My friend Sharon is a real London lady and whatever she cooks looks not just absolutely delicious but also incredibly perfect. Imagine having a tea with the Queen: my friend will serve exactly that perfect cake you would expect, nothing less!
When we cooked something together the usual scenario included her measuring everything very carefully and me changing recipes while we were cooking, but the beauty was that in the end we were making super dinners!
A long time ago she gave me this recipe for an orange cake that to me smelled very Christmassy because of the cinnamon and orange, so I kept it on my ‘to do list’ until now.
I don’t even have to mention that the version she made was absolutely perfect as if it was coming from a ‘patisserie’ while mine…let’s say it looked a bit less pretty…
For the cake:
240 g Sugar
230 g Almonds, almost finely ground
Zest of 3 oranges
For the syrup:
1 l of Orange Juice – 8 oranges (I think 1/2 l should be ok too)
The juice of 1 Lemon
1 Cinnamon stick
4-5 spoons of Sugar
Separate the eggs. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and add the almonds and the orange zest.
In another bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and carefully fold them into the sugar-egg mixture, trying not to knock the air out of the whites.
The mixture will seem very stiff at first, but keep folding in the egg whites and it will gradually loosen up.
Pour the batter into a tin that you have previously prepared with greaseproof paper – I haven’t done it this time because for some stupid reason I thought that using one of these tins that open would have been enough – terrible mistake!!!
Cook in a preheated oven to 180° C for 30 – 40 minutes.
While the cake is in the oven, make the syrup – place the orange juice, lemon juice and cinnamon stick in a saucepan with a handful of sugar. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste. It should be quite tart. Allow it to cool and then place in the fridge.
When the cake was ready, I removed it from the oven, and transferred it to a plate and with a skewer, I pierced some holes in the top and then poured half the syrup over the top. You can use the remaining syrup for serving.
You should use a very fine colander to filter the syrup before using it as you don’t really want any orange bits on top of your cake….you really don’t, believe me, they look odd!
The cake is incredibly nice and it’s not the usual homemade cake, it has a more refined taste and should be served with a great tea on a winter cold afternoon.
I warmed up the syrup and served the cake cut in small cubes with some vanilla ice cream…