Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Orange Drizzle Orange Cake with Candied Oranges.

Hiiiiii Little Sis...back to Cornwall with you then is it? Hope you weren’t too sad to leave the homeland. I really was this time; tears and everything. Sap. The only thing to do is to immerse myself in kitchen comfort and the warmth of the oven. Sappysappysapsap.

But my recent kitchen based endeavours have not purely been for the purpose of soul soothing. Oh no. They have also been contributing to the saviour of the world in the form of waste management. Every little helps and all that. 

You see I have recently come into some oranges. HA, that makes it sound like we have some Orange Baron as a long lost relative who died and left me his orangey fortune. No, not quite. What really happened was far less glam I’m afraid. The fancypants shop I work in had llloadds of oranges as a springtime display, and changing seasons (it’s summer now apparently) mean changing fruit, so I rescued them. Well, as many as I could carry home on the train. It could have been a bit precarious had I dropped one of my fruit filled bags. Imagine how frightened the fruit-phobic Scots would have been seeing a load of these neon beauties rolling around their feet....I jest I jest.

Anyway. First stop Orange Drizzle Cake. Well, not strictly first stop- you can see that I started slowly with just a lean to orangeyness with my Chocolate Orange French Toast, but here, we are at full-on orange territory. And do you know what? My pile is still pretty immense and withering fast, so expect a torrent of sweet citrus treats to be heading your way soon. Any requests or ideas greatly appreciated. With Love and Cake.

Orange Drizzle Cake with Candied Oranges.

A few notes:
  • Of course this is inspired by the classic English tea time treat, the great lemon drizzle, and if you haven't come into an orange mountain, or simple prefer yellow things, feel free to switch it back by replacing the orange parts with lemon parts.
  • Do NOT be put off by the candied oranges. They are soso simple to make and turn a homemade cake into a cake that's dressed up to the nines and ready to paint the town orange. Though if leaving them off  means you do make the cake rather than just look at the pictures, then please do. 
  • Omitting the candied orange part will, however, leave you sans syrup to drizzle, so instead, just gently heat 100g caster sugar with the juice of 2 or 3 oranges in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has thickened slightly.
  • If you don't have any polenta and don't want to invest, just use the same amount of ground almonds or flour.
Makes 1 loaf cake
You will need

1 medium sized loaf tin, greased and lined.

For the candied oranges
1 cup (just use an average sized coffee mug to measure) granulated sugar
3 cups water
2 oranges, sliced to the thickness you'd have in a drink

For the cake
115g butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
2 eggs
140g flour
50g polenta
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
125ml milk
zest of 2 oranges

  • First lets get on with the candying. All you need to do is dissolve the sugar in the water in a large saucepan over a low heat.
  • Then add the orange slices and boil for around half an hour or until the liquid has reduced by around a quarter and is thick and syrupy...That's it.
  • Now for the cake: preheat the oven to 180°c.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until well incorporated; I use an electric hand whisk but a wooden spoon would do just fine.
  • Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy looking.
  • Next, fold in the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Finally beat in the milk and orange zest and pour the mixture into your loaf tin.
  • Get him in the oven where he needs around 50 minutes-1 hour, by which point he should be firm to the touch and golden sunshine brown.
  • While the cake is still warm and in his tin, prick all over with a skewer, a piece of uncooked spaghetti or a little but sharp knife.
  • Pour the syrup left from the candied oranges (or the one that you made, see notes) all over the cake and watch it seep in.
  • When the cake is cool enough to handle, remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Now it's dress-up time. Just layer a nice line of the delicious candied orange slices all along the top of the loaf, stand back and admire.
  • It's lovely served with creme fraiche and any leftover candied oranges if you wanted it eeeeeeven fancier or as a pud. Otherwise just slice and sit it next to a nice cup of tea.

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