Category Archives: orange

Orange Cardamom Morning Buns

Orange Cardamom Morning BunsThere’s little rhyme or reason as to what I choose to blog—it’s usually just whatever I’ve felt like making lately. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a breakfast kick. I’m not exactly sure how many fall breakfast options I think you need, but it’s at least three: waffles, a pumpkin-spiced oven pancake, and these Orange Cardamom Morning Buns.Orange Cardamom Morning BunsI mean, look at these sticky, swirly things! You need them. I need them. Preferably on Saturday morning alongside my daily French press.Orange Cardamom Morning BunsThey’re flaky and fluffy, filled with a fragrant orange-cardamom sugar, and twisted to perfection. The crowning glory is a brush of orange-cardamom glaze as soon as the buns come out of the oven, which gives them an extra layer of flavor and their gleaming appearance.Orange Cardamom Morning BunsOh, and they take two hours start-to-finish—a rarity in the from-scratch breakfast bun realm. And their twists? Much easier than they look. My motor skills are seriously lacking (I am comically bad with scissors), so if I can shape them, anyone can.Orange Cardamom Morning BunsOrange Cardamom Morning BunsOrange Cardamom Morning BunsOrange Cardamom Morning BunsOrange Cardamom Morning BunsJust twist a strip of dough and tie it in a knot. Boom, done.Orange Cardamom Morning BunsEven if you do it “wrong” (which is near-impossible), I promise they will still turn out beautifully. And even if they don’t (which is also near-impossible—can you see that I did this with one hand?), call ‘em rustic. That’s what I do. If anyone complains, eat theirs. That’s also what I do.Orange Cardamom Morning BunsWhat?! You don’t need that negativity at breakfast.Orange Cardamom Morning Buns

Orange Cardamom Morning Buns
makes 12 buns

Dough:
2 3/4-3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg, room temperature

Filling:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
4 teaspoons ground cardamom
pinch of fine sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Glaze:
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Make the dough. In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and milk together until just warm to the touch, about 95-110 degrees.

Crack the egg into a small mixing bowl. Whisking constantly, add the butter/milk mixture in a thin stream until completely combined. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together. A shaggy dough should form and be pulling away from the bowl. Gradually add flour in 2 tablespoon increments until the it pulls away a bit.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 5-6 minutes, until smooth. Gather dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, making sure to get a little oil on all sides. Stretch some plastic wrap over the top and allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

In the meantime, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Make the filling. Combine sugar and orange zest in a small bowl. Rub together with your fingers to release the oils in the zest. Use a fork to stir in cardamom and salt.

Shape the buns. Return dough to floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll dough into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides.

Mentally divide the dough into thirds, like an unfolded letter. Place half the sugar mixture in the middle third of the dough—it’ll be a 12×6-inch section surrounded by two buttered sections of the same size.

Carefully grab one short side of the dough and fold it over the center, so that the dimensions are now 12×12-inches. Brush the top of the folded section with more butter and scatter on the remaining sugar mixture. Fold the other short side over the top so that the dimensions are 12×6-inches. Tap edges “closed” with your rolling pin.

Carefully lift and turn dough over so that the seam is against the floured surface. Roll the dough so that the dimensions are 14×8-inches.

Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to trim the short edges of the dough by about 1/2-inch. Slice dough into 12 strips. Working with one strip at a time, twist the ends until you have a loosely-twisted rope of dough. Carefully bring ends toward one another until they cross over one another and create a small hole. Tuck ends into that hole. Place shaped buns on prepared pans, leaving about 6 inches of space between (I can get 6 on a half-sheet sized pan).

Cover pans loosely with wax paper (or parchment) and let rise in a warm, draft-free environment for another 25-30 minutes. Remove wax paper (or parchment). They will not seem to have changed drastically, but if you poke one with your finger, the indentation should remain. If any ends have come loose, just nudge them back into the centers.

Place oven racks in the center positions. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake buns for 10 minutes. Rotate pans top-to-bottom and front-to-back. Bake another 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown.

While buns are baking, make the glaze. Combine orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in cardamom and butter.

Use a pastry brush to brush warm buns with glaze. Buns are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or so.

Orange Cardamom Morning BunsOrange Cardamom Morning BunsOrange Cardamom Morning Buns

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Orange Cardamom Cake

Orange Cardamom CakeI don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that I do all my blog photo shoots in a corner of my bedroom. I’ve got wide windowsills and my carrara marble pie board, so it’s a pretty sweet deal…except when it’s gray outside for days on end and my viewless east-facing window gets terrible light. I’ve made it work in the past, but just couldn’t bear the idea of taking grainy, sub-par photos of this Orange Cardamom Cake.Orange Cardamom CakeSo, uh, hello from my make-shift photo set-up in the living room! Look at this cake I made for you!Orange Cardamom CakeIf early autumn could be baked into a cake, it would be this Orange Cardamom beauty. It’s got plenty of brightness and tang from a triple hit of fresh orange, a little warmth from ground cardamom, and a moist, tight crumb that’ll have you going back for seconds.Orange Cardamom CakeIt’s like the joyful feeling you get when you finally get to break out your chunky sweaters after a long, hot summer. You’re so happy to be wearing a sweater that you don’t even care that you’re wearing it with cut-offs and sandals.Orange Cardamom CakeBut you know, it’s cake. Really, really good cake. The sort of cake you eat when you’re not ready to go all-pumpkin/apple/pear all the time, but if you have to eat one more berry anything, you’ll scream.

Maybe that’s just me. Anyway…Orange Cardamom CakeOrange Cardamom CakeOrange Cardamom CakeThis cake is stupid easy to make. Yesssssss. It requires a mixer, but just one bowl and three steps.

  1. Put all the ingredients in one mixing bowl.
  2. Mix ‘em on low for 30 seconds.
  3. Turn up the speed to medium and mix for another three minutes.

Orange Cardamom CakeOrange Cardamom CakeOrange Cardamom CakeSeriously, that’s it. Put the batter in the pan and bake it for a little more than an hour.Orange Cardamom CakeOnce it’s cool, paint the cake with a fresh orange glaze.Orange Cardamom CakeOrange Cardamom CakeTop it with a thick orange icing. That’s the stuff.Orange Cardamom CakeMake yourself a pot of tea, cut yourself a slice, cozy up, and enjoy.Orange Cardamom CakeOrange Cardamom CakeChunky sweater optional, but encouraged.Orange Cardamom Cake

Orange Cardamom Cake
makes one 10 cup capacity bundt

Cake:
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup milk (preferably whole), room temperature

Glaze:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 325F. Heavily grease a bundt pan with softened butter (or shortening) and dust with flour. Set aside.

Make the cake. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Batter will be thick.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around all exposed edges. Invert cake onto a cooling rack and let cake cool completely. Cake may be made up to a day in advance; it will keep double-wrapped in plastic wrap.

Set the cooled cake, still on the rack, over a rimmed baking sheet. Make the glaze. Combine orange juice and sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, just until the sugar granules dissolve. Alternatively, this may be done in a small pot on the stove.

Use a pastry brush to paint glaze all over the cake. Continue brushing until you’ve used all the glaze. Some will run off onto the rimmed baking sheet—that is okay. Let cake sit for 30 minutes to absorb the glaze.

Make the icing. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, and salt. Mixture should be very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more orange juice by the teaspoon up to 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon). Pour over cake. Let sit for 20 minutes to set. Move cake to a serving plate before slicing and serving.

Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to five.
Orange Cardamom CakeOrange Cardamom Cake