YELLOW CAKE for STEAM INDIA
Orange, almond and pineapple expertly combined to create a beautifully textured and flavored yellow cake!
Makes 24 pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
8 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 c. slivered almonds (do not use almonds with skins on; we’re trying to achieve a light color)
zest of 1 fresh orange; firmly roll orange on counter top to break down the membranes and make insides soft; zest the entire orange peel, by grating it on small holes of a grater, then cut orange in half and squeeze to extract juice, ½ c. is what we need
1 c. white sugar
½ c. reserved orange juice
1 T. baking soda
½ t. sea salt
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
Place pineapple, almonds and orange zest in food processor. Process 2-3 minutes till pasty and as smooth as possible. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
Add sugar, ½ c. of reserved orange juice, baking soda, sea salt and vanilla. Using large sturdy spoon, stir well and then beat for about 30 seconds.
Add flour all at once. Beat again to thoroughly incorporate, about 1-2 minutes till fluffed up.
Oil a 9 x 13 inch baking dish on sides and bottom. Spoon batter evenly into dish.
Place on middle rack of preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of cake. Don’t ever test a cake till you can see that the middle of the cake has risen. If you don’t have a window on your oven door, then never look until 30 minutes has passed.
Cool on board or rack. Serve plain, dust with powdered sugar or frost with a complimentary icing.
Notes: This is Chef Davies-Tight’s Yellow Cake developed at the request of STEAM INDIA.
Surprisingly, the orange, almond and pineapple are not distinct. Instead, these three ingredients combine in such a way to produce the flavors we all associate with yellow cake. When processing the three, process longer than you’ll think is necessary. We want tiny, barely perceptible bits of almond. This is the texture of the cake, and what’s going to keep the cake from mushing up when you bite into it.
Use a large orange to be sure you’ll get ½ cup of the juice after squeezing.
Lastly, respect the process. We’re cooking without animals, which means everything changes. It’s never a matter of taking the meat, eggs, dairy out of a dish to make a delicious animal-free recipe. Ingredients need to be combined in familiar ways to create the elements of the dish that satisfied with the animal in it, as well as making the different part (now absent the animal) satisfy in a new way.