Monday, 15 August 2011

Double Orange Cake

Recipe Number Seventy Six:  Page 73.

I seem to have spent rather a lot of time recently grating the zest off lemons. I fear I have somewhat neglected its fruity cousin, the orange! There do not appear to be many recipes that require the use of oranges; most seem to favour the lemon. When I saw this recipe I felt I was left with little choice. It was the turn of the orange; I just hoped it would taste as good as it sounded!

I managed to make an earlier start on this cake, I was quite amazed to look at the clock and see that it was only 2pm! But, of course, something happened to distract my attention! Neil noticed a creature trotting along the field of corn behind our house, so I had to go and investigate. We couldn't work out what it was, so out came the binoculars and we recognised that it was a young fox. Of course I became in engrossed in watching its every move and gave Neil a running commentary. I became quite excited when it lay down!! After 20 minutes of watching a fox not do much at all, I went back to my cake making!

First of all I had to put the rather solid butter in the microwave for a quick blast of heat, as I'd completely forgotten to leave it out to soften. I then placed the now rather runny butter into my mixing bowl and added to it the sugar and flour. I had to beat the eggs before adding them to the bowl. I am still not sure why sometimes I have to beat the eggs first, but I am sure there must be a very good reason! I poured the beaten eggs in to join the rest of the ingredients and then retrieved an orange from the fruit bowl. The zest grated off the orange very easily and, unlike a lemon, it didn't sting! However, I found it hard to squeeze the juice from the orange due to the fact that it was so mushy. Some of the pulp ended up in the bowl too! I used my electric whisk to beat everything together for a minute or two until the mixture was smooth and well blended. I tipped the cake batter into my eight inch deep cake tin. I have to say that this particular tin is the one that I've used the most so far for this challenge. I am glad I forked out for a better quality tin! I placed the cake tin in the oven and meanwhile tried to get my little one to have his milk. He wasn't keen on this idea and, after feeling around the inside of his mouth, I discovered the root of the problem - his first molar! So, by the time I got back downstairs, the cake had been in the oven an extra five minutes. I hardly dared to look at the cake as I peered inside the oven. However, thankfully, it was cooked to perfection. Hooray!

I turned the cake out of the tin and left it to cool on a wire rack. Once it was cold, I heated up some apricot jam and then brushed it over the top of the cake. This really is a great way of stopping cake crumbs getting into icing. Speaking of icing, I needed to make some up using icing sugar and the juice of half an orange. The orange I chose happened to be particularly un-juicy; when mixed with the icing sugar it formed a VERY thick paste. Mary says to pour it onto the cake. Well, that was never going to happen. I added a little more juice which of course made it a little too runny, but at least it could be poured! In hindsight I should have let the jam cool down a bit more before adding the icing. Also, it really was a bit too runny; it just glided straight over the sides and dripped onto the worktop! Not much I could do to stem the tide, the dripping was at quite a frantic pace!! Oh well, I left what little icing there was to set and then, using my zester, I shredded the zest from the orange and sprinkled some on top. This made it look a bit more appetising!

Mary mentions in the header to this recipe that it is a lovely, light sponge cake and I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is the lightest cake I have yet made and my favourite so far from the Baking Bible. The flavour is fresh and very orangey, but most of all it is the lightness of the sponge that won me over. Yes, the icing doesn't look perfect, but its sweetness complements the cake perfectly. It was so easy to make; only the icing was a tiny bit problematic. Next time I shall use a juicier orange! Isaac, our little boy, had a tiny bit and the look on his face said it all – I think it made up for the toothache!
My favourite so far...


  1. Lovely post.

    If you microwave your orange first for 20 seconds it will yield more juice, or if you roll it on the bench with your hand first.

    It's always best to beat eggs first as it emulsifies them (stops the white from coagulating and making your finished cake a bit scrambled eggy). If your using a food processor or kitchen aid to mix your cakes its not strictly necessary but it does give a better result.

  2. Thank you Kylie for your really helpful message.

    A big thank you for solving the egg mystery for me, been wonding about that for a while!

  3. Anneliese I want to cook this now, my mouth is watering, I actually bought oranges because you was doing this one xx

  4. How funny Jo :-) You'll have to cook it and then let me know what you think - it was so light and delicious. xx