The aroma creates a Thanksgiving atmosphere

Every year on Thanksgiving  I awake early, about 5:00 A.M.  No need to gasp, I go for a five mile run and then meet Sydney in the kitchen for coffee and some breakfast as we write a cooking/baking schedule to guide us during the day and turn on The Today Show (Until the Macy’s Parade starts); DF shuffles down to join us around 7:00-7:30. I found throughout the years just as the noon hour approaches I have two hungry people claiming starvation. In the past I would declare they could wait till 2:00p.m. That is the time our family and friends were due to arrive for our Thanksgiving feast. As any mom could guess for the next two hours my family would whine, complain, and declare they were about to pass out from lack of substance.

About seven years ago Sydney, the voice of reason, logically pleaded their case; explaining between the aroma of the Thanksgiving Feast and time between breakfast and Thanksgiving Dinner was longer than a normal day. She also pointed out that maybe DF would not gorge himself within minutes of the feast. She of course was correct, expect DF still gorges himself, somethings never change. Obviously preparing a full lunch would be over kill, that is how Sydney and I created an Orange Spiced cake.

One slice with a dollop of crème frâiche is perfect

Orange Spiced Pound Cake:

187 grams, 1½ cups plus 3 Tablespoons cake flour, sifted

½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ ground cinnamon

Pinch fresh grated nutmeg

¼-teaspoon cloves

Pinch of salt

113 grams, ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature  (*see note)

300 grams, 1½ cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon candied ginger

115 grams, ½ cup heavy cream

116 grams, ½–cup crème frâiche

3 large eggs, about 165 grams

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1-Tablespoon orange zest

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/163°C.

Prepare your mise en place.

Mise en place

Either use a flexipan loaf shape or butter and flour a loaf pan.

Sift together, 3 times, cake flour, cinnamon, grated nutmeg, ground cloves, and baking powder. Set aside.

Sydney adores this hand cranked sifter

In an standing mixer with the fitted paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until blended, about 4 minutes.

Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula

At a low speed, mix in orange zest.

I guess the photo was snapped prior to releasing the orange zest

  Add the cream and crème frâiche, and continue to beat on medium speed.

Turn the speed down to low, unless you are trying to got for a fashion statement, return to medium speed

Whisk egg and Vanilla extract in a measuring jug. Add dry ingredients alternating with the eggs and vanilla extract mixture

beginning with the dry ingredients.

Reduce speed to low

Add egg mixture.

Leaving the speed on low wait till the eggs have amalgamated

Ending with the dry ingredients.

Mix just until the flour is combined

Fold in the candied ginger.

Add about 1/2 a handful of cake flour with the candied ginger

 Pour the batter into the  flexipan loaf or prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top, gently tap the pan against the counter top, (to remove air bubbles).

 Brush a line with melted clarified butter in the center of the raw cake.

I had a little extra batter; we add the extra batter to a muffin container

Bake for about  55 to 65 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown, spring back when gently pressed in the center, and a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.

The color is a tad darker due the use of brown sugar

Orange  Glaze:

4 Tablespoons Cointreau

120 grams, 1-cup icing sugar

2½ Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 vanilla bean, seeds only

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkled icing sugar, optional

Prepare your mise en place.

Mise en place, missing fresh lemon juice

Split the vanilla in half lengthwise.

Generally my left hand holds the pod, but it was in the way for the photo

Scrape the seeds from the pod.

Save the pod skin for infusing in another recipe

 Sift icing sugar into a bowl, and add vanilla seeds.

Moist fresh seeds will clump and adhere to the knife

 You might need to help the seeds into the icing sugar.

Gently nudge the seeds off the knife

 Squeeze in lemon juice.

Squeeze the juice into your palm to catch the seeds

Add vanilla extract and Cointreau.

A shot glass works well

Whisk the icing sugar and pour evenly over the Spice Cake.

Use the whisk to coax the icing onto the cake

With an offset spatula spread the icing over the top of the spice cake, allow the icing to dry, and sprinkle with more icing sugar (this is optional, but Sydney and I adore the powdery look)!

Voila!