• Prep time: 15 minutes
• Cooking time: 1 hour
Oranges are in season and, living in a citrus orchard area, there are orange and lemon trees all around us. This caramel orange syrup cake is seriously big – please use the 26cm tin or, if you don’t have one, make two smaller cakes.
• 3 cups caster sugar
• 90g butter
• 6 large or 8 small oranges
• 2 cups self raising flour
• 1/3 cup ground almonds (aka almond meal)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 ¾ cup caster sugar
• 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 4 large eggs
• 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup sour cream
1. In a large saucepan heat sugar with 1 cup water. Stir until sugar dissolves, then leave to boil for about 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the pot. The sugar and water will turn a lovely caramel brown colour. At this stage add the butter and stir briskly with a metal spoon. Be prepared for the mixture to froth up. Remove from the heat and stir until most of the froth has died down.
2. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
3. Zest three of the oranges, then peel all eight of them, removing the white pith. Cut each one in half from top to bottom then cut out the middle in a v-shape to remove the sinewy part of the segments. Cut into slices about ½ m thick.
4. Place an ungreased, unlined 26cm springform cake tin onto a baking tray to catch any leakage during cooking. Arrange the orange pieces to cover the bottom of the tin. Reserve any leftover orange pieces. Pour about 2/3 of the caramel over the oranges. Place the reserved orange pieces into the pot with the remaining caramel and place back on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, strain, and reserve the orange caramel syrup.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, almond meal and salt.
6. In a second bowl, beat butter and caster sugar together with an electric hand mixer, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add orange zest and mix.
7. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mix, and stir well, followed by half the sour cream. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and sour cream. Gently pour the batter over the oranges in the tin and spread carefully until level.
8. Place cake in oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until golden brown and springy on top, and a bamboo skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
9. Allow the cake to rest in the tin for 10 minutes. Run the blade of a knife around the inside edge of the tin, then turn upside down onto a serving platter. Release the spring and gently open the tin so that the cake drops onto the platter. Gently remove the base of the tin from the top of the cake. If any orange segments are dislodged they can simply be rearranged. Drizzle some of the syrup over the cake while it is warm, and keep the rest for serving.
10. Serve with double cream or good quality vanilla ice cream.