When we were in DC we ate at a few different restaurants when we were able to travel but we also ate at the hotel restaurant- Palette, which was surprisingly good albeit expensive! We ate at Georgia Brown's, which is supposed to be Southern. I ordered the fried turkey which was very dry and tough but the sides were good. Mr. H ordered the steak and eggs. It was interesting and not at all what you'd expect. I'll leave it at that. We went to Clyde's for Sunday brunch (I had the crab cake benedict) which was tasty but had bad service. We ate at their sister restaurant, Old Ebbitt Grill (I ordered their cannelloni) which was also very good, Hee Been (Korean buffet- the spare ribs were delish!) and Polo India Club (I had malai chicken tikka which was dry but Mr. H's lamb and pea dish was great. So was the naan bread! I think it was my favorite part.
Where am I going with all this? Well as good as the meals were, the desserts were lousy! Now don't start sending me hate mail and leaving me rude anonymous comments (he he!) because I didn't like the desserts in DC. That's not to say that the entire city had bad pastry chefs but there was clearly nothing special about what I had. While there I had a creme caramel, a dry cheesecake (yuck), saffron ice cream (double yuck) a slice of bourbon chocolate chip pie which was nothing more than cookie dough pressed into a pie plate and a fruit platter with the most unripe fruit I've ever tasted. It really was pathetic. My favorite dessert had to have been the complimentary bowl of freshly spun, melt in your mouth, cotton candy that the hotel restaurant brought to us after our meal. One night it was grape and another night we had lime. I've got to get me a cotton candy machine. so fun and billowy!
So to say that I was itching to get back into my own kitchen and bake something was an understatement. I found comfort in a Snickers bar and that's sad when there was so much good food around. The first thing I made when I got home was a pineapple upside down cake- yum! I didn't take pictures of that since I was wanting to get it in the oven and in my tummy quick! But I will share with you an orange cake that I made a few weeks ago since citrus is still in season. It had a great texture. It was dense but melted in your mouth. It was sweet and rich and Mr. H said it smelled and tasted like Fruit Loops :-). The only change I'd make next time is to use sweeter oranges as they were a little lack luster. I'd also use zest in the glaze to up the orange flavor.
I adapted this recipe from grams to cups. The measurements aren't exact but this is the formula I used. I also halved the recipe and baked it in a 9-inch pan rather than a 9x13 or a larger springform pan. If you want a larger cake, you can find the original unedited recipe here.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 7 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
Heat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Then butter the paper and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar well, until it is very pale and thick - this will take quite a while.
Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, then add the zest. Add the flour, baking powder and salt all at once, and beat well, then slowly add the orange juice until it is incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and bake for 35-40 minutes - or until an inserted skewer comes out clean (slow is best, so don' t be afraid to cook it longer. If it starts to brown too much on the top, cover loosely with a sheet of buttered foil.)
Allow cake to cool in pan for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack. Then invert onto a plate, remove the parchment paper and allow to cool completely before glazing.
To make the icing, stir the orange juice into the icing sugar until you have the right spreading consistency. Pour the icing onto the cake and spread with a spatula or butter knife, allowing the icing to drip down the sides of the cake.
Leave the icing to set before cutting the cake into wedges or storing in an airtight container.
NOTE: I thought the glaze was rather sweet and needed more orange flavor so I suggest adding some grated orange zest to the glaze for more intense flavor.
Here are a few more pictures from our trip to Washington DC. This was the second day of the snow and the photos were taken around Thomas Circle. It was just starting to get dark when we went out so you may notice the change in the sky as the photos progress. enjoy!
I like this church, can you tell?