Spicy Spice Cake with Orange Frosting

R made a cake while I was stuck in tech.  R made a delicious, spicy cake.  It was wonderful the next morning as breakfast… don’t worry I also had coffee for breakfast.

This spice cake is spicy.  I tried some without the frosting, the cloves and nutmeg gave a wonderful spicy heat.  The frosting is sweet, but not overly, a strong orange zest accents the spice of the cake.  You don’t need much of this cake as it is packed with flavor.  Bake this cake for someone special just because.

If you were to top this cake with a chocolate frosting be prepare for a very rich dessert.  Chocolate would go well with the spiciness of the cake, perhaps vanilla would work too.  The orange frosting would go great on a white cake as well to add some zest.



I am Thankful – Apricot-Orange Aspic

I am thankful for having a roof over my head, food on the table, and having someone to come home to.

I am thankful for working for a wonderful company.

I am thankful for new traditions and old ones.

I am thankful for you, my lovely readers.  Thank you for reading.  This is my 50th post, I hope you’ll stick with me for another 50!

This thanksgiving was wonderful.  There were moments of panic and stress, but seeing all of the happy faces eating food and enjoying great company at the end of the day was worth it.  Cast, crew and family brought the total for the company dinner to about 50 people.  We all were contently full afterwards and still had leftovers.

I’ll tell you about the turkey soon… it was a success!  But first I thought I’d share a dish that is a staple of my family Thanksgiving:  Apricot-Orange Aspic.

It’s a simple, easy dish.  And most people are very surprised at how lovely the flavor and texture is.  This cool jello is a bright, smooth citrus dish that pairs well with traditional thanksgiving dishes.  The brilliant orange hues is a great pop of color amongst the red, brown, and green of a full plate at dinner.  It’s also a great snack, with tons of vitamin C!


Strawberry Creamsicle Taffy

As with the origination of turkish taffy this recipe came about as a bit of a mistake.  When I went to measure out the strawberry jam, I discovered I only had half a cup rather than a full cup.  Luckily I discovered some orange marmalade, serendipitously also a half a cup.  Thus Strawberry Creamsicle Taffy.

This soft, chewy taffy reminds me of the frozen creamsicle treats from the neighborhood ice cream truck.  The same truck that would race through our subdivision at 40 miles an hour with a block of children frantically having for it to stop.  The creamy texture melts in your mouth, and still manages to stick to your teeth making it last longer than most candies.  It’s sweet without tasting sugary, and the citrus in the marmalade adds a tinge of tang to the end.

Strawberry Creamsicle Taffy
Adapted from Cherry Turkish Taffy

1 large egg white
2 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
¼ tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup orange marmalade

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper, lightly butter parchment and set aside.

In a large bowl whip egg white to soft peaks with a hand mixer, set aside.

Combine sugar, water and cornstarch in a medium pot, attach a candy thermometer to the side.  Stir until all ingredients are wet.  Heat on medium until boiling, with a wet pastry brush wash down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pot.  Heat until the temperature reaches 260 degrees F.

Add strawberry jam and orange marmalade and stir until all but orange pieces are dissolved. Continue heating until the mixture comes back to 260 degrees F.

Turn on the hand mixer and slowly add the syrup to the egg white.  Continue to mix for another 15 minutes.  Taffy will be warm and very stiff.

Pour taffy into the prepared pan.  With a wet spatula smooth the taffy to all edges of the pan.  Place in freezer for about 20 minutes to firm up.  Allow to warm slightly and cut with cooking shears into desired size.  Store between parchment paper or wrap individual pieces in wax paper.  Enjoy!