It’s been a bittersweet time in the world of animal lovers. Ringling Brother announced they were agreeing to retire their circus elephants from their traveling show in three years. This is obviously a remarkable landmark victory for animals used for entertainment. No more being chained inside cramped railway cars for 90% of their lives. No more being beaten to preform unnatural tricks. No more separating mothers from their babies to make them dependent and afraid of trainers. One can only hope this leads to similar announcements for other circus animals and of course those poor whales at Seaworld.
But also Sam Simon died. If that name means nothing to you… Sam Simon was one of the creators of The Simpsons and a extraordinary friend to animals who are exploited all over the world. He’s generous donations to animal rights organizations and sanctuaries, hilarious pro-animal humor and his role in creating characters like Lisa (the vegetarian) and Santa’s Little Helper (the rescued greyhound) on one of the most popular TV series of all times mainstreamed animal causes in a way many of long time vegans thought we would only have to dream about. The world lost a lot the day Sam Simon left.
So we dedicate this sunny, spicy and kind version of a classic cake to those 13 elephants who are that much closer to retirement and our friend Sam. Marmalade Cake is credited as being either a Scottish or an Irish cake depending who you talk to and was given a makeover in the US during the late 1800s with the access to fresh oranges in the South. We gave it yet another makeover by replacing the eggs and dairy with healthier and kinder ingredients like olive oil, flaxseeds, applesauce and soy milk. This simple and delicious cake looks impressive and way more complex than it was to make. It’s also a great way to take advantage of all the lovely citrus available right now.
Before we get to baking cakes – just one more thing* – If you follow us on Facebook (Vegan Foods = Joy!) you might have already seen our post about the Saveur Magazine 2015 Best Blog Awards and how we’d gotten a tip that Meet The Shannons was close to getting enough nominations in the category of Best Writing to make it to the next round where people could actually vote for us!** To quote what we said on our FB page: This is obviously a huge honor and we’re thrilled about the opportunity to represent the vegan community in this mainstream food (and super meaty and cheesy) publication. Only the blogs that get the most nominations make it to the next step of being voted for and we’re up against blogs from all over the world with much larger advertising budgets. So here’s where we ask a favor – if you could just take a minute and nominate MeetTheShannons.com for BEST WRITING on the form you can get to by clicking here – We’d be very grateful! Voting actually ends today March 13th so if you could do it before tomorrow – We’d be even more grateful! Thank you!
Let’s eat some Marmalade Cake!
Citrus & Olive Oil Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 a teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 pinches of ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer or ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup soy milk
Zest and juice from 1 large orange
2-3 oranges, sliced thin (we used 1 large blood orange and 1 large navel to add a little more color)
1/4 cup water
Heat oven to 325. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Slice your 2 oranges into thin slices. We recommend using a mandoline to get the most uniform and thinnest slices possible. Zest and juice your other orange.
Whisk together your orange juice, 1 cup of sugar and water in a sauce pan. Simmer your sauce over a low heat until your sugar completely melts into your liquids and you get a thick syrupy sauce. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if find your glaze reduces too much. Remove from heat once you have the desired thickness.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon. In another bowl, blend together your olive oil, 1/2 cup of sugar, applesauce, flaxseeds or egg replacer, soy milk and orange zest using an electric hand-held mixer until smooth. Then pour your wet mix into your dry mix and using your mixer, blend until you have creamy batter.
Arrange your orange slices in your parchment paper lined cake pan so that they slightly over lap and create a little bowl coating your pan. Then pour your orange glaze from the saucepan over your orange slices. Then pour your batter over the top of that. Use a rubber tipped spatula to smooth out the top to make an even layer that will be the bottom of your cake.
Put your cake in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. Your cake is done once you can stick a bamboo skewer in the center and remove it cleanly.
Once your cake is done, pull it out of the oven and immediately and carefully flip it onto a plate while wearing oven mitts. Do this by, placing your serving plate over the top of the cake pan, holding it there with one hand and then using a mitt covered hand to hold the bottom of the pan and then flipping over and the lifting the pan off. You may have to pull the paper off the top – do this slowly and carefully so you don’t pull any oranges off. Let cool on the serving plate till it’s room temperature.
Serve with some coffee and a sense of well-being that comes from knowing that even cakes from the turn of the century can still have a place in this world.