exactly)
4c cake flour (or substitute by putting 2 Tbsp corn starch in a measuring cup and filling the rest of the way with all purpose flour, which is what I did)  Sifted, measured, and resifted
1/2 tsp salt
(optional, 1/2 c dried fruit or nuts.  I added 2 Tbsp orange zest)

All ingredients were at room temperature.

Cream the butter, then slowly add the sugar and cream.  Add eggs one by one, beating well in between additions.
Add vanilla, mace (cloves), and rose water (orange juice).
Slowly add in flour until just blended with mixer on lowest speed.
Pour into two greased and floured 9x5 loaf pans and bake at 325 for about one hour.

Alternately, the recipe said you could add only the egg yolks one by one, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, and fold them into the dough after the flour has been mixed in.  The book said that the traditional dense pound cake is achieved by adding the eggs whole, though.  So, that's what I did.

An hour later, they looked beautiful, but were still runny.  An hour and a half later, they were finally not runny (checked on them every 10 minutes to try to avoid over cooking), but the cakes were dry (even though they tasted great per Pup and B).

I used two orange segments for the glaze:

Orange Glaze

1 1/4 c powdered sugar (I just put regular sugar in the blender with a spice blade in it, so I don't have to keep powdered sugar around since I rarely buy the stuff, but randomly require it.)
1/4 c fruit juice
1 tsp vanilla

Blend everything together until smooth.  It dries into a semi-hard glaze.

(Next time I might make a syrup or sauce instead)

B said the taste is wonderful, but I disagree.  I think he is easily impressed.  Either that, or maybe it does taste great, and I am just spoiled rotten with really fabulous pound cakes from my former Grandmother-in-law.

The second experiment, involving the rest of the orange (which yielded total about a cup and a half of juice or more) involved pork chops.  I have some boneless breakfast chops in the freezer, because they are my favorite for making schnitzel.  They're small, no bigger than my hand, so I was able to put three of them in my medium-ish skillet.  I think it's 8 in?  I seasoned the pork with salt, pepper, ginger, and cloves, then browned it in sesame oil.  I sauteed a small onion in the same skillet until golden and tender.  Then I poured the orange juice into the skillet on medium heat (it was deep enough to come up a little past the bottoms of the pork chops), and simmered it covered until almost all the liquid was gone.

I steamed some broccoli, made mashed potatoes, and made a homemade cheese sauce with a roux of:
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
browned and thickened.
add 1 c milk, and put it in the oven on 350 for about 30 minutes (so I could pay attention to everything else on the stove and not have to worry about my gravy burning).  In that 30 minute time frame, I also added a cup of shredded cheese and a slice of cheddar and stirred it up.  I popped it back in the oven until all the cheese was melted and viola.  Cheese sauce.  I think next time I'll use a bit less flour, because I could taste it.  Either that or I'll brown the flour more before I add the milk.
The pork chops and the cheese sauce were both a HUGE hit.  No, the nail polish wasn't a garnish.  It just happened to be on the table when I took the picture.  But I am sure you could decorate the potatoes up with it very interestingly.  ;-)


  1. Hmmmm...Nine eggs seems like a whole lot more egg than you really need. The temperature is about right though. I think it's your recipe. I've got one in the BH&G cookbook I've tried four different times and it was dry as could be each time even when I was exact with measurements and beating and such.

    I just looked up one of my tried and true recipes and noted that baking in loaf pans took 1 hour 15 minutes at same temperature you used. That was a tad too long for one cake although I'd checked it.

    I'd try a new recipe...Make sure to make notes in your book that this recipe turned out dry to save future mistakes (so you don't do it four times like I did, lol).

  2. I found another recipe that doesn't require nearly as much egg and actually calls for liquid. It's a buttermilk pound cake. I've had great luck with buttermilk desserts in the past, so I'm thinking this one is at least worth a shot. It also has a buttermilk custard icing recipe with it. Sounds super yummy!

  3. Good to know about the BH&G one. I've got one or theirs, too. I just haven't tried it. Now I know not to ;-)


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