This post is a Republic day special – Orange upside down cake with pistachio crumble. The colors are close to the flag colors. I didn’t realize that January is almost over until Nitya, today morning standing at her bus stop, told me that tomorrow will be a holiday because it is 26 jan – Republic Day. Suddenly, it struck me that I have not posted any thing related to a republic day special. So here is my ode to our Republic Day !
I came up with this interesting idea of combining the colors of our flag to a yummy bake. But the problem was the time. The idea was to bake a yummy cake, which can be made quick and there should be no wait for the cake to cool and then ice the cake. I should be able to serve the cake when warm. Well – Oranges are in season and how could I miss the vibrance of oranges sitting in the basket on my table – and that is how the idea came to life !
The cake is soft and buttery and is topped with delicious candied orange slices which are full of Citrus caramel. The idea is simple, same to the (pineapple upside down cake)- In the baking tin I lined very thin sliced oranges and poured the prepared cake batter over. When baked the baking tin is inverted into the serving platter and the caramel coated orange layer becomes the stunning top.
The combination of pistachio crumb is not only for the color; but it gives a beautiful contrast to the texture and the flavor. Crisp crumb with soft cake. Crumb with a hint of salt goes fantastic with the sweet caramel layer of cake. Overall it’s a must try recipe. You will enjoy every nibble of the cake. My favourite part of the plate is the pistachio crumb.
Few points to read
1. Try working over a bowl, when working with oranges. So you can catch up all the juices and can use them in some recipe.
2. The thinner you cut the slices – the more tender they will be after the bake. But more important is; you cut them evenly.
3.When cutting the oranges be sure to remove all of the seeds.
I didn’t remove the white pit of the oranges, and it worked just fine in my bake. In order to remove the bitterness; I cooked my thin orange slices in some sugar-water, for a minute or so. Then laid them down on to the baking pan, with a little of liquid (not all). Remember that the orange slices will tendering during the baking as well, so do not cook them with the sugar-water.
Tip : While slicing the orange into thin slices, sometimes the white membranes in the center of the orange gets fussy, and in order to cut them; we end up messing up the ring shape. To prevent that and to get a clean ring out of the orange you can use sessiors to trim out the fussy membranes parts.
4. Pistachio crumb on the top – adds so much texture to the cake. I took the salted pistachios which wonderfully counterpart to the sweetness of the cake. Crumb making is very very easy.
I added few drops of green color( food color) to the pistachio crumb and a drop of orange color to the cake batter, because I was looking for colors of our flag. This is totally optional to you. The cake will look and taste stunning without these colors as well. If you want to see some gold caramel on the top of your cake when inverted, sprinkle some brown sugar on the base of the baking pan and then put the orange slices and then the cake batter.
5. After the baking it would be great if you take the cake out of the baking pan, while it’s still hot. If the cake get’s cold in the baking pan the caramel can get sticky. But if by default that happens; simply warm up in the cake tin in the oven or over the flame for couple of seconds and the cake will be easy to take out.
For the cake
1. 1 cup of all-purpose flour
2. 1/2 cup of sugar
3. 1/4th cup of olive oil
4. 2 tea spoons of baking powder
5. 1/4th cup of hung curd
6. 2 table spoons of fresh orange juice
7. 1 tea-spoon of orange zest
8. 1 teaspoon of orange essence
For the orange glaze
1. One big orange thinly sliced into rings
2. 1/4th cup of sugar
3. 2 table spoons of water
4. 1 table-spoon of butter
For the crumb
1. 1/4th cup of pistachio roughly chopped
2. 1 tablespoon of flour
3. 3 tablespoon of sugar
4. 20 gm of butter (cold)
For the orange glaze : In a sauce pan, heat the water along with sugar and butter. Let the water come to a boil and then add in the thin slices of oranges and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and let the orange slices cool in the syrup itself.
For the cake – Preheat the oven at 165*C (325*F). Prepare an baking pan, lined with a parchment paper, and set aside. Place the glazed orange slices on the bottom and set aside.
In a bowl add the sugar and oil; mix well using a whisk. Add in the hung curd, orange zest and orange essence; set aside. (wet ingredients)
In another bowl sift together flour and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mix to the prepared wet ingredients and mix all the ingredients together using a rubber spatula. Add in the orange juice and mix. Pour the cake batter over the orange slices and even out the layer using an offset spatula or a spoon.
Bake for 25 minute, until the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on the wire rack for few minutes and then carefully turn on to the serving plate.
For the pistachio crumb- Mix the pistachios with flour and sugar and rub in the butter with your fingers. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 200* C. Crumb mix is ready and sprinkle it over the baked cake and dust some icing sugar over the top. Server the slice along with hot coffee or with a dollop of ice cream.