50g Stale white breadcrumbs (make some from old bread)
200g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
200ml vegetable oil
Finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
For the syrup
Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
4 cloves, 2 cinammon sticks (about 2 inches each)
- Line and grease an 8 inch springform cake tin. This is important as this cake is very sticky after baking
- Mix all the dry ingredients
- Whisk the Oