Do you ever think of food as therapy? Something that helps counter-balance the unbalanced bits and pieces of you, sustenance that helps compensate for something that’s missing? Maybe you don’t feel that way, but for me creating and consuming it feels so much more than just fueling-up. Not all of us are very good with words, certainly not me. Often, I want to get myself across eloquently, but stumble. For example, I want to express admiration for someone without seeming contrite, or I want to gracefully accept and repay a compliment but fail miserably. While food may not help me communicate better in all facets of life, it certainly helps me show loved ones more complex parts of me. It’s a delicate but mighty sword in my kitty.

It sometimes helps me show someone my imagination, my dexterity or commitment to dignified simplicity. A part of me feels that my mother was probably saying so much more everytime she painstakingly put together a fresh, beautiful meal on the table, even when she was grumbling about. My genes have mercifully kicked in, a little late, but I’m definitely my mother’s daughter. I love feeding people, making them happy so they laugh with a belly full. Like music, food is extraordinarily direct. It can say the important things without having to go through the bore of language. See what I meant about it being therapeutic? 

 

When not for other people, I do it for myself; to feed my own artistic pursuits. It’s kind of like painting with watercolors, something you do for yourself, to create something visually pleasing and soul-satisfying. Time well-spent in an act of self-care. That’s kind of how I stumbled upon this Orange Ombre cake. As far as cakes go, I avoid working with fondant or excessive buttercream unless it’s a cake for the masses. Rustic, flavorful and fluffy cakes are my go-to kinds. I still like to play with colors and textures, and fruits happen to be very colorful people. I have a signature recipe for a Meyer lemon olive oil cake, but I had to make some adjustments to it to allow for the fruits to stay intact and not get too mushy before the cake flip. The oranges still look slightly smushy in the pictures, but in reality, the cake looked and tasted way better than in the pictures.

Worked like a charm almost in my first try, and was received exceedingly well! Citrus, light, not too sweet and just the right amount of fluffy.


Print Recipe
Upside-down Orange Ombre Cake
This rustic ombre cake is not only visually stunning but also moist and fluffy on the inside. As easy as a dump cake, but oozing the flavors and colors you will be delighted with. Not too sweet, free of butter, and perfect as a light dessert or snack.
Course Dessert
Cuisine World
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
8x8 cake
Course Dessert
Cuisine World
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
8x8 cake
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a square cake pan (or a glass baking dish) by greasing or spraying with little olive oil
  2. Peel and thinly slice the oranges. Lay them on the bottom of the pan creating an ombre effect
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Since this is an egg-free recipe, feel free to add the sugar to the dry ingredients and mix well
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk and lemon juice and let sit for a few minutes until it thickens and changes in texture and resembles buttermilk
  5. Add vanilla essence, orange zest, olive oil and orange juice to this wet mixture
  6. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together gently. Do not overmix
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and slightly moist
  8. Cool the pan completely before flipping over (roughly 45 minutes) or the cake will stick to the bottom ruining the ombre effect