Friday, 2 September 2011

Spanish orange cake

And more orange fun. This almost exhausted my supply of oranges, so great has been my zeal for using them up. And now I have a backlog of orange recipes.

This was a good, rather plain and no-nonsense cake, dense and very orangey. The marmalade couldn’t be done without; some crème fraiche wouldn’t have gone astray, although the tub I purchased vanished from the fridge overnight. I have no conclusions whatsoever about that; can't even blame the cats.

350g plain flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
240g butter
270g sugar (I used raw)
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
2 eggs, separated
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 180C. Maida calls for a nine-inch tube tin, but I used a 20cm square tin. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Beat butter to soften, then add most of the sugar and beat for a few minutes until pale, keeping back a few tablespoons (as the sugar kept back is for strengthening the egg whites, I substituted raw caster sugar for that.) Add the orange zest and then the five egg yolks one at a time, beating well. Go to the lowest speed or hand-mix in the flour, alternating with the orange juice, until just incorporated. It will be quite a heavy, clumpy dough at this point.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add sugar and keep beating until they have glossy, firm peaks. Fold this into the batter, then turn it all into the cake tin.

Bake for about an hour or until a skewer withdraws clean. Cool cake in the pan for 20 minutes before placing on a rack over some greaseproof paper, or the sink, to collect drips from the glaze.

For the glaze, bring marmalade and 2 tablespoons water to the boil, then brush over top and sides of cooled cake. Let stand to dry for several hours (or overnight if you’re me) before transferring to a cake plate.

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