It's coming up to my birthday and my daughter and her partner Leo are coming up to help me celebrate. Since this orange cake is one of Leo's favourites I am happy to have another excuse to bake one. The cake uses 8 eggs, so with my chickens still in hyper-drive, it's a win win situation.
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For this recipe you will need,
100g of white breadcrumbs, I use my own white sourdough, 3 days old
400g of caster sugar
200g ground almonds
370ml of Vegetable oil
the thinly peeled rind of 2 oranges
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
For the syrup
The juice of the 2 oranges & 1 lemon
160g of sugar
1 cinnamon stick broken up
10 whole cloves
Line a cake tin measuring 28cm by 8cm with baking parchment.
Begin by placing the orange peel and caster sugar in a food processor and process for a minute until the sugar has taken on a yellow colour and is speckled with fine orange peel. Place the orange scented sugar in a large bowl, process the bread into fine breadcrumbs and add to the sugar. Add the ground almonds and finally process the oil, eggs, salt and baking powder and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into the prepared baking tin. Place in a cold oven and turn on the heat to 180C, bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, make the syrup by bringing the sugar, spice and juice to a simmer, simmer for 10 minutes and switch off the heat.
Pierce the top of the cake while it is still hot from the oven with a tin bamboo skewer, roughly 20 to 30 holes, using a tablespoon gradually pour the syrup over the cake so that the syrup seeps into the cake leaving the spice on the surface. I remove the cloves because a clove bitten into inadvertently does numb the mouth. I leave the cinnamon sticks though as a decorative feature.
|It's good to remove rogue orange & lemon pips along with the cloves
This cake keeps really well for up to a week and is perfect served with a dollop of chilled creme fraiche.
This is the only cake I know where you don't have to pre-heat the oven.
Pulverising the orange peel in the sugar makes an enormous difference, a technique I use whenever I want to extract maximum flavour from citrus fruit.
If you manage to find GF bread that is reasonably sturdy, a ciabatta type for instance, it's possible to make a Gluten Free version of this cake, it depends very much on finding a GF loaf which isn't too soft.