My friend Satya gave me her version of an orange cake when I went for tea at her house. The cake was rich and slightly bitter, but also sweet with the tang of orange that lasted well after you had finished the final bite. This is my version of her beautiful cake and I hope that I can do it justice. I’ve used Clementines but you could replace them with two large oranges instead, boiling them for a little longer. It is best to serve this spongy cake while it is warm.
Put the butter and sugar together in a large bowl and beat them well with the hand-held electric whisk until light and fluffy. Then add the honey and beat for another minute or so. Add two of the eggs and half of the ground almonds and beat until well combined and then add the other egg with the rest of the almonds along with the Clementine puree, cinnamon and baking powder. Beat again until evenly combined. You can of course use a stand mixer to do this.
Tip the mixture into the lined tin and cover it loosely with foil. Pop the tin into the oven to
About 15 minutes before the cake is ready, make the orange syrup. Put the orange zest and juice in a small pan with the soft light brown sugar and place over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and boil it for about 5 minutes, or until the orange syrup has thickened and reduced slightly. Set aside until needed.
Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and carefully take it out of the tin. Transfer to a cake stand or serving plate, and while it is still hot, brush the syrup all over the top and sides. I am generous with the syrup so that the cake is sticky, well soaked and full of flavour. Scatter the pomegranate seeds and flaked almonds over the cake and dust with icing sugar, if using. Transfer any leftover syrup to a little jug and serve with the cake.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.