I am not an orange juice drinker – I love oranges, and love cooking with them, but the straight-up juice isn’t my specialty. So the question of how to make use of a TON of orange juice leftover from a hang at my place became priority number one. I poured through cookbooks, running off ingredients and trying to see what pantry staples I could rely on. My Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook (an awesome gift from my friend Maya) provided the perfect solution (which I modified slightly): Orange-Scented Loaf Cakes with Glaze.
Oranges are the world’s most commonly grown tree fruit, with over 65 million tons produced annually around the world*. As any baker knows, fresh is best…but as you already know, I used juice from a carton. Here’s my defense: it was Tropicana, which according to the box (see above) is NEVER made from concentrate – there is nothing other than 100% pure orange juice. Though it’s not straight from the fruit, it’s pretty darn close. Since this cake was my way of using up leftover juice, I used vanilla extract rather than vanilla bean (for the sake of convenience). What makes this cake is the glaze – pouring the glaze on while the cake is hot is a MUST (both the texture and flavor depend on it). The original recipe makes a bundt, but I vied for two loaves (for serving purposes): click HERE to see my version of these flavorful cakes!
When considering what piece to pair with this recipe, it almost automatically began playing in my head – the Preludio from Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E major for solo violin. I hadn’t really developed a solid reason on why, but it just felt perfect. It’s a nice way to introduce the “father of music” to my blog (still trying to fathom what possible recipe can justify his legendary Chaconne). Perhaps one of the most recognized names in classical music, the works of J.S. Bach have influenced generation upon generation of performers and listeners alike. His music is defined by its beauty and creative depth, while it also places a substantail amount of technical and artistic demands on those who perform it – such is certainly the case with the Preludio. In retrospect, I wanted a “bright” work to pair with cake, and the Partita’s setting of E Major provides the ideal character – bright, lively, and filled with “flavor.” The recording I’ve included here is by violinst Nathan Milstein, whose interpretations of Bach’s music helped define his soloing career. Enjoy!