I love how food inspiration appears from all kinds of wondrous places. Mostly from the obvious food magazines, baking websites and tv chefs, but sometimes it’s from random people waiting behind me in the checkout at supermarkets who give me unsolicited advice on cooking asparagus or baking sponge cakes. Does this happen to everyone or just me? This recipe I found glued inside a cake tin at Coles. It sounded so delicious that I ended up buying the cake tin especially for the recipe. I could have just taken a picture of the recipe and saved myself 15 bucks. Idiot.
Actually I needed the cake tin anyway because it was one of those tins with a hole through the middle which I’ve been meaning to add to my assorted cake tin collection. Not sure if I will ever need a cake tin in the shape of a beehive or a penis, but it never hurts to have them on standby should the need arise, no pun intended.
I’m calling this an Orange Sherbert Cake because that’s exactly what it reminds me of. The cake is soaked through with an orange syrup but be careful when making the syrup. Don’t boil it for too long as you’ll end up with orange toffee (not an entirely hideous result but not what you need for this cake). I borrowed this royal icing from Nigella who I love and who really cares that she’s sniffed a bit of coke in her time? The woman is a total goddess. This icing is fluffy and sugary, and will harden over time which I think also protects the cake and helps it from becoming dry which you do not want. I added orange juice to the icing to give it that extra dose of fizzy orange flavour. And then more orange zest on top. No wonder this cake is so freaking orange-y. Go hard or go home, as they say.
Normally I don’t like orange flavoured things – except for Fanta because I am a child of the 80’s – but this cake is really delicious. If you’re one of those Jaffa-loving types you could drizzle over some dark chocolate instead of the icing, but I’m not a fan of the chocolate/orange combo so I can’t tell you if that would taste amazing or not. Other food combinations which I find displeasing are chocolate/whole peppercorns, oysters/bacon (this one is also sacrilegious, why would you make an oyster taste like bacon?) or ice-cream/olive oil. If I see you eating any of these I will assume that you are pregnant.
Orange Syrup Cake
Stanley Rogers Cake Tin recipe, royal icing by Nigella Lawson
250g butter, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
350ml sour cream
1 ¾ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
2 large egg whites
3 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon orange juice
additional teaspoon orange rind for decoration
Preheat oven to 160C. Lightly grease a round ring pan. Beat butter and caster sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined. Stir through vanilla, rind and sour cream.
Fold sifted flour, baking powder and soda through until mixture is just combined. Spoon batter into prepared cake tin. Bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Stand in cake tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto serving plate.
Bring syrup ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour syrup over cake slowly, allowing it to soak into the cake.
For the icing, combine the egg whites and icing sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the orange juice, this will thin out the icing a little. Spread onto cooled cake.