Persian Orange Cake
This was the cake I chose to make for Gather Harvest Feast Flower Pot-Luck. I'd never tackled it before but I loved the combination of spices, fruits and edible flowers. It seemed perfect as a bake for a feast so I decided to give it a go. It's quite a lengthy bake as you have to boil the oranges several times before you can even start preparing the cake mix. So you need to allow plenty of time to get it done.
It's always a little nerve wracking when you make something you've never done before and then serve it to a group of people. It could easily have been a huge disaster but I think it went down pretty well. Although I will say it's more of a 'pudding' than a cake as it's so moist, almost trifle like, and it definitely needs to be served with a spoon or a fork. Thankfully Jane had brought plenty of those and we were able to eat it, otherwise it would have been a bit ol' pile of slop on a plate! There were lots of requests for the recipe, so I think it proved to be a bit of a winner regardless! It's adapted from here and they have also used figs as a decoration for the top. With figs not being in season here, I couldn't get hold of any and although they make that cake look beautiful, they really aren't necessary for the flavour.
Ingredients for the cake mix:
4 free-range medium eggs
315g caster sugar
300g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
Ingrdients for the syrup:
zest and juice from one orange
100g caster sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water
Ingredients for the icing:
225g cream cheese
115g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.
In a large saucepan, cover the two oranges in cold water and bring to the boil. Keep them boiling for fifteen minutes, then drain and repeat this process twice (so the oranges boil three times). Drain then chop roughly before putting into a food processor and mixing till smooth. Make sure you get out any pips or large bits of pith before you stick in the processor. Set to one side.
With an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and the sugar until thick and pale, then fold in the ground almonds, spices, baking powder and the blended oranges.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour until it's golden on the top and a skewer comes out clean.
For the syrup - place the orange juice, water and sugar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat and simmer for about five minutes until the mixture thickens. Then stir through the orange zest and the orange blossom water.
Once the cake comes out of the oven, drizzle over the syrup and allow to cool completely before icing.
For the icing - Using an electric mixer, add the cream cheese, softened butter and vanilla extract and cream until pale, gradually add the icing sugar and the mixture is smooth.
Ice cake, decorate with orange segments, pistachios and edible rose petals.