Monday, 9 May 2011

Sultana and Orange Traybake

Recipe Number Thirty Four:  Page 180.

I asked Neil if there was anything particular he'd like me to bake this weekend. He fancied some sort of traybake; this sultana and orange combination was soon decided upon as he loves oranges.

Here is another cake where all the ingredients are 'thrown' into the bowl and mixed. This always cheers my soul, so I merrily 'threw' all but the sultanas and orange zest into the bowl. I had to have a good old rummage in the kitchen cupboard to find an already opened packet of sultanas. I think they may have been there for some time as the sultanas looked a bit dry and wizened. At this point, I had a distinct feeling that I was being watched. I glanced through the doorway into the living room to see a little face peering at me. Our little boy appeared quite curious to know what I was doing. I soon found myself sitting on the kitchen floor grating the zest of two oranges so he could see what I was doing. It didn't take long for him to realise that this wasn't a particularly exciting spectacle, so he went back to chewing on a toy. The zest was the last ingredient I needed to add to the bowl, so out came my electric whisk. Once everything had been blended together, I poured the cake mixture into my tin and then put it into the oven.

When I came to take the cake out of the oven, I was a little disappointed to see that it hadn't risen very much; it looked distinctly flat. As I had used the zest of two oranges for the cake, I thought I might as well use the juice to make the orange glacé icing that Mary had included at the bottom of the recipe. Otherwise I could have just sprinkled the cake with Demerara sugar and finished it there. But no, that would have meant less washing up and I couldn't have that! So out came a packet of icing sugar. As well as sifting it into a bowl, I also managed to smother seemingly everything in the kitchen with a fine dusting. The combined icing sugar and orange juice made a glistening and thick paste! As I spread it on to the top of the cake, I immediately wished I hadn't. The icing peeled the top layer of the cake off, which of course mixed into the gooey icing. So, what should have looked like an appetising and delicious treat actually looked rather messy; cake crumbs intermingled with icing is not a good look. I did what I could to salvage the situation and most of the slices didn't look too bad in the end. I, on the other hand, was smothered in sticky icing and ended up muttering choice words under my breath!!

When it came to tasting the cake, Neil said he couldn't taste the orange, whereas I said that was the first thing I noticed! The texture of the cake was nice and moist. The sultanas had sunk to the bottom and I do wonder if adding them to the cake made it a bit too sweet. Those who are worried about Neil's health due to all his cake eating can rest assured. He ran a 7km race yesterday and came 31st out of over 400 competitors, so I feel that proves you can have your cake and eat it! 
I didn't eat both!  These are the two best looking slices!

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