A Happy Accident - Moroccan Orange Cake Parfait
Last week I hosted my monthly Supper Club at The Kingston Social, here in Toronto and the dinner was a Middle Eastern Feast with a touch of Jamaican thrown in for good measure. Each time I host, I like to try one new dish that isn't always mine but that I am dying to try out and this time, I really wanted to make this Moroccan Orange Cake on the blog, Kitchen Confidante. I found the recipe so intriguing - using fresh bread crumbs in place of flour, the idea of soaking it in an orange syrup afterwards so it would almost like a cakey baklava was screaming YAAAAASSSSSSS.
So, on the day, I realized that I only had an 8" spring form pan but the recipe called for normal cake pan so I borrowed one of those. I buttered and floured the pan and I made the cake only to discover that it WOULD NOT COME OUT! I had to, basically, dig the cake out of the pan as it stuck to the bottom and I found myself with three chunks of cake and a whack of crumbs on a day where I was going to have to serve dessert to a dozen paying patrons. I was minutes from going out to buy a box of baklava, right after I was finished my nervous breakdown, when I actually tasted the cake.
OH EM GEE this cake is delicious. I went ahead and made the syrup (the only change I made in the original recipe was to replace the spices with 10 cardamom pods), soaked the cake chunks and made a second cake. If you want your cake to come out of the pan in one, beautiful piece, make sure to use parchment and , even better, use a spring form pan with parchment.
Once the cake was soaked with the syrup, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. I whipped up a bit of whipping cream and then whipped in my homemade labneh, added blueberries since the cake was so sweet it needed a fruit that was not going to be overwhelmingly sweet and topped the whole shebang with toasted almonds and a sprinkling of the cake crumbs. Although the syrup soaked cake is delectable, it is a bit sweet for my tastes and mixing it with the tart, whipped yogurt and blueberries transformed the cake into something that was even more delicious than the cake on it's own.
The moral of the story is that this is the culinary version of "turn that frown upside down" so don't just throw out dishes that didn't turn out exactly as planned because your busted up cake can become an even tastier trifle or parfait and nobody has to ever know. Okay, so I just let the cat out of the bag and everyone knows now but judging by the way the dessert was inhaled, I don't think anyone would care.
God, I love a happy accident.
Moroccan Orange Cake Parfait
Moroccan Orange Cake (click through to Kitchen Confidante for the recipe)
*for the citrus syrup, I subbed in 10 cardamom pods instead of the cinnamon and cloves
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbls sugar
2 cups greek yogurt or labneh ( I made my own using my Instant Pot)
1 pint blueberries
1/4 sliced almonds
Make the cake as directed but when you soak the cake, hold back about 1/3 of the syrup to drizzle over the parfait. If your cake came out in one piece, collect as much cake crumb as you can, even breaking off some of the outer crust of the cake to crumble, and poke the cake and pour the syrup over as directed.
When it's time to serve, whip the cream with the sugar until you just start to get stiff peaks before adding in the greek yogurt and continue to whip until it's light and creamy and set aside.
Toast the almond slices in a hot, dry pan until they are golden brown and then set aside.
To assemble the parfait, break the cake into small chunks and press into the bottom of clear glass dessert vessels so that you can see the layers. You can use martini glasses, pretty rock glasses or even small mason jars. Cover the layer of cake chunks with a generous dollop of the whipped cream/yogurt, scatter a layer of blueberries on top of that. Top with a pinch of cake crumbs, a drizzle of the reserved cardamom orange syrup and then a pinch of toasted almonds.