This orange muffin came about because I saw a recipe for Orange Bundt Cake on Campari & Sofa, and thought it would be nice to make this as muffins for a pretty dessert. Claudia’s source for the recipe was Marcella Hazan, an Italian cookery write of whom I had never heard before. The orange cake is created by adding orange zest to a pretty straightforward cake recipe, and then soaking everything with fresh orange juice. This turns the cake into something moist, sticky and lots of orange taste. Cakes often turn out dry, but this recipe is forgiving because the cake is soaked in juice anyway.
As the cake is supposed to have its roots in the city of Ancona in the Marche, I substituted the Ouzo with Sambuca. Both are anise liqueurs, but Sambuca is Italian and Ouzo is Greek. The anise liqueur from Marche called Anisetta may be even more appropriate, but probably difficult to find outside of Marche.
I served these muffins for dessert, but they are also great for breakfast or any other time of the day. You could also make them as a bundt cake instead, but I liked the cute individual servings. It was a success and I will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing, Claudia!
325 grams (2 cups + 2 Tbsp) cake flour
zest of 3 oranges
60 grams (4 Tbsp) butter
225 grams (1 cup + 3 Tbsp) sugar
2 Tbsp Sambuca liqueur
1 Tbsp milk
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
500 ml (2 cups) freshly squeezed orange juice, sweetened with 2 Tbsp sugar if needed
A bundt cake will need 40-45 minutes.
We enjoyed a passito di pantelleria with this, which has notes of orange and a good balance between sweetness and acidity to go with these muffins.