During March, my Celtic roots seem to talk to me more fervently so even though I used Canadian whiskey in this recipe, I was thinking Irish or Scotch. Not being much of a drinker and definitely not a lover of beer, green or otherwise, I was looking for an alternate way to recognize March 17th. There is a complicated history to St. Patrick’s Day with another option to play and have fun or look to the deeper themes at work. This year I am going to settle on celebrating things Celtic, listening to music, being grateful that the fight between Brigid and the Cailleach has reached its’ conclusion and maybe have a little tipple with a slice of cake.
I am going to hazard a guess that there is not a lot of Seville Orange Whiskey Curd sitting in your pantry and that is okay. I made the curd for the first time a couple of years ago when I was putting some marmalade up. Lemon curd, either homemade or store bought can be substituted. The final product will be different but still definitely enjoyable.
You will need:
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. navel orange zest
1 tsp. grapefruit powder (optional)
½ cup soft butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs (take out of the fridge so they can warm up)
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup Greek yogurt (sour cream is also an option)
½ cup Seville Orange Curd
For the glaze you will need (optional):
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp. whiskey
1 tsp. orange zest
Take a moment to come into the present moment, releasing distracting thoughts and letting go of the days irritations. When baking for someone else it is especially important to do so with an open heart and appreciation for the recipient. Wash your hands; inhale, hold and release several deep breaths. Focus. Begin.
Pop the flour and baking powder into a sifter and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the sugar, butter and orange zest. I keep orange zest in a jar in the fridge which is why the zest seems to be two colours in the picture. One tablespoon was fresh zest and the other has been combined with sugar.
Beat the mixture until combined, light and fluffy. Grapefruit peel powder is something that I posted last month and is an optional ingredient that will add an additional base note to this cake. It is purchasable but also so easy to make at home.
Sift the dry ingredients over the bowl and using a spatula fold only until just blended.
Do not over mix.
Place just over one third of the batter in the prepared loaf pan, trying not to touch the sides.
Gently spread out to the edges of the pan, smoothing the batter level.
Dot the batter with teaspoons of curd, keeping the curd away from the sides of the loaf.
Repeat with additional teaspoons of curd before adding the remaining batter and once again smoothing the batter out to the edges.
It is best to add the layers of batter in sections and not to just transfer in one large scoop. Smoothing out several sections will be easier than attempting to smooth the entire loaf.
It will also keep the curd from being pushed around in the loaf pan.
On the top of the batter add the last of the curd and using a knitting needle or a knife run through the curd, creating swirls around the top of the loaf.
Using a toothpick or knitting needle, check the inside of the loaf cake and add any additional time until the tester comes out dry.
If the top is getting too dark for your taste, try placing a piece of parchment or greased foil on the top to prevent over browning.
Once baked, remove from the oven and allow at least 20 minutes of cooling before removing from the pan, setting on a cooling rack and allowing it to continue to cool.
The glaze is optional and should be added only once the loaf is fully cooled.
Adding the glaze, even with the addition of whiskey as the liquid, will sweeten the entire experience.
The funny thing was that when I explained my considerations, I was told that the glaze was the best part of her “birthday cake”.
So as mentioned, optional….but appreciated.
On another note, if you decide to just leave any curd out, please add in an extra few tablespoons of yoghurt as the cake, while moist it is also dense.
Seville Orange Curd Loaf Cake from My Kitchen Wand