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The ingredients I followed are:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Cooking time 35 minutes at 180 C.

I didn't put zest.
I couldn't feel the strong orange flavor in the cake. The cake was rather dry.

If next time I put 2 cups orange juice, what other thing do I have to increase to maintain the balance?

Can I put half cup brown sugar to maintain the moisture?

Can I put the Orange "pulp" in the cake? Will that make any positive difference? If yes, then what's the way to use it properly?

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1 Answer

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Citrus zest is where most citrus flavour in a sauce or baked good actually comes from because it remains in solid form, like herbs and spices. The juice adds some flavour but it turns into solution and gets spread out over a very large surface area/volume.

I don't know why you decided not to use the zest - are you using commercial orange juice? If so, that may be part of the problem too - processed juices are not going to be as flavourful as homemade, in part because of the mechanical separation of pulp (even if it is subsequently re-incorporated to make a juice "with pulp").

Orange juice is effectively your water in this recipe so doubling it means you need to double everything else. In other words you'll have exactly the same ratios and therefore exactly the same taste.

If it came out too dry then that means you either (a) baked too long, (b) overworked the batter, (c) didn't use enough oil or (d) didn't use enough sugar. Nothing to do with the OJ content.

If you really want to add more orange flavour beyond what the original recipe would give you, use orange extract, it's a highly concentrated orange flavour and is usually derived from (surprise!) the zest, or made to taste like one. But I would suggest to try following the recipe correctly before doing this.

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"I don't know why you decided not to use the zest" The recipe asked just for 1 tablespoon zest. Does 1 table spoon make a huge difference? Anyway, I 'll be editin the question. –  TheIndependentAquarius Mar 12 '12 at 15:52
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@AnishaKaul: Yes, it makes a difference, and pulp is not the same as zest. –  Aaronut Mar 12 '12 at 15:56
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@AnishaKaul "Pulp" is usually bits of orange flesh that are caught in the juicing process. "Zest" is bits of peel that have been carefully grated off and contain most of the orange flavor and smell in a concentrated form (think essential oils); "Pith" is the white bit just under the peel that you don't want to get in your zest because it tastes bitter. –  Yamikuronue Mar 12 '12 at 16:09
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@AnishaKaul, why don't you try following the recipe before worrying about substitutions? I don't mean to offend but it seems like many of the problems you've experienced so far have been a result of assuming that some change would be fine without a clear understanding of the process. Most people learn to cook by first following the recipes and then improvising once they have more experience. Baking, especially, can be quite finicky in terms of measurements/modifications/substitutions and it usually takes a lot of solid practical and theoretical experience to create or modify recipes. –  Aaronut Mar 12 '12 at 16:44
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Yeah, I use a Microplane, it's maybe 2 minutes of scratching to zest a whole orange/lemon/whatever. If you're truly broke, a regular zester is fine, it'll still take less than 5 minutes and only be slightly bitterer from the extra pith. –  Aaronut Mar 12 '12 at 18:54
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