Orange and Almond Cake
This is the fifth time that I have made this cake (which makes it the thing that I have made more than anything else) and there is a good reason for that; the sponge is soft and moist and the flavour is fantastic. I wanted to work on my presentation with this one and it looks a lot different than it has in the past as I normally just drizzle icing over the top. It is very simple, very quick but really nice and a good way to end this period of baking before I go back to uni.
Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)
6oz Butter (soften in the microwave, full power for about 10-15seconds)
6oz Light Brown Sugar
3 Eggs (crack on a flat surface to avoid any rogue egg-shell in your cake)
2 Large Oranges
1tsp Almond Extract
6oz Self-Raising Flour
2oz Ground Almonds
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1tbsp Ground Mixed Spice
5 ½ oz Icing Sugar
150ml Double Cream
1oz Orange Curd
Line a round cake tin (see Mama Molloy’s – The home of home-baking).
In a large mixing bowl place the 6oz of light brown sugar and add the 6oz butter, cut into cubes. Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon by pressing the mixture into the base of the bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the 3 eggs, one at a time, using an electric whisk if you have one. Add the zest of the two oranges and the juice of one. Add the almond extract and whisk again.
Pre-heat the oven to 160oC (325oF, Gas Mark 3).
Combine the flour, the ground almonds, the bicarbonate of soda and the mixed spice and then sieve into the large mixing bowl, holding the sieve as high as you can in the process. Fold the flour into the mixture by dragging a wooden spoon around the edge of the bowl in one complete circle and then pushing the spoon through the middle from one side to the other. Repeat this until fully mixed but don’t get carried away; the more you mix, the more air you lose and the denser the cake is.
Pour the cake mixture into the lined cake tin and spread it evenly using a wooden spoon.
Bake for 40 minutes. Cover the cake with foil halfway through once it has achieved a golden-brown colour (see Useful things to know before baking).
Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and allow to cool completely. Dust the top with ½ oz of the icing sugar.
Sieve 5oz of the icing sugar into a bowl and add the juice from the remaining orange a bit at a time until a reasonably thick paste is formed that can be piped easily. Transfer to a piping bag with a narrow nozzle.
Use a skewer to imprint 4 lines on top of the cake to split the top into 8 segments (see below). Either heat the skewer under the grill and place it on top or carefully drag along the top of the cake.
Pipe the icing in squiggles on each segment, originating from the centre (see below).
Whisk the double cream in a glass bowl until thick and gently mix with the orange curd. Transfer to a piping bag. Pipe rosettes of cream in a ring around the top of the cake to finish.