3 cups dry red wine, Australian Shiraz
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2 1/2 pounds oranges, rind cut into strips, flesh sectioned
1 cup mascarpone
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons orange-flavored liqueur
Orange Pound Cake, recipe follows
Orange Pound Cake:
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, plus 4 ounces (1 stick), at room temperature
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the red wine, sugar, orange juice, vanilla bean, and strip of orange peel, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced by half. Peel and section the oranges over a bowl to catch the juice. Place the orange sections in a shallow, glass, baking dish. Remove the wine mixture from the heat and pour over the orange sections. Discard the vanilla bean and zest. Let stand and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. (If not serving immediately, tightly cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.)
For the mascarpone: In a bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, sugar, and liqueur until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, slice the pound cake thickly and place one slice on each serving plate. Top with oranges and red wine syrup, and a heaping dollop of the sweet mascarpone.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter and 1 teaspoon of flour, knocking out the excess. Sift the remaining cup of flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, and set aside.
Combine the remaining butter and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer and cream on high speed. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, alternating with the eggs, beating on low speed, and scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the juice, zest, and vanilla, and beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake has risen, is golden brown on top, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Remove the cake from the oven. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving