Destination Spotlight: Travel The World From Your Own Kitchen featuring Executive Chef Noel McMeel

At the onset of the pandemic, we decided to broaden our popular national travel radio show, now heard on over 430+ stations across the USA as well as separately via live streaming and archived podcasts online, creating a fun new segment that links travel and food experiences. Our “Travel The World From Your Own Kitchen” segments are designed to bring joy with simple, but flavorful international recipes, from top chefs we’ve encountered through our travels for our show — enabling you to duplicate them in your own kitchen and enjoy.
On a recent live broadcast, we reconnected with one of Ireland’s top chefs and someone we’ve enjoyed over the years, Executive Chef Noel McMeel, of the Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. This Preferred Hotels & Resorts property is situated in the heart of the beautiful Fermanagh Lakelands about 2 ½ hours northwest of Dublin. If you’re a golfer, when travel restrictions ease, you’ll want to consider planning a visit to this resort. Tucked away on a stunning 600-acre peninsula, Lough Erne is one of the top golf resorts in Ireland, with two championship courses and state of the art facilities.
Chef Noel has been working at the resort since 2007 and we first met him back in 2014 when we did a live broadcast from there. He grew up on a farm in a humble thatched roof house in the countryside of Northern Ireland and credits his pursuit of the culinary field to his family, particularly his mother. It was there he learned the basics of farm-fresh food and to this day, his philosophy of food has its origins in Ireland’s ancient past but with a modern twist. As Noel likes to say, “I don’t get seduced into overcomplicating the food.”
For his “Travel The World From Your Own Kitchen” segment with us, he chose to share his first entrée into the world of baking — Young Master Noel’s First Orange Cake. He first made this cake at the age of 13 and it’s a light, airy sponge cake with a delicious frosting using grated orange and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Here’s the recipe:
Young Master Noel McMeel’s First Orange Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter two 8 inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper.
Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes, until just mixed.
Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared pans and level the surface with rubber spatula dipped in water. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cakes are well risen and golden. The tops of the cakes should spring back when pressed lightly with a finger. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then run a small palette knife or butter knife around the edge of the pans to free the sides of the cakes. Turn out the cakes onto cooling racks, peel off the parchment, and leave them to cool completely. Choose the cake with the better top, then put the other cake top side down onto a serving plate.
To make the filling and topping, beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and orange rind until very fluffy, using an electric mixer on high speed about 10 minutes. Spread half of the orange cream on the first layer and place the other cake on top, with the top facing up, and spread the rest of the orange cream on top, leaving the side bare.
Serve immediately, or store the cake in an airtight tin or plastic cake keeper in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
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Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America’s #1 Travel Radio Show