Monday, March 23, 2015

Homemade Squid Ink Pasta

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16898807432/

I've been wanting to make my own squid ink pasta ever since I first had it in Venice, so I was pretty excited when I finally found some squid ink at DiLaurenti on my last trip to Seattle.  It came in these little pricey packets, but a little goes a long way.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16887462805/

I pretty much followed my recipe for a better homemade pasta, but I substituted squid ink for one of the egg yolks.  Because this recipe produces a drier dough, you don't have to dust the pasta with any additional flour to keep it from sticking, and it also lets the color of the squid ink pasta shine through.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16700059530/

I found that I could really smell and taste the brininess of the squid ink compared to the dried squid ink pasta I had bought from Venice.  I ended up using this pasta to make the First Night in Florence Spaghetti, and it just made that already fantastic dish even better.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16699830358/

Homemade Squid Ink Pasta
makes 2 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
8 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) squid ink

On a large, rimmed baking sheet, make a pile with the flour and dig a well in the middle.  Crack the egg into the well and add the egg yolks and squid ink.

Using a fork, start stirring the liquids and slowly incorporating more and more of the flour into the well until you have a nice, thick paste.  Combine with the rest of the flour and start kneading with your hands.  If the dough is too dry, wet your hands as many times as you need just for it to all come together.

Continue kneading by hand or in a stand mixer (with the dough hook attachment) until you have a smooth, uniform dough.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes.  At this point you can refrigerate the dough, well wrapped, overnight and bring it back to room temperature the next day before continuing.

Cut the dough in half.  Run one half through the pasta machine set at its widest setting.  Fold the dough in thirds and run through the machine again, repeating 3 times.  Then, run the dough halfway through and pinch the ends together so it forms a loop.  Adjust the setting to one notch thinner and roll through, continuing to adjust the setting one notch thinner each time the loop has gone all the way around.  When the dough looks almost transparent, stop and cut the dough out of the machine and then in half.  Repeat the whole process with the other half of the dough.

If your dough is feeling tacky at this point, let it dry a bit on some tea towels.  Otherwise, you can go ahead and fold the dough in half three times so you have a manageable width to cut.  Using a sharp knife, cut the noodles into the width you desire.  Shake out the noodles and let them dry some more on the tea towel.

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the pasta and stir occasionally so that the noodles don't stick to each other.  The pasta is done when they float to the surface.  Remove from the water immediately to preserve its perfect al dente texture.  Toss with the sauce of your choice.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16680119357/

Previously:  Cacio e Pepe for One
Last Year:  Dan Bing (Taiwanese Egg Crepe)
Five Years Ago:  Mama Huang's Secret Beer Duck Recipe
Six Years Ago:  Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday, March 16, 2015

Cacio e Pepe for One

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16708089082/

I love macaroni and cheese, but sometimes I just want to make enough for one serving.  Or I don't have any milk in the refrigerator.  Or I'm starving and and need something that only takes a few minutes to make.  Luckily, this recipe for cacio e pepe meets all those requirements!

Italian for "cheese and pepper", this dish comes together in a flash and uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator.  Pecorino Romano is the traditional cheese used for cacio e pepe, but in a pinch, you could also use parmesan or another hard, grated cheese.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16523023239/

The first time I made this, I used the fresh pasta I had made in the previous post, but I've also since made this with regular dried spaghetti.  Obviously, the fresh pasta was better, but the version made with the dried pasta was still pretty decent, and much better than anything that comes out of a blue and orange box.  I like mine slightly gooey and with less pepper, but if you like it creamier, you can add more pasta water, and feel free to use as much pepper as you like!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16523023239/

Cacio e Pepe for One
serves one (duh) but can be easily doubled

Kosher salt
1 serving of uncooked pasta, dried or fresh
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
50 g (about 3/4 cup) freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Bring a pot of salted water to boil.

Add the butter and pepper to a skillet large enough to hold all the pasta.  If using fresh pasta, turn the heat on once you add the pasta to the boiling water.  If using dried pasta, wait until there is 1 minute left before the pasta is done to turn on the heat.  Toast the pepper over medium-low heat.

