Monday, April 13, 2009
Eating in Regal Style at The Orangery, Kensington Palace in London
When one visits London The Orangery at Kensington Palace is a must! Upon entering The Orangery one can't help but gasp at it's beauty! This brick building was built in 1704 by Queen Anne for entertaining in the summer and sheltering fruit trees in the winter. Because it was once used essentially as a greenhouse it is all white, stunning floor to ceiling windows, lush Baroque style, and countless Corinthian columns.
Everything I had was delicious and so perfectly proper from the cucumber cream cheese and chive tea sandwiches, poached salmon and dill tea sandwiches, fruit scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam and my favorite...the Orangery Cake! The cake was a decadent (no diets allowed whist at The Orangery!) orange pound cake with rich orange butter cream frosting. I have done my best to replicate the recipe, try it for a festively spring tea party!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon zest
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup low fat sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp orange zest
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 1/2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Serves 8 to 10.
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a round cake pan and dust with flour.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until blended. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and orange and lemon zest on medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until just blended. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and stir until both are just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream, then sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap gently on the counter to even out and settle the ingredients. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes, or longer if using a metal pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Place the cake on one of its sides and continue cooling. Once cooled cut the cake in half, frost the middle, place the top on the cake, frost entirely (it may take two layers...one crumb layer and then a final of frosting)
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 4 1/2 Tbs. orange juice, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. You want the texture to be creamy but still hold its peaks
Although I had a cup of tea that afternoon this cake would be a perfect pairing with a flute of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve!