Friday, May 4, 2012

50 Women Game Changers in Food - # 46 Gael Greene - Orange Pour Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Gael Greene is a woman of great appetites, only one of which will be covered here today. I've left the more titillating aspects of her biography for others to tell and if you are interested, this is one of many articles that will bring you up to speed on facets of her life that are not included here. I knew very little about her until I began to gather information for this post. Not all the luminaries from the early days of the NYC food scene had reputations that made it past the Hudson River. At that time, Craig Claiborne, Mimi Sheraton and Marian Burros were well-known in the Chicago area, and, being nothing if not loyal, those were the names I carried with me when we made the reverse migration from Chicago to New York. For better or worse, I was a New York Times gal. Gael wrote for the New York Post and New York magazine, so I'm embarrassed to say her columns were never on my radar. Following graduation from the University of Michigan, she began her career as a reporter and freelance writer. She became a restaurant critic only after being  asked to do a column for New York magazine. She took the job because association with the gifted pool of writers on the magazine roster would be interesting, and, better still, those costly meals for which she became famous could be expensed.  Later, it became the vehicle that afforded her time to work on her novels, a list of which can be found here. These days,  she still does freelance writing and  serves as a  judge on the television program, Top Chef.  She is probably best known for  her role as co-founder of Citymeals-on-Wheels, an organization that raises funds to deliver food to the housebound elderly. 

Gael Greene is not a chef and she has no formal culinary training, so I've relied on a recipe that she has made, published and attributed to her ex-sister-in-law. It is straightforward and easy to make. At one time, Greene made this loaf cake as a gift for friends at Christmas time, so you know she thinks highly of it. I'm posting the recipe as it appears on her website, but I have a couple of suggestions to make if you decide to bake the cake. First, alternate the addition of flour and yogurt rather than dumping them in all at once. Second, allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before you begin to pour the orange sauce over it. I did this in stages because the instructions did not call for  poking the surface of the cake to expedite the process. I kept the cake in the pan until the sauce appeared to be absorbed and then I inverted it onto a rack with a drip pan under it. I suggest you remove the cake as soon as you can to prevent sticking. The cake will seem sticky at first but the tackiness disappears as the cake sits. This is a moist cake that has a very slight crunch due to the orange sugar coating. It is a nice cake that I think you will enjoy. Here's the recipe as it is featured on her blog.

Orange Pour Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Gael Greene

2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour, divided use
1⁄2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1⁄2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
3⁄4 cup sour cream
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Cream 2 tablespoons of flour into softened butter in a large bowl. Beat eggs in small bowl. Add sugar and combine with flour and butter mixture.
3) Sift remaining flour with baking soda and add slowly into the egg-butter-sugar mix until combined. Add grated orange rind, nuts, and sour cream. Pour or spoon into greased metal loaf pan.
4) Bake 30 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, combine sugar, orange juice, and 1 tablespoon grated orange rind.
6) Remove cake from oven when done. Pour topping on cake while it is still hot. Yield: 1 loaf.

The following bloggers are also featuring the recipes of Gael Greene today. I hope you'll pay them all a visit. They are great cooks who have wonderful blogs.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan - The Spice Garden
Heather - girlichef, Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Amrita - Beetles Kitchen Escapades
Mary - One Perfect Bite, Sue - The View from Great Island, Barbara - Movable Feasts
Linda A - There and Back Again, Nancy - Picadillo, Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen, Annie - Most Lovely Things, Jeanette - Healthy Living
Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce - More Time at the Table
Kathy - Bakeaway with Me, Martha - Simple Nourished Living, Jill - Saucy Cooks
Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink

Next week we will highlight the career and recipes of Zarela Martinez. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information no later than Monday, May 7th.


Ginny Hartzler said...

This looks really good and I bet it smells great. I have seen Gael more than once on the Top Chef shows.

Alida Sharp said...

That looks so yummy!

Chiara said...

looks really delicious ! have a good weekend,blessings...

LoveT. said...

Looks delicious! :)

Lovely Greetings from Austria ♡

Diane said...

Interesting post and I love anything with an orange flavour to it so I am sure this is very tasty. Have a great weekend. Diane

Merisi in Vienna said...

Truly interesting woman, and judging from the looks of the cake you made, she knew what she was writing about! ;-)

Ana Regalado said...

Interesting woman ! Sadly I haven't seen her in any Top Chef episode I'd watch :P Anyway , this loaf cake looks perfectly baked ! Delicious !

Lynn said...

This sounds wonderfully orangy! I know I'd like it:@)

Kim said...

i love the texture of pound cakes, this one looks really good!!!! Plus, it's flavored with orange, I like it!

Rambling Tart said...

You've introduced me to such interesting people through this series, Mary. :-) Orange in baking is my recent craving so I think I'd enjoy this immensely. :-)

Jeanette said...

When I saw the name of this recipe, I was wondering what "pour" meant, but now I see. I wonder if poking holes in the cake would help it absorb the orange syrup faster.

Barbara said...

Sour cream always makes for a nice tender crumb. I like the glaze that goes on...there's a similar sheet cake with lemon I remember making many years ago.
Nice post, Mary.

Unknown said...

Gael Greene has only been a judge on Top Chef to me... it's nice to get to know a little more about her! And the cake.. Yes, the cake looks deliciously moist and wonderful!

Kathy said...

Mary, This looks so moist and delicious…orange sugar coating…yum! Great post Mary…I loved your first line describing Ms. Green!

Spice up the Curry said...

cake looks fantastic

Claudia said...

Growing up in NYC, I "grew up" with Green. I love how moist the cake is -= actually very refreshing. Thinking this could be my morning fruit.

Cheah said...

This cake looks yum, moist and I do like the name!

Taryn said...

I love the citrus flavor in this cake.

Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin said...

Hello and thanks so much for stopping by my blog! This is a great bio on Gael. I've seen her on Top Chef, which is a show I never miss, and it's so interesting to learn where she started :)

Sangeetas Kitchen said...

This is lovely Mary!!! Absolutely!!!

Alyce said...

Didn't know you were a Chicago hometown! This looks like something lovely and easy to serve for company, which I have arriving tomorrow. Happy Friday!

Miranda | Mangoes and Chutney said...

Mary, this cake sounds delightful- I love a moist cake with a little crunch on top. Citrus in baked goods is always a plus for me!

From the Kitchen said...

I remember Gael Greene from year's ago. I don't recall reading any of her articles though. Citrus cakes are usually winners as far as I'm concerned!

Have a great weekend.


Angie's Recipes said...

very moist and delicious.
Have a great weekend, Mary!

Suzie said...

I'm not much of a baker but, the orange glaze topping sounds great!

Heather S-G said...

Oh, I wish my pour cake wasn't all gone...just seeing yours makes me hungry all over again!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

We can certainly say she led an interesting life and coined the word foodie before we even new what it was.

Mireya @MyHealthyEatingHabits said...

Your cake is lovely! I love orange flavored breads of all types. Nice coverage of Gael.

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

this is new to me...mouthwatering..!
Tasty Appetite

Joanne said...

I'd actually never heard of Gael before top chef, but I've heard her autobiography is QUITE scandalous. :P

I love citrus in baked goods and this cake sounds so tasty!

Anna C said...

I've seen Gael Greene on the Food Channel but knew little about her. Thanks for the enlightenment me. It's nice to know more about her.
The pound cake looks scrumptious.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Mary. I love to read your blog! You are so articulate and informative.
You write about things that I don't always know and so I am continually learning from you!
Thank you so very much!!!!
This cake looks fabulous. A good pound cake in your recipe box is a marvelous thing to have!
It is such a joy to visit you!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

The lovely orange icing is what makes this special Mary!!!

Martha@ Simple Nourished Living said...

I enjoyed learning about Gael this week and love the look of this luscious cake!

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