When the pasta is done, transfer it to the skillet using tongs or a pasta scooper.  Toss with the butter and pepper, then start adding the grated cheese, alternating with some of the pasta water.  Continue tossing until the cheese has melted and coated all the pasta.  Season to taste with additional pepper and salt.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16523022149/

Next:  Homemade Squid Ink Pasta
Previously:  A Better Homemade Pasta
Last Year:  Miso-Glazed Eggplant
Two Years Ago:  Happiness Cake
Five Years Ago:  Momofuku's Crack Pie
Six Years Ago:  Korean Pancake Face Off

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Better Homemade Pasta Recipe

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16670047286/

I had three egg yolks left over from making the matcha financiers, so it was perfect timing that I came across this recipe which needed 3 egg yolks (plus 1 whole egg) for making homemade pasta.  I've posted about making pasta before, but even then I commented on how it didn't look like the homemade pasta I had eaten in Italy.  I had hopes that using more egg yolks would make a difference, giving me something closer in looks and taste.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16509852739/

I'm going to share two tips I use when making pasta:  one I came up with on my own, and one I learned from Lady and Pups.  First, instead of making the dough straight on your counter- or tabletop, make it in a rimmed baking sheet.  That way if the eggs accidentally spill over your flour well (like mine did), it won't run all over the place.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16508591810/

Second, I love this genius tip from Lady and Pups:  seal the ends of your dough together once you're ready to roll your pasta thinner in a pasta machine so that you don't have to refeed the dough in every time you change the setting.  It makes the dough so much easier to work with, especially once the dough gets super thin and long!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16695980185/

This dough is pretty dry, so you might want to wet your hands while kneading it just until everything comes together.  Then you can take the easy way out and throw it into your stand mixer (with the dough hook attachment) to continue kneading, if you have one.  If not, keep kneading until it's nice and glossy; it will take a while, but you'll get there eventually.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16694677671/

After you've rolled out the dough so that it's so thin it's almost transparent, you can cut it into any width you want:  super wide for pappardelle, wide for fettuccine, thin for tagliatelle, or super thin for bavettine.  This pasta is so good you'll just want to toss it with a really simple sauce so you can really appreciate the noodles.  Here I've made it aglio e olio, with just some garlic and olive oil, and a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes.  Buon appetito!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16508595100/

A Better Homemade Pasta Recipe (adapted from Food52)
makes 2 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
A pinch of salt

On a large, rimmed baking sheet, make a pile with the flour and dig a well in the middle.  Crack the egg into the well and add the egg yolks and salt.

Using a fork, start stirring the eggs and slowly incorporating more and more of the flour into the well until you have a nice, thick paste.  Combine with the rest of the flour and start kneading with your hands.  If the dough is too dry, wet your hands as many times as you need just for it to all come together.

Continue kneading by hand or in a stand mixer (with the dough hook attachment) until you have a smooth, uniform dough.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes.  At this point you can refrigerate the dough, well wrapped, overnight and bring it back to room temperature the next day before continuing.

Cut the dough in half.  Run one half through the pasta machine set at its widest setting.  Fold the dough in thirds and run through the machine again, repeating 3 times.  Then, run the dough halfway through and pinch the ends together so it forms a loop.  Adjust the setting to one notch thinner and roll through, continuing to adjust the setting one notch thinner each time the loop has gone all the way around.  When the dough looks almost transparent, stop and cut the dough out of the machine and then in half.  Repeat the whole process with the other half of the dough.  You will end up with 4 sheets of pasta dough.

If your dough is feeling tacky at this point, let it dry a bit on some tea towels.  Otherwise, you can go ahead and fold the dough in half three times so you have a manageable width to cut.  Using a sharp knife, cut the noodles into the width you desire.  Shake out the noodles and let them dry some more on the tea towel.

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the pasta and stir occasionally so that the noodles don't stick to each other.  The pasta is done when they float to the surface.  Remove from the water immediately to preserve its perfect al dente texture.  Toss with the sauce of your choice.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16076036413/

A few suggestions for sauces:
Next:  Cacio e Pepe for One
Previously:  Matcha Financiers with White Chocolate Centers
Last Year:  Mushroom Marsala Pizza
Two Years Ago:  Peking Duck Pizza
Five Years Ago:  Bacon Fat Caramels
Six Years Ago:  Potato Leek Soup with Bacon

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Matcha Financiers with White Chocolate Centers

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16431927348/

Here is yet another recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi (and probably not the last)!  I first discovered financiers at Eric Kayser's bakery near my hotel in Paris. They looked like perfect little miniature cakes that were basically unadorned--a distinct change from all the super-frosted and decorated cupcakes that were all the rage in America at the time.  They're just one or two bites each and less sweet than a cupcake, more substantial than a muffin.  Perfect for packing and eating on the go without having to worry about getting a crazy sugar rush.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16432101110/

