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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blue Skies Cake (Orange cake with blue curacao frosting)

I've been dreaming to devise a cake inspired by my favorite cocktail (called Blue Skies, made of milk and Blue Curacao bar syrup) for a long time now. 
I finally created the perfect version of it: both milk-tasting and creamy (from the cream and mascarpone) and with a strong orange and blue orange flavor (because that's what the curacao flavor actually is - a blue orange syrup). The moist sponge below contains plenty of grated orange zest and candied orange peel, while the creamy top is full of cream, mascarpone and blue curacao syrup.

It really tastes like the cocktail I named above :). It's perfect! (at least to me). If you're fans of any cocktail with a slight lagoon-blue color that means you love the curacao flavor too. Which also means you'll love this cake. Enjoy (with a mug of Blue Skies) :).
Because today my little girl Mira will turn 3, and 3 is a magical number in traditional Romanian fairy tales, I think this was the most appropriate thing to post today. :)

Last year: Sholezard (Iranian rice pudding with saffron, almonds and rosewater).
Two years ago: Ti ki burfi (sesame seed burfi) (Indian).
Three years ago: Sprinkle butter cookies (Italian).
Four years ago: Pickled mustard and Marliesentorte (German hazelnut, chocolate and cream cake).

Ingredients (for a 1,5 liters cake form):
  • 5 eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g flour
  • 70 ml sunflower oil
  • 100 g candied orange zest
  • 20 ml orange liquor
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • pinch of salt
For the frosting:
  • 200 ml cream (32% fat)
  • 100 g mascarpone
  • 3-4 tablespoons blue curacao syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons orange liquor (like Cointreau)
  • some white and blue sugar pearls to decorate (optional)
To get started on the sponge, preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Separate the eggs.
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, then mix them with the egg yolks and the oil.

Beat the egg whites with the salt, gradually incorporated sugar and the orange extract. Add the beaten mass to the main bowl:

Mix well until even, then add the orange liquor and the candied orange peel:

Mix again and the batter is ready. Butter the form and dust it with flour. (We used a nice little star-shaped cake form from Ikea).

Pour the batter in it (careful to have an even level).

Now put it in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes (until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean). Take out and allow to cool. When it's cooled, put it on your prettiest cake stand and prepare to decorate it.

Beat the cream until it's stiff and well whipped. While the robot still beats it, gently incorporate half of the mascarpone (1 teaspoon at a time). Careful not to leave the cream too much in the mixing process or it might separate.
When you're done with incorporating the mascarpone, reserve 2-3 tablespoons of cream aside. Then, add the liquor and the syrup until the whole creamy thing is evenly blue.
Spread the remaining half of mascarpone on the cake in a thin layer:

Top with the blue mascarpone cream mass. Spritz the white reserved cream around on the corners of the cake, then sprinkle the sugar pearls on top.
The cake is done:

Slice, transfer on serving plates and dig in! :)

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