This recipe comes from a case of the sweetest oranges I've ever had in my life.  These were giving to my boss from an estate in Santa Barbara that they recently visited for a special dinner.  The only way to describe these oranges, is to think back when you had a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice; you can really tell the difference between fresh squeezed.  Now multiply the sweetness times 2 or 10 for that matter and that is what these oranges tasted like.  I know I'm going on and on about an orange but it truly was like nothing I've had anywhere.  A few years ago I actually went to Valencia, Spain but I don't remember having oranges while I was there and if I did they didn't leave this kind of lasting memory.  The challenge was trying to come up with something to do with these oranges.  I did make the Ivory Salmon Dish which JP loved, but also wanted to do a dessert as well.   I decided on Olive oil cake topped with vanilla pastry cream. The cake has a hint of orange and amaretto. Orange sorbet, Orange caramel, with fresh orange ricotta cake rounded out the orange flavors.  But I also had cherries that I wanted to add as a contrast.  I made a sauce with Campari and cherries which actually turned out a bit spicy but it all worked beautifully together with the orange flavors and sweetness.   Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

 

Olive Oil Cake (Adapted from Bouchon Bakery)

2 cups of flour

1 1/4 tsp of baking powder

1 1/4 tsp of salt 

2 tbsp of orange zest

3 tbsp of amaretto

1 tbsp of vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp of sugar

3/4 cup of milk

2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp of olive oil

 

Ricotta Cheese Cake

13oz of Fresh Ricotta

3 eggs

1 tbsp of corn starch

3 tbsp of amaretto

1 tbsp of vanilla

3/4 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of orange zest

 

Campari Cherry Gel

1 1/2 cups of pitted cherries

1/3 cup of campari 

1 cup of simple syrup (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar)

1 tbsp of orange zest

2 tsp of agar 

pinch of salt

 

Pastry Cream

2 cups of milk

2/3 cup of sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup of corn starch

2 tbsp of unsalted butter

 

"Burnt" Orange Caramel

1 cup of sugar

few drops of water

1/4 cup of orange juice

1/3 cup of heavy cream

 

Orange Sorbet

2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice 

1 3/4 cup of simple syrup 

zest from 2 oranges

juice from 1 lemon

 

Orange segments from 2 oranges

1/2 cup of pitted cherries

Micro Sorrel and chervil

 

For the Pastry Cream,

Place egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.  Beat for 4-5 minutes on high and then turn down to low and add the cornstarch.  Meanwhile place milk and vanilla bean in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn off and take off the heat as soon as the milk starts to rise up the sides of the pot.  With a ladle slowly temper the eggs by pour in a little of the milk mixture into the egg mixture.  Continue to do that until half of the milk has been incorporated.  Then pour the egg milk mixture back into the pot with the milk and turn the heat back on to low.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture thickens and the cornstarch flavor has been cooked out.  Strain into a bowl and add the 2 tbsp of butter whisking until it is completely incorporated.  Place a piece of plastic over top to prevent a skin forming.

For the Orange sorbet,

Combine all the ingredients together: orange juice, zest, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a bowl.  Then pour into your ice cream maker and use according to your ice cream makers instructions.  Take out and place in a container in the freezer until ready to use.

For the Olive Oil Cake,  Preheat 350 degrees

Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl.  Place eggs and sugar in a stand mixer and mix with a whisk for 4 minutes.  Then mix oil, milk, amaretto, vanilla, and zest together.  Then alternate 1/3 dry ingredients and 1/3 wet ingredients into the egg mixture.  Continue that process until all is well incorporated.  Then spray a rectangular baking pan with non-stick spray and pour in the cake batter.  Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Take out and let it cool to room temperature. 

For the Cherry Gel

In a small sauce pot on medium high heat add cherries and campari.   Burn off the alcohol for 1 minute and then add a pinch of salt, orange zest, and simple syrup.  Cook for 10 minutes and then stir in the agar.  Cook for another 3 minutes and then puree in a blender or hand immersion blender.  Adjust seasoning if need be and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a shallow sheet tray.  Cool for 30 minutes or until solid and cold.  Then brake up with a knife and place into a blender.  Puree until smooth and then place into a squirt bottle. 

For the Orange Caramel,

Place water and sugar in a pot.  Place on medium high heat.  When the sugar starts to melt completely and caramelize add the orange juice.  Cook for a minute and then add the cream.  Stir and cook the sauce until the sugar melts and the sauce thickens a bit.  (roughly 3 to 4 min).  Set aside until ready to plate.  If the sauce is too thick when ready to plate just heat slightly.  

For Ricotta cheesecake,

I had just made the cheese and let it drain for about an hour and half roughly.  Then place the cheese in a stand mixer.  Then I add sugar, zest, cornstarch, vanilla, and amaretto mixing on low.  Finish with adding the eggs one at a time.  Mix until a smooth batter is formed.  I lined a spring form pan with parchment paper and then poured the batter on top.  Bake the cheesecake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator.  

To Finish,

Add a spoonful of orange caramel down on to the plate. Then add dots of the cherry gel on top. Cut the olive oil cake into 1 inch squares.  Place a little dollop of pastry cream on each one.  Place three on to the plate.  Then cut the cheesecake and place on to the plate.  Add the orange sorbet and finish the plate with orange segments, cherries, orange zest, chervil, and sorrel.  Serve and enjoy!


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