Starting a Monday with a nice Screwdriver just sounds right to me. A little vodka and orange juice reminds me that spring is around the corner. What am I talking about, winter is spring in South Florida.
For the rest of the real world, I know that spring is on the way! This gorgeous cake full of sunshine and with the right amount of vodka and orange juice will remind you of warmer days around the corner.
Days when you can wear your plaid Bermuda shorts and flip-flops. Hot sunny days when you can drive around in your convertible and let the wind whip through your soft curls or your stick straight extensions. A little reggae music on your satellite radio. It just feel good!
Upside-down cakes seems to be my thing. I make them with every fruit and I think it's all because of the caramel. I adore polenta. I could eat it every day. I also love baking with cornmeal! I love it in my galette dough or in cookies. Especially in cakes! Especially when it is combined with olive oil. It is so Italian and it is just so right! A combination of orange juice and vodka give this cake just the right kick. The spectacular color of the oranges and a light dusting of powdered sugar…so fancy and you didn’t even have to break a sweat to make it. Beating the egg whites separately and folding them in at the end make the cake a little bit fluffier. The cornmeal is pretty dense so you need the extra bit of lightness.
Screwdriver Cake-Caramelized Orange Olive Oil Cake
2/3 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 vodka (if you don’t like to use alcohol, you could use a 1/2 cup total orange juice)
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
2-3 small oranges sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Rinse and dry your oranges. Cut the ends off of the oranges and slice the rest of the oranges about 1/8 inch thick. Take out all the seeds.
Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 4 tablespoons of water in a 8-inch cast-iron or oven proof skillet on medium heat. Swirl the water the around so that the water combines in the sugar. Stir constantly until it turns golden brown and starts to caramelize. As soon as it changes color, remove from the heat and add the 3 tablespoons butter. Let it melt and swirl it around to combine. It should look like this:
Arrange the sliced oranges in a concentric patter on top of the caramel. Set the pan aside.
In a small bowl, add the orange juice and vodka. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium sized bowl, beat the egg whites until they are soft with fluffy peaks. Set aside the beaten egg whites.
In a clean bowl of a mixer, beat the sugar with the olive oil until combined (about 1 minute).
On medium speed, beat in the egg yolks one at a time until combined. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add 1/2 of the vodka/orange juice and beat for about a minute. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and with a spatula, scrape down the sides of your pan to combine all the flour mixture. Add the rest of the vodka mixture and beat for about a minute. Add the rest of the flour mixture and the 3 tablespoons of sour cream (or Greek yogurt).
Stop the mixer and fold in the egg whites gently until combined and you don’t see any more white streaks.
Spoon the batter on top the caramelized orange mixture. Even out the top of the batter with a spatula. Bake about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. After the cake has cooled for about 10 minutes, run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Place your serving plate on top of cake upside down. Carefully and quickly invert the pan onto your serving plate. Make sure you hold the handle of the pan with an oven mitt because the handle will still be scorching hot. Replace any oranges to the top of the cake that maybe came off when you flipped it.
Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee! I think since it’s almost spring, a nice scoop of vanilla ice-cream will go very well with this happy cake!
Happy Monday to you! Thank you for stopping by today.