Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea Bakes ~ Orange & Cranberry Madeira Cake

Today's cake is a really lovely alternative to the classic Madeira cake, and is really quick and easy to whip up if you are having friends around for a cuppa and a good natter!
I have used a blender with this recipe as I've found it just makes the liquid part of the mixture so airy and fluffy and this makes the sponge lighter in texture, you could still blend by hand though if you wanted to.
The rest of the recipe was done by hand.
~ Orange & Cranberry Madeira Cake ~
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Prepare a 23cm round cake tin ~ grease well with butter, you can also line the tin if it isn't non stick or your non stick isn't that good.
Measure out the following ingredients ~
300g Self Raising Flour
150g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
200ml Sunflower Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
200ml freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 2 oranges, grated
3 Eggs
50g Dried Cranberries
~ Orange Icing ~
Juice of 1 orange
200g Icing Sugar
~ Candied Orange Zest ~
Zest of 1 orange
75g Sugar
75ml Water
~ Method ~
Sift the flour and the baking powder into a bowl and put to one side.
Put the sugar,oil,vanilla extract, orange juice, orange zest and the eggs into your blender, blend on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until everything is well combined, keep any eye on the mix as you don't want to over mix it.
Add the Cranberries to the blender and blend again for a few seconds.
Pour the blended mixture over the flour and fold in with a large metal spoon until all the flour has been combined.

Pour the mixture into the baking tin and spread it out evenly.
Bake in the centre of your oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Mine took the full 45 minutes to cook.
Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling  prepare your icing and candied orange peel.
Candied Orange peel is really easy to make and looks really fab as a finishing touch to the top of cakes.
Using a 'zester' peel long thin strips of zest from your orange.
Put the sugar and the water into a pan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar, increase the heat until the water is simmering, continue to simmer for 2-3minutes, the mixture will become a light syrup.
Add the orange zest and simmer again for 2-3 minutes.
Then remove the zest and put onto greaseproof paper to cool.
Next sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add a small amount of the orange juice and mix, keep mixing until all the icing sugar is combined.
Your icing should take on a slightly orange hue.
Keep adding more orange juice until you get to the consistency you want for your icing.
If it's too runny add more icing sugar if it's too firm add more orange juice.

Ice the top of the cake with the orange icing and decorate with the candied orange peel as desired.
This cake is lovely and moist and will keep for a couple of days in a air tight tin.
Although this isn't strictly speaking a Easter Cake I think it would be a good one to bake for the Easter weekend, it's fresh zesty taste and orange icing all remind me of the freshness of Spring.
You could always decorate the icing top with icing flowers or little chicks to make it more Easter appropriate.
Till next week my lovelies!
Jenny xx
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