Food: Marmalade-y Seville Orange Cake
Poor Seville orange, forever doomed to the marmalade pot. Not such a bad fate really, because I love marmalade. And during the brief season that these bitter oranges appear, I make enough marmalade to last the year and give away to friends.
But this week, as I stared at the bowl of pretty orange fruit, I thought surely there must be more to this fruit than marmalade. I should experiment and see if the Seville really is a one trick pony. Naturally, the experiment should involve cake and I chose a Moorish inspired one.
I usually make this syrupy citrus cake with a mix of sweet oranges and lemons, so I thought I’d give it a try with the Seville. It is SUPER easy and extra delicious served warm with some thick Greek yoghurt on the side drizzled with a little extra syrup.
The end result? While utterly delicious with an irresistible sweet bitter kick, it turned out really marmalade-y. Full of pieces of zest and the thick orangey syrup, it could easily be called a marmalade cake.
Oh well, I tried, but it’s as if those Seville oranges insist that, one way or another, they WILL be turned into marmalade. And they seem quite happy about it.
Seville Orange Cake
If you hurry, you should still find Seville oranges around, but if not you can substitute your favourite citrus – oranges, limes, lemons or a combination.
For the cake
100g of ground almonds *
150g of caster sugar
45g of white sourdough breadcrumbs
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
200ml of sunflower oil
Finely grated zest of 2 Seville oranges
For the syrup
85g of caster sugar
Juice of two Seville oranges
3 crushed cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
Pre-heat oven to 190C. In a large bowl, whisk together the breadcrumbs, caster sugar, ground almonds and baking powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and orange zest.
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and gently fold until combined. It will be quite runny. Pour into a greased 20cm spring form cake tin.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer placed into the centre comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin, then remove and transfer to a serving plate big enough to allow for some syrup to collect around the cake.
While the cake is cooling make the syrup.
Put the caster sugar, juice, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick into a small fry pan over medium/high heat. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Strain the syrup into a jug.
Using a skewer **, pierce little holes all over the top of the cake. Then pour the syrup all over the top of the cake and serve.
* Instead of buying ground almonds, I like to toast whole almonds in the oven for 15 minutes or so then grind them in food processor. I don’t mind the flecked appearance of the skin, and the toasty flavour of the almonds makes for a really delicious cake.
** Tip – If you can’t find a skewer use a strand of uncooked spaghetti!