Last Sunday I went on a date with a buff blond hair green-eyed man, who owns an expensive car and his father’s construction company along with other side businesses. He took me to an expensive restaurant and paid for my dinner and he dropped me off at home right after like in those old-timey movies.
The date sucked.
Fuck man, I must be hard to please. Or maybe I just dislike dudes who pretend to be nice but show glimpses of them being possessive and weird. Not like “Oh ha-ha Nutmeg, you’re so weird” but like “Did you know my eyes are actually yellow?” weird.
Yeah, he said that.
The reason I brought this up, is because me and my old high school friends decided to take a trip over to a southern state because we are north eastern folks, and a trip down past the mason-dixon line sounds exciting. Since I had been going out from friday to sunday, I didn’t want to upset the mother hen anymore than I already have, I ended up inviting them over to my house and gave myself an excuse to bake.
The girl who’s brother I dated (and “hated”) is part of this group. The only reason I even went on a date with this other guy is because her brother is moving far away to some boring mid-western state to live out the burnt out glory days with his frat brothers. I mean, c’mon, you’re 25. It gets old at some point.
ehh, i’m just salty
I started texting some other friends for some baking ideas for something summery because it’s basically August, and shit, i’ve only made ONE dessert with fruit in it??? No way. I’ve fucked up. I need to remedy this. One of my close guy friends in college suggested something with citrus, and I thought HOLY SHIT ORANGES WE HAVE LIKE A MILLION (meaning 6) SO I SHOULD USE THEM.
I hunted and hunted and somehow even though I wasn’t looking for a Portuguese dessert, some how I fuckin’ stumbled onto David Leite’s Orange-Olive Oil Cake.
Why. How. It’s like I can never escape my culture.
“When you gonna bake da cake!” my mother shrilly asks as she enters my room.
“I dunno man. I need a nap”
“Pah! A nap! What you do all day? No-ting!” and she walked away.
That woman was so right, so I took a 2 hour long angry nap, and chalked it up to feeling sick. Yeah. that’s why I did it.
What’s hilarious about this whole cake, is that it’s a portuguese dessert apparently and I’ve never fucking had it. Or seen it. Like anywhere. According to Leite, he says he had this cake at a restaurant in Lisbon
or Lisboa if you wanna be a snot and say it right. I mean, hey, if he’s had it there, it makes sense. My family lives like 2 hours away north from Lisboa in this tiny town of Bumblefuck-Nowhere near the beach. All we have is salt, briny fish, and wailing grandmothers.
You see, in Portugal, the South is where the rich hotsy-totsy people live, and the North is where us poor-ass fishmongers and pork farmers live with our shitty uneducated accents (which is the accent I have, if you’re wondering). Sort of like the inverse of the USA. Except in America I live in the North too, so I’m both highly-educated and bred to be a potato picker.
I’m sure it’ll come in handy when we have to start using our college diplomas for fertilizer.
But hey, fuck-it, let’s bake a cake! Follow me into bundt-cake-baking-land and watch me fail miserably at estimating overflow and making shit up!
Bolo de Laranja
Serves – 10 or so (if five 22 year old girls can power through half a cake, 10 should be a safe estimate)
*1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
*3 large navel oranges
*3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1 3/4 tsp salt
*5 large eggs
*2 3/4 cups sugar
*1 1/2 cups mild fruity olive oil (guess which country has fruity olive oil. three guesses. Portugal.)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle. You want this sucker nice and hot because you’re cake is gonna be fuckin’ baking forever. Also, grab your cute as shit antique copper bundt pan that was used at the turn of the century. Or… at least, that’s what the people at that damn estate sale said…. Can’t trust ’em. Butter and flour it because this thing is so cute and has so many nice edges your cake gets stuck in there like a mother and will not come out.
2. Set on some orange juicing music like Jack Johnson, and zest only TWO oranges. Listen to me friends. Do this the right way. I was too lazy to even squeeze a third orange and zested only one and a half and my cake wasn’t orange-y enough. i must have more citrus Like you’d think somebody who likes to bake so much would be enthusiastic to stab at the meat of an orange and drain it of its juices into a cup… but, surprisingly that’s not appealing to me.
too much work
i have to wash a cup?
3. Grab another bowl and stir together all of your dry shit, except for the sugar. So like the flour, baking powder and salt. Just stab at it with a fork.
this seems to be a running theme today
4. Okay, so get your stand mixer and use the paddle attachment. Don’t have a stand mixer or a paddle attachment? You’re gonna have a bad time.
If you use your godmother’s “farm fresh eggs” like me (because she raises her own chickens) then BE SURE TO FLOAT THEM IN WATER FIRST. AND THEN STILL CRACK THEM ONE BY ONE IN A SEPARATE BOWL. Somehow even though none of the eggs floated, I still got a rotten egg that stunk up the whole house, and caused me to gag. It takes a lot to cause this nutmeg to gag.
no stop why do i always set myself up
5. So, uh, when you get all of your eggs in the bowl, beat the shit out of them until they start to turn pale-ish. like 3 minutes or so. Add in the sugar in cups of 1/4. I opted out of the last 1/4 that made it 3 cups like in the original recipe because I don’t need my desserts rotting my teeth out, thank u very much. But then again, your desserts, your rules. Taste the yolks. Promise it’s not that super gross as it sounds. Let that beautiful mixture beat until it’s huge and fluffly and a very pale yellow. I love flully fucking desserts, which turns out to bake up higher cakes. So if your bundt pan is large and can accommodate a huge cake, beat away my friends! Beat until you can’t wait any longer! If you are severely overestimating the size of your pan because you have a hard time actually understanding sizes and how big things actually look, then don’t beat as long.
gentlemen. I am your gal
6. Now you gotta do that fun thing where you alternate between your oil and your flour. I started and ended with flour. Err, not a baking doctor, so not exactly sure if that’s correct. Batter looked fine to me though. Throw in your fresh squeezed orange juice (or mine which was topped off with Tropicana) with your zest and like beat around until you’re like yeah okay whatever.
7. Pour this baby into your cute copper fluted bundt pan, and watch as your batter just almost pours out of the top. Don’t even try to pour any of it out and bake in something else. Nahhh, friends, we live life on the edge as bakers. You throw that shit in the oven, and pray Frankenstein’s monster doesn’t crawl out of the fucking oven.
8. My cake baked for like an hour and a half. Be sure to save the tears you normally reserve for when you scroll through facebook and see pretty perfect people partnering up with other pretty perfect people, and here you are, baking in your grannie panties with an oversized college t-shirt. You should actually be saving your tears for when you open up the oven to check on the cake to see if it needs to be covered due to browning, and you are presented with a behemoth of a cake, growing out of the cute copper bundt pan and taking on a life of it’s own.
now you can cry
9. Once the tears have been wiped, and your cake looks baked enough i guess pull it out. I noticed I had this… this fuckin’ ring in the middle of my cake that consisted of unbaked batter. I have no idea why this happens and this shit dives me INSANE WHEN I BAKE A CAKE THAT ISN’T A FLAT ROUND. DKGASHGAWOEGJADVJKSFAEFJ
Any ideas why?
Either way, the cake is baked enough. Let it like settle in the pan, because it’s had a long day at work in the oven growing in your worst nightmare. As it cools, the cake will pull away from the pan. When you’re tired of being impatient (about 15 minutes) just place a serving plate on top of it, and flip the whole thing over, burning your hands in the process.
May your cake be smooth topped, and delicious, because mine was a scary mess.
Garnish with the syrup from your candied orange peels and decorate with the orange peels. Get creative and shit. The recipe follows.