The time between January and March is a strange time in my opinion. Christmas is over, it’s often grey and dull outside but minus some spirit-uplifting christmas lights, days are short – it’s dark when you leave the house in the morning, it’s dark when you get home. It’s not a time of big things happening – also foodwise – and people are waiting longingly for spring. For warmer days, for nature to come alive, for fresh food. Until then one possibility to keep grumpy moods away are citrus fruits! With a fruity & cheeky attitude and full of vitamines they jazz up a lot of recipes…Cakes, desserts, salads – there are no limits. So for the last cold winter weeks, grab the last oranges available and bake a cake. For example this one.
For one cake you need:
- 300 g flour
- 150 g soft wheat semolina
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- 1 1/2 packets baking powder (about 5 tsp)
- 220 g sugar
- 100 g walnuts
- 1-2 tsp orange peel
- juice of one orange (or lemon)
- 175 ml oil (sunflower)
- 400 ml sparkling water
- about 120 g grated carrots
For decoration you need:
- 1 orange (untreated)
- about 150 g sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 150 – 200 g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Chop the walnuts and roast in a frying pan for a few minutes. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, semolina, starch, baking powder, sugar, walnuts, orange peel) in a large bowl. Measure the liquid ingredients (orange juice, oil, water) and pour over the dry ingredients. Add the grated carrots and stir until combined. You might want to add a little more flour or water depending on the consistency of the batter. It should come off a spoon slowly.
Fill the batter into a greased baking tin (the shape doesn’t matter) or distribute into muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes when doing the muffin version and for 40-50 minutes when doing the cake and let cool properly before starting to decorate.
For preparing the candied orange slices mix sugar and about the same amount of water in a heavy sauce pan. Bring to the boil over medium heat and let bubble for a few minutes. Cut the orange into slices about half a centimeter thick and carefully place in pan with the sugar syrup. Reduce the heat – it’s important the orange slices aren’t damaged – and boil for about 15 minutes. Turn the slieces from time to time. The orange slices should be coated with a shiny gloss and the sirup should be coloured slightly orange. Take the slices out, let some of the sugar syrup drip off and let cool.
Use the left over syrup for drinks or as sweetener. It keeps really well and tastes super yum.
Now it’s time to assemble the cake. For the icing mix lemon juice and icing sugar. Use more sugar to create a thicker icing if needed. Spread the icing evenly on top of the cake and put as many citrus slices on top as you like. And then enjoy this moist cake with its refreshing citrus taste.