It was my mum’s birthday and I was in charge of the cake. We only needed a smallish one, just for dessert really.
I got Great British Bakes by Mary-Anne Boermans for Christmas. I had read this review and thought it sounded really interesting. History and food is – for me – a marriage made in heaven… I didn’t watch the Great British Bake Off that year, in fact 2013 was the first time, so Mary-Anne was not known to me. I read the book over the Christmas period and absolutely love it. I love the little introductions to the recipes, where they’re from, how old they are, how they developed over time and how some needed to be tweaked to be suitable to modern kitchens, tastes and so on.
I decided to try the Orange Cake since it promised to be a zesty, tangy affair and not too sweet. After Christmas and all the Christmas cookies we needed something different. And it was a lovely cake indeed!
There are no pictures – for two reasons. Overall I wasn’t happy with the way it looked but firstly, it’s because my sponge rose beautifully in the oven and then collapsed on cooling. I had a rather hard time cutting it in two. This has happened to me before and it’s so annoying. I think next time, I’ll leave it in the oven for a bit longer. Would that make a difference? Secondly, my icing was too runny (and I had run out of icing sugar…) so I kept spooning it back over the cake over and over again. That was just stupid. It was also not the greatest idea not to completely incorporate the stiff egg whites. Whilst baking, it smelled of omelette… 😉
The taste, however, is fantastic. There is orange zest in the sponge, orange juice and zest and lemon juice and zest in the filling, orange juice in the icing and candied orange peel as decoration on top. I normally reduce the required amount of sugar in any recipe by a third, sometimes even a bit more, and it usually doesn’t make a difference tastewise. In this case, however, I stuck to the recipe. I reckoned that with all the orange and lemon it would need the sugar for balance. It was a good decision.
Next time I’m making this cake, I’ll try and make it look better. And then there’ll be a picture too… 🙂