- Food & Drink
But the sudden whiff of mildness in the air, the snowdrops in the park and the daffodils in the florist are a reminder that Spring is on its way and I’ve panicked. What if I’ve missed the chance to enjoy the best that winter has to offer – the hot chocolates, snuggling under blankets and big, meaty stews that make you glow from the inside out?
So I’ve turned to citrus fruit. I want wedges of lemon on the side of all my plates, twists of lime in all of my drinks and most of all, I want to eat oranges. I don’t care how tricky they plan to make it for me, I am going to eat them segment by segment, box by box full.
This cake came about because I wanted something fairly easy to mix up and that would sit in the oven while I gave the kitchen a bit of a scrub (not going to call it Spring Cleaning just yet). I hadn’t meant to ice it but I’ve moved house and the new, unfamiliar oven is taking some getting used to. Consequently, the top of the cake got a little bit brown. In future I’ll cover cakes with foil if they’re going to be in longer than half an hour. This time, I’m covering the cake in icing. No one will ever know.
Orange drizzle cake
200g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
200g self raising flour, sifted
75g granulated sugar
175g icing sugar, sifted (optional)
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C. Grease a 900g loaf tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment. Set aside.
Finely grate the zest from 1 orange and juice it. Set aside.
Beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy and then beat in the sugar until fluffy and combined. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until combined. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Sift in the flour and stir to combine.
Scrape into the cake tin and level the surface. Bake for 1 hour or until the cake is risen and springy to the touch – you may need to cover the top of your cake after 30 minutes to prevent it burning.
Meanwhile, pare the zest from the second orange and soak in just boiled water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Juice the second orange and mix with the granulated sugar.
When the cake comes out of the oven, poke some holes in the top with a fine skewer and pour over the orange syrup. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
Turn out and serve in slices with crème fraîche and garnished with the orange zest.
If you’ve, ahem, overbrowned the top or want to ice the cake anyway, pour over the syrup and leave the cake to cool as above. Turn it out of the tin. Mix the icing sugar with about 4 tsp cold water to make a thick, smooth icing. Spread over the cake with a palette knife and decorate with the pared orange zest.