This recipe is based on one that I came across in the Peyton & Byrne – British Baking book that I recently acquired. As with many recipes that I uncover within the pages of my embarrassingly large cookery book collection, I have tweaked this one slightly. I have used blood oranges because they are what I had to hand, but I admit that I also found the slight pink hue that the blood orange juice gave to the finished cake was particularly appealing and very pretty looking.
Blood oranges just look so beautiful when cut in half horizontally to reveal their exotic interior. In the aforementioned book, Oliver Peyton comments that British baking is often accused of being predominately brown coloured. There is probably a certain truth in this and it is one of the reasons why I readily embrace all opportunities to introduce fresh and zingy colours and flavours to the foods I prepare. Rather than blood oranges you could of course use standard sweet oranges.
I used a coarse cut marmalade because I love the taste and texture of it, but you could use fine cut or one with no peel at all. Even if you are not normally a fan of coarse cut varieties, I urge you try one here because it really does add that little something extra.
130g caster sugar
70g light brown muscovado sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 blood oranges
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
75g Seville orange marmalade
2 tblsp blood orange juice
Pinch of salt
175g self-raising flour, sieved
150g icing sugar
4-6 tblsp blood orange juice
Method:1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 900g loaf tin with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
2. Using a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and orange together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition. Add the marmalade, orange juice and salt and mix together well to fully incorporate.
3. Add the sieved flour and fold in to the egg mixture thoroughly to create the cake batter. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a metal spoon.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Do not check on the cake until at least 30-35 minutes of baking time have elapsed as the cake is liable to sink in the middle due to the inclusion of the marmalade.
5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove to finish cooling on a wire rack. Once cooled, the cake can be iced.
6. Mix the icing sugar and orange juice together in a small bowl and then pour evenly over the top of the cooled cake, letting it drip naturally down the sides of the cake.
Cuts into 8-10 generous slices.