Since I'm currently in love with the matcha/white chocolate flavor combination, I was excited when I saw Dorie's "bonne idée" for her matcha financier recipe:  baking chunks of white chocolate in the center of each financier.  I used 2 white chocolate chips per financier, but I think I would at least add a third if not more next time since it just wasn't enough (for me, anyway).  I also increased the amount of matcha slightly since I could barely taste the matcha in the first batch I made.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16411822117/

Matcha Financiers with White Chocolate Centers (slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi)
makes 12 small cakes

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon matcha green tea
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature, lightly beaten
White chocolate chips

Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts to boil, then boil for 1 minute; it may color ever so slightly, but you don’t want it to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside (you want the butter to be warm when you add it).

Whisk the all-purpose flour, matcha, and salt together in a small bowl.

Using a flexible spatula, stir the sugar and almond flour together in a large bowl. Gradually add the egg whites, stirring to moisten the dry ingredients.

When all the whites are in, give the mix a few vigorous stirs. Stir in the all-purpose flour mixture, mixing only until it’s evenly blended, then start adding the melted butter, a little at a time, folding and stirring the batter until all the butter is in.

Press a piece of plastic film against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter the wells of a mini muffin tin, dust with flour and tap out the excess.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about halfway.  Drop 2-4 white chocolate chips into each, then spoon on additional batter, almost to the top of the well.

Bake the financiers for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they have crowned and feel springy to the touch.  Remove from the oven, wait 1 minute, then tap them against the counter to encourage the financiers to tumble out. Pry any stragglers from their molds with a table knife. Transfer the financiers to a rack and let cool until they are just warm or at room temperature.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16411820587/

By the way, don't throw out the 3 egg yolks after separating them from the 3 egg whites needed for this recipe!  You can use them to make really good pasta dough!

Next:  A Better Homemade Pasta
Previously:  Hugo & Victor's Pink Grapefruit Tart
Last Year:  Hotter Crash Potatoes
Five Years Ago:  Faux Momofuku Brussels Sprouts
Six Years Ago:  Wok-Fried Edamame with Garlic

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hugo & Victor's Pink Grapefruit Tart

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There are two things I tell my friends to get when they go to Paris:  the mango passion caramels from Jacques Genin and this pink grapefruit tart from Hugo & Victor.  So when I saw a recipe for the tart in Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi, I was ecstatic!  I even bought a $25 bottle of Campari just so I could have the 2 1/2 tablespoons needed to make the grapefruit crémeux because I wanted to follow the recipe as close as possible.

And yet so many things went wrong, mostly because I was impatient.  First the sweet tart dough shattered when I tried to fit it into the tart pan because I hadn't waited long enough for it to warm up a bit after letting it chill in the freezer.  Luckily, this was pretty easy to fix because you could just patch up the cracks but pressing the extra dough in.  (next time I'll just fit the crust into the tart pan after rolling it out and then chill it, which is how I wrote the recipe below.)  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/15914120964/

Then, when it was time to add the grapefruit crémeux (which I think is just a fancy French word for gelatinous cream), I didn't whisk it long enough so it was still kind of curdy when I spread it on.  Again, I was kind of fortunate because the grapefruit topping hides most of it, and the texture doesn't affect the taste at all.

That said, please learn from my mistakes and take plenty of time to make this tart.  I'd definitely start the sweet tart dough and maybe the grapefruit crémeux the day before.  There's lot of chilling the dough, then blind baking it, then cooling it, then baking it again (with the lemon-almond cream), and cooling it again before topping it with the crémeux and grapefruit topping and then chilling it one last time to set before serving.  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16531880732/

But it's worth it!  Not only is it totally beautiful to look at, it tastes incredible.  Even people who don't like grapefruit love this tart!  I think it helps that you've done some of the hard work by removing all the membrane from the grapefruit segments already so that all you have to do is take a bite, and you get the tartness of the fruit, a hint of bitterness from the Campari, sweetness from the fillings, and lots of buttery richness from the snappy crust.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16345473930/

Hugo & Victor's Pink Grapefruit Tart (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi)
makes 1 tart

For the sweet tart dough:
1 1/2 cups (204 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 g) confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to blend.  Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the dry ingredients.  Pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely.

