Are you tired of me going on about the spring yet? It was a really long winter! And spring flowers are the best! Isn't this tulip gorgeous? Tulips are one of my favorite flowers. More on flowers later, now, on to the food!
This is the Orange Sunshine Coffeecake from the latest issue of the Baking Sheet. Actually I don't know if this cake is springy exactly, since it's orange flavored, and citrus is a winter thing. But, nevermind, it's got a light, bright flavor that *I* think goes perfectly with this season! And, it's pretty (although, my drizzling skills leave something to be desired).
This coffeecake is made with a yeast dough, which is rolled out into a big rectangle and then covered in the filling--sugar, instant clearjel, cinnamon, orange juice, and a big pile of orange zest. The clearjel is a modified food starch which thickens without needing to be cooked. It's great for this filling, because it thickens it up and stops it from running all over the place (like it did the first time I made it, with regular cornstarch). You then roll it into a long sausage, form it into a ring, and then make cuts, about an inch apart and about 3/4 of the way through the roll (so you are not cutting the ring apart).
Okay, here's where the shaping gets fun--you turn the slices on their sides (still attached in a ring!), and every other slice gets folded towards the center. You can see now, why the clearjel is really important.
After baking, the cake gets a quick glaze made of confectioner's sugar and orange juice (and a bit of orange extract). I made this one a bit thinner than it should be, so it doesn't look as nice. Oh well, try, try again!
In the meantime, here are some of my favorite flowers from my trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden last weekend; the full set can be seen here.
Cherry blossoms--oh, so many cherry blossoms. I think they peaked a bit earlier this year; the Sakura Matsuri takes place this weekend I think most of the trees are past peak already. (Plus, really? No 2/3 train service this weekend? Gah. What the hell, MTA.)
And some more intensely red tulips.
Lilacs (you bet I spent ages standing there with my nose buried in them)!
More lilacs! Man, I love the garden. I think this weekend, I will try to make my way to the Bronx Botanical Garden. For a change, the weather is supposed to be nice on a weekend, woohoo!
Hey, we made it to Friday! :D