Sunday, November 30, 2008

Orange and vanilla syrup cake

This was great. The basic cake is a Donna Hay pound cake, enriched with grated orange and tangerine rind, baked in a fancy ring tin and then poured over with vanilla orange syrup and sugared rind strips. Looks great at a simple afternoon tea, goes beautifully with Earl Grey tea.
Weigh the measures, don't use cup conversions.

Orange and vanilla syrup cake (serves 8-10)

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened

  • 250g caster sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 eggs

  • 250g plain flour, sifted

  • Quarter cup milk

  • 1 orange and 1 tangerine, rind grated

  • 2 extra oranges

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • Extra caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160C. Place butter, sugar and vanilla in electric mixer and beat till light and creamy (10-12 minutes.)Add rind and mix. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add flour, beat well. Fold milk through. Lightly grease a 20cm tin (if using a ring tin, make sure you measure 10cm on the hollow section, not including the centre hole) and if you can, line the base and sides with baking paper. I didn't line my sides because of the fluted edges: it still came out though. Just grease it real good. Spoon in the mix. Bake for 45-50 mins or until skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, make the syrup: squeeze the juice from the grated-rind fruit and measure. Add water to make one and a half cups fluid. Put in small saucepan with about a cup of caster sugar. Split and scrape the vanilla bean: throw the bean and the scrapings in the saucepan. Use the 2 extra oranges to very carefully make thin slices of rind- add them in too. Bring to the boil and then simmer for half an hour or so (keep your eye on it) or until rind is translucent and beautiful, and syrup is lovely and reduced. Let cool to lukewarm, then drizzle over cool cake. Arrange rind decoratively on top.

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