Stir the yolk just to break it up and drizzle over the rest of the ingredients.  Pulse until the egg is incorporated, then process in longer pulses, about 10 seconds each, until the dough forms clumps and curds.   Finish blending the dough by turning it out onto a work surface and smearing small amounts across the surface with the heel of your hand.

Shape the dough into a disk and place between two sheets of parchment or wax paper.  Roll the dough out evenly until it is about 12" in diameter.  Carefully fit into a buttered tart pan and trim the excess dough.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or if you're short on time, for 1 hour in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Prick the crust all over with a fork.  Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit snugly on top of the crust.  Fill with pie weights (you can use dried beans, rice, etc.).  Bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights.  Bake for another 7-10 minutes, until firm and golden brown.  Cool the crust completely.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16349217450/

For the grapefruit crémeux:
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin, bloomed in 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 cup (150) g sugar
2 large pink grapefruits
3 large eggs
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 tablespoons Campari

Put the sugar in a 2- to 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and grate the grapefruits over it.  Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist.  Squeeze the juice from the grapefruits into a measuring up until you have 3/4 cup of juice.  Add the eggs to the sugar and start whisking immediately.  Continue to whisk as you add the juice.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and continue whisking.  Eventually, after 7-9 minutes, the custard will start to thicken.  When it reaches 180°F (or when the first bubble pops at the surface), remove from the heat and strain into a blender.

Allow the custard to sit in the blender for about 5 minutes, pulsing a few times to help the cooling process.  Heat the bloomed gelatin in the microwave for 15 seconds to liquefy, then add to the blender.  Blend on high, and start adding the butter, two tablespoons at a time.  After all the butter has been incorporated, add the Campari and blend until homogenous in color.  Scrape the crémeux into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

For the topping:
2 large pink grapefruits

About 3 hours (or up to 8 hours) before you want to serve the tart, cut off all the peel and pith away from the tart.  You want to carefully cut through the outer membrane of the grapefruit, too.  Then, using a small paring knife, cut on either sides of the membranes in between each section to release each section.  There should be no membrane left on the sections.  Place the segments on several layers of paper towels, cover with more paper towels, and allow to dry at room temperature.  At this point, you can try arranging the segments to see if you'll have enough to cover the surface of the tart.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16531880912/

For the lemon-almond cream:
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (50 g) almond flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg, at room temperature

Beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the brown sugar for a minute, and then beat in the almond flour and grated zest until smooth again.  Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Assembling the tart:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16345473530/

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Whisk the chilled lemon-almond cream until it is spreadable.  Spread the cream over the bottom of the tart crust and bake for 6-7 minutes, until the cream is set.  Cool the tart completely before the next step.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16579322545/

About 2 hours before you want to serve the tart, whisk the grapefruit crémeux until it's smooth (unlike the picture above).  Spread over the lemon-almond cream.  Arrange the grapefruit segments on top of the crémeux.  Chill the tart for another 2-8 hours before serving.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16506924976/

Next:  Matcha Financiers with White Chocolate Centers
Previously:  First Night in Florence Spaghetti
Two Years Ago:  Cauliflower Steak with Cauliflower Purée
Six Years Ago:  Boston Cream Cupcakes

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Night in Florence Spaghetti

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16300798869/

I have made this dish four times in as many days since I first discovered it.  Maybe it's because I'm feeling nostalgic for Italy and wanting to get out of this crazy New England snow.  Maybe it's the way the olive oil, tomatoes, and lemon juice come together like magic to make this unbelievably fresh tasting sauce.  Or maybe it's the way the tuna and garlic linger on the tongue and then in my dreams.  Whatever it is, you need to make this pasta stat.

This dish comes together quickly; while the pasta is cooking, you'll be starting the sauce so that by the time the pasta is almost al dente, you toss it into the pan that the sauce is in to finish cooking it.  So I usually start cutting up the tomatoes and mincing the garlic while I wait for the water to boil.

For this recipe, make sure you use the tuna that's packed in olive oil, not water.  And don't pour out the oil; add it to the sauce.  Speaking of olive oil, you'll want to use a good one, and lots of it.  I used the last of the olive oil I got from Tuscany for this, and it was worth it.  I also used the last of the squid ink pasta I got from Venice since I figured the brininess would go well with the tuna (and because it's photogenic).  All this just means I'll have to go back to Italy soon to stock up again!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16301169797/

First Night in Florence Spaghetti (from Food52)
serves 2

1/2 package of spaghetti or bucatini
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Good olive oil, and lots of it
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tin of tuna packed in olive oil
A few handfuls of spinach leaves
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Get a large pot of salted water boiling.  Add the pasta and start a timer to cook for 3 minutes less than what the package calls for (i.e. if the package says to cook the spaghetti for 10 minutes, cook it for 7).

