Oranges. As a kid, I never enjoyed them as fruits, but I used to wallop orange flavoured sponges and biscuits by the dozen. Now a little grown up, I try having a wedge or two at times, though I still have my restrictions when it comes to eating them as fruit. In baking and dessert making as such, this fruit is like elixir. You create a dessert and you need that one ingredient to give the dessert that extra punch, the magic touch – that’s oranges. Orange rind in cookies, a beautiful swirl of orange peel while poaching fruits, orange blossom water in classic dishes like baklava – the flavour completes your dish.
In this cake though, orange is the principal ingredient. When I first came across this recipe, I loved how whole oranges were being used, nothing was spared. It’s moist because of olive oil and the cake is lovely with a cuppa tea or coffee. But the best thing about this cake – while baking, your kitchen smells like a fresh, garden of oranges 🙂
For the cake
- 320 g all purpose flour
- 250 g caster sugar
- 2 oranges, malta or tangerine
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp orange oil, optional
For the glaze
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 32 g confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar)
- Sea salt, to sprinkle
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Butter and line an 8 inch loaf tin with a parchment paper.
- Cut the top and the bottom of the oranges for about 1/2 an inch. Now, cut them into long wedges.
- Bring 6 cups of water to boil in a saucepan and plop the orange slices in them. Bring them to boil and drain. Repeat the boiling process twice.
- Now, add the orange slices to 4 cups of water and 160 g of sugar and boil them in medium-high heat for 30 minutes until the sugar has been completely dissolved. Stir them constantly. A fork should easily pierce through the orange rind and that’s your key to taking it off heat. Now preheat your oven to 180 C.
- Beat the remaining sugar and eggs together until pale and yellow. Now, add the combined flour mixture to the egg mixture. Fold well, scrapping the bottom of the bowl. This batter will be a little doughy but don’t be alarmed.
- Once the oranges are cooked through, blend the slices alone (leave the water behind) into a pulp.
- Add the orange pulp into the batter and blend well using an electric mixer. If you are using orange oil, add now and finally add the olive oil. Blend well until all the ingredients are combined properly.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin carefully and bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, prepare the orange glaze by whisking the confectioner’s sugar and orange juice in medium heat until it becomes a thick syrup.
- Once the cake is done, let it rest for 20 minutes. Brush the cake all over with the prepared orange glaze. Allow the syrup find it’s way through the cake. Sprinkle some sea salt.
- Serve cake slices warm with tea or coffee.