Writing about some of my favourite cake recipes at the end of every April has become a sort of tradition here on C&T. It’s my birthday later on in the week so it’s kind of themed, at least for me! It started a few month after the birth of this blog, when people started asking me about the cake or cakes (because yes, there were times when I made more than one) I usually make for the day. I try to vary as much as possible, but I can happily say that more often than not there’s always a copious amount of chocolate involved.
With the change in the weather though I think it will be a riff on lemon drizzle, at least for this year. Interestingly enough, when I posted my yoghurt chocolate cake recipe a few days ago, there was a mixed reaction. Some people wrote to me saying that they don’t like chocolate that much
shock horror…kidding and requested something interesting with lemons. To be honest, I anticipated the feedback and if you see the beautiful citrus in the Med you will understand why. I love lemons and oranges and always have some in stock, so I found this recipe and tried it out. It is good and I’m very happy I came across it. I had a little re-write to make it more readable and here it is.
I like it because apart from the syrup for drizzle, there’s a lovely icing with a sprinkling of citrus zest to finish it off. It makes a huge difference, especially for those who love icing like me. If not, you can always leave it out but I know I would seriously miss it. So go ahead and give this one a try. As always, it’s easy and relatively quick to make.
For the cake:
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 125g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- zest of 1 orange
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g cake flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
For the orange syrup:
- 100g caster sugar
- juice of 1 orange
For the lemon icing:
- 225g icing sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Line and grease well a 20cm springform cake tin and preheat your oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. If you have a gas oven, give it plenty of time, I would say at least 35 minutes for a good preheat.
To make the cake tip 125g caster sugar in a large mixing bowl with the unsalted butter and beat until the mixture turns light yellow and creamy. Crack the eggs into the sugar mixture, preferably one at a time, beating them in as you go along. Add most of the orange zest and keep the rest covered with a bit of clingfilm. Fold in the sifted flour and baking powder. Slowly fold in the ground almonds until everything is just combined.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake for around 30 minutes, until the cake is risen and turns into a pretty light golden colour. Always check it by inserting a knife or skewer in the middle. When the cake is out of the oven place it on a wire rack. Leave the cake in the tin.
To make the syrup put 100g of caster sugar into a small pan together with the juice of the orange. Turn the heat on to medium and wait for the sugar to dissolve into the juice. It’s important not to stir this mixture. (Stirring will cause the sugar to crystallize. We want a smooth syrup here. So be patient.)
Poke the cake with a thin skewer or even a strand of dried spaghetti or a cocktail stick to create small holes. Pour the syrup as evenly as possible all over the cake. Again, leave the cake in the tin. This will help contain the syrup until it is absorbed by the cake.
To make the icing tip the icing sugar in a bowl and add most of the lemon zest. Cover what remains with clingfilm. Pour the lemon juice into the icing sugar and mix vigorously, adding more lemon juice if need be, depending on how thick you want the end result to be. Keep the icing to one side until the cake has completely cooled. Cut a piece of parchment paper and place it on a serving plate or cake stand. Place the cake carefully on it. Pour the icing onto the cake, evenly spreading it onto the surface. Sprinkle the remaining orange and lemon zest and you’re done.
(Adapted from Jamie’s Great Britain, Jamie Oliver, 2011, Michael Joseph.)