In a pan large enough to hold all the pasta, add 5-6 generous glugs of olive oil heat on medium-high (it should be at least twice what you think you'll need).  Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the halved tomatoes and a generous pinch of salt.  While the tomatoes soften, you may want to (carefully!) smoosh them to help release their juices.  When there are 2 minutes left on the pasta, add the minced garlic.  When there is 1 minute left on the pasta, add the tuna plus the oil it's packed in, breaking up any large chunks of fish.

When the timer is up on the pasta, use tongs or a pasta spoon to add the spaghetti to the pan.  Add some of the pasta cooking water to the pan too (the original recipe calls for a few ladlefuls, but I like a little less than that).  Add the spinach and lemon juice and toss everything around, cooking until the spinach is just wilted.  Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve with crusty bread to soak up all the sauce.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16301169597/

Next:  Hugo & Victor's Pink Grapefruit Tart
Previously:  Odile's Fresh Orange Cake
Last Year:  Okonomiyaki
Six Years Ago:  New England Clam Chowda with Homemade Oyster Crackers

Friday, February 13, 2015

Odile's Fresh Orange Cake

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16309101170/

I came across Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi cookbook at my local library the other day and borrowed it without even opening it.  I've made some of her recipes in the past and totally trust her authority in all things baking, just like I trust Jeni's in all things frozen.  I was a little disappointed that there weren't pictures for every recipe in the book, but maybe that's a good thing because otherwise I'd want to make (and eat) every single last thing in there.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16495536932/

The first thing that caught my eye was this fresh orange cake that had beautiful slices of glistening oranges on top.  As I was currently sitting at home in the midst of the third snowstorm to hit in as many weeks, I desperately needed a reminder of something warm and sunny.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16470530396/

I made just a few adjustments to her recipe; since I didn't have an 8" cake pan, I used a pie pan, which was 8" at the bottom but wider on top.  This just meant more space for the showstopping orange topping.  And after cutting a few of the oranges into her suggested pentagon shape, I realized I was wasting a lot less of the orange if I cut them into hexagons instead.  I think hexagons are easier to arrange together than pentagons anyways (or maybe I've just been playing too much Civilization V).  In her recipe, she says you only need 3 oranges to fill the top of your cake, but I found I needed a lot more, like almost the whole bag.  I guess it depends on the size of your oranges, but one way you can estimate how many slices you need is to poach them in a pot the same diameter as the top of your cake.  If you arrange them in a single layer in the pot, you'll see if you need to keep cutting up more oranges to cover the bottom.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/15876386963/

Odile's Fresh Orange Cake (slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi)
makes 1 cake

For the cake:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 large orange
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the topping:
At least 3 oranges, possibly a lot more
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter an 8-inch round cake pan, dust with flour and tap out the excess. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Put the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer. Grate the zest of the orange over the sugar. Squeeze the juice into a measuring cup–you should have about 1/3 cup, but a little more or a tad less won’t throw things off.

Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. If you’re using a stand mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment and attach the bowl. Add the butter to the bowl and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each one goes in, then pour in the juice and beat to blend. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. The batter may look a little lumpy and grainy, but that’s fine. Turn the batter out into the cake pan and smooth the top.  Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

In the meantime, make the topping.  Cut the tops and bottoms off each orange, stand the orange up and remove the remaining peel by cutting straight down the sides of the orange 6 times, to shape it into a hexagon.  Then turn the oranges on their sides and slice them about 3/8" thick.

Bring the sugar, water, and cinnamon stick to boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.  Gently drop the orange slices into the syrup and cook over low heat for 3 minutes.  Carefully remove the slices with a slotted spoon; strain and reserve the syrup.

Arrange the orange slices on top of the cake and pour about a 1/2 cup of the poaching syrup over the oranges and cake.  Melt the marmalade and brush it over the fruit.  Cool the cake completely before slicing and serving.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/16308802508/

Next:  First Night in Florence Spaghetti
Previously:  Heart-Shaped Tamagoyaki (Japanese Omelet)
Last Year:  Squid Ink Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Two Years Ago:  Jjajungmyeon (Korean Black Bean Noodles)