Spiced Orange 6-Layer w/ Rosemary Buttercream

Unlike cookies, pies, or ice cream, when I decide to make a cake, it becomes my baby for the following 48 hours. Maybe because the time it takes to complete the entire process is highly underrated, but it’s probably also due to the fact that a really good cake takes a lot of figuring how to go about the smallest details. Some are obvious, such as what flavor of cake you’re really in the mood for, but the very same flow chart that begins with chocolate or vanilla leads to a plethora of other options, leading to decisions, which then leads to the task of executing them.

In any case, there is a specific satisfaction that comes with baking something for fun, no matter what the dessert, as opposed to baking for an event or even for someone in particular. Exhibit A would be taking less than a minute to marvel at your finished product before slicing into it with a knife and a fork.

Check out the video of my cake process here!

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Make the cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups room temperature milk
  • 5 egg whites (@ room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and butter & flour 3 8-inch cake pans.
2. Cream the butter and shortening together, then add the sugar gradually. Once incorporated, add the egg whites gradually, then add the orange juice and zest.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour + spices + baking powder)
4. Alternate the wet and dry ingredients while mixing into the butter/egg mixture (scrape down the bowl occasionally).
5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

For the frosting

Ingredients:
2 sticks (1 cup) of softened butter
1 cup shortening
1 bag (2 lb, 3 3/4 cups) powdered sugar
4 tbsp. milk
rosemary syrup (1 cup water + 1/4 cup sugar + 6-8 sprigs of fresh rosemary — simmer together in a small saucepan for 5 minutes then chill and strain)

1. Beat the butter and shortening together, then add sugar 1/2 cup at a time.
2. Beat in syrup and milk and mix until the consistency is light and fluffy.

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This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Lauren at Sweet and Southern Lifestyle.

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Rosemary Caramel Ice Cream

For me, ice cream is a year-round commitment. To the people who stop eating ice cream in the winter: you are weak and natural selection is coming for you. However, it does feel slightly wrong to be cuddled next to the fire with a bowl of lemon sorbet. So instead of stopping ice cream consumption altogether because it feels “wrong,” I thought it would be best to just adjust the flavor so it feels more winter-y.

Here’s my recipe for rosemary (infused) caramel ice cream. It’s almost like warm ice cream because of the flavor (don’t actually eat it warm). This recipe is for one pint, but I won’t judge you if you double/triple/quadruple the serving size. Enjoy!

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Make the ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 c heavy cream
  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk until it begins to bubble at the edges. Add rosemary and let simmer for a minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Slowly whisk in the milk and stir constantly over low heat until the mixture can coat a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir in caramel. Chill the mixture until cold (1-2 hours).
  4. Add heavy cream and churn in an ice cream maker. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.

Caramel sauce: dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 5 tbsp of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cook, swirling the pot occasionally, until the caramel is amber. Remove from heat and add 1/3 cup cold butter. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Refrigerate until cool.

Enjoy! <3, B