The Beauty and the Beast was probably my first exposure to pop culture since like ever. Usually, conversations with me usually consist of:
Have you heard “Hamilton”? I love (insert song) so much!
Hamilton? As in the person who died in the duel with Burr? The electoral college and national bank guy?”
*No, the album by Ed Sheeran
Oh. Who’s Ed Sheeran?
At this point, either the person tries to show me a picture of a red head or stares blankly, probably thinking what a nerd. I am (unfortunately) totally a-ok with being a nerd and not being exposed to this random Let’s name a music album off of the guy who got into a duel. However, being an avid Harry Potter fan (Hermione and the Beast?!) and with a French exchange student coming during the week (tu me manques Secil…), I marched with my new friend in tow to the movie theater.
Apparently US movie theaters pale in comparison to the ones in France.
Anyways, my recent exposure to this popular culture has resulted in me listening to the soundtrack of Beauty and the Beast on repeat to get past my internal tangle of distress for the upcoming AP tests (6 of them! $140!). This, of course, resulted in me almost crying in the midst of all this sorrow, can so much hope (not endure)… I was innocent and (not certain). while taking my calculus and chemistry tests.
I like to think of this cake being served during Be our guest with tea brewed my Ms. Potts. It’s really one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. Many cakes will be chock full of butter or oil and slightly dense but this one is kinda a cross between a sponge cake and a regular cake. It has about 1/2 the butter but twice the amount of eggs. In short, unlike regular cakes, it will not create an ugly stain of oil on your homework (that really is all that matters), but is slightly denser, more sturdy than a sponge cake. Really the perfect cake.
I had wanted to put a frangipane topping (what can go wrong w/ french inspired desserts?) but I ran out of eggs (not for the same reason as Gaston would have) so instead I skipped the egg and made it more like a crumble. Still awesomely delicious. The oranges on top were done by shaving off the skin with a dull knife (I really suggest a sharp one) and then cutting around the membrane, like this.
Citrus-y, nutty, lightly sweetened, sturdy yet cloud-like, this Orange Cake with Almond Crumble basically has everything one could want in a cake!
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Beat the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and then the zest of the orange, mixing thoroughly after every one.
Add in the juice from the one orange. Then add in 1/3 of the flour. Mix in 1/3 of the milk. Then 1/3 of the flour and all the baking soda. Then the milk. Then the flour. (Basically just make sure all the ingredients get into the batter).
Pour into a parchment lined high rim 6" round pan.
In another bowl, mix the almonds, sugar, and butter until completely combined. Spread on the top of the cake and place the orange slices on top.
Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes or until the top of the cake ceases to jiggle and a toothpick comes out semi clean.