Recently, at my friend Ferret’s wedding I tried a delicious tray bake cake which was so scrumptious, I just had to find the recipe from its maker Cis Heaviside.

ferret wedding

But before we continue let me just big up my super chef fiance Chris Hale who is competing in this year’s MasterChef on BBC One at 8pm from Wednesday March 23.

Chris2 (2) masterchef

Tunisian Orange Cake recipe:

150g ground almonds
200g sugar (caster dissolves quicker but demerara has better flavour/colour)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
200ml sunflower oil (or other mild flavoured veg. oil)
4 eggs
Grated zest of (at least) 1 large unwaxed orange & 1 unwaxed lemon (can use more oranges or lemons or even limes)
Syrup
Juice of (at least) 1 large orange & 1 lemon (as above!)
75g sugar (as above)
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick (or tsp of ground cinnamon)

Method:

Start with a cold oven
Use a 20cm round, deep baking tin – grease/line etc
Mix sugar, ground almonds, baking powder
Whisk the oil with the eggs then mix into the dry ingredients. Add the orange/lemon zest
Put into the baking tin and put into the oven. Turn on the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4
Bake 45 mins – 1 hr
While cake is cooking, make syrup – put all ingredients into a saucepan and bring gently to a boil, making sure sugar has dissolved. Simmer 5 mins to reduce a little (might take longer if you have used more juice!) and remove cloves/cinnamon stick
When cake is cooked allow 5 mins to cool then turn out onto plate. Make a few holes in the top of the cake with a skewer (or fork) and our the syrup over. Keep spooning syrup over the top of the cake until it is all soaked up.
I usually then put the cake back into the oven for a few minutes, as the edges go all sticky and caramelised!
Variations:
Use limes instead of oranges, add some ground ginger and/or chopped ginger (the crystallised or ‘in syrup’ sort) to the mix. Use lime juice and more ginger + the ginger syrup from the jar to make the cake syrup. Could decorate this with a drizzle of dark choc….
Use tubs of pineapple pieces in natural juice. Chop the pineapple pieces and add to the cake mix. Substitute about 50g of the ground almonds with desiccated coconut. Could also add a little ground ginger. Make the syrup using the pineapple juice and some rum. Decorate with dark chocolate and pineapple pieces.

ferret2 candles

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