Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Orange & Lemon Cake

Originally Appeared In The Irish Times - Saturday, December 29, 2012

A zippy citrus cake full of winter sunshine to tempt the tastebuds, writes EUNICE POWER

As I put another Christmas behind me, next year's resolutions start to formulate in my mind - no more pudding and fruit cake for at least another 12 months as there is a huge possibility I will soon begin to resemble a pudding.

Nevertheless, the show must go on. Friends are due to call and I want to make something fresh and tangy to cleanse our weary tastebuds. I am a citrus fiend. For me, lemons and oranges are the sunshine on a cold winter's day. This marvellously zippy cake, with its tart-sweetness is just what the doctor ordered, the drizzle giving the cake a wonderful dampness, and the almonds a gritty texture - a welcome foil to the richness of Christmas fare. 
  • Grated zest of one lemon and one big orange
  • 75ml orange and lemon juice combined
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds ( I prefer to grind them myself by blitzing whole almonds in the food processor as you end up with a grittier texture)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • For the drizzle
  • 100ml of orange and lemon juice (if you have less juice from your one orange and one lemon, reduce the sugar accordingly)
  • 100g sugar
Preheat an oven to 170 degrees/gas 3. Zest the orange and lemon using a fine grater. Squeeze both the orange and lemon - the combined juices should give you about 175ml of juice. If there is a little more or less don't worry.

Butter and flour a 24cm tin. Next, beat the butter, zest and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and flour, ground almonds and baking powder and beat. Do this slowly at first so flour doesn't start to fly everywhere. Add the 75ml of juice and gently beat it in. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place in the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the tin, and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.

For the drizzle, combine the remaining orange and lemon juice in a saucepan with the sugar and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and then spoon this over the cake. Do this in stages allowing the syrup to soak in each time. Serve slices of this delicious buttery, tangy cake with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Food styling: Paula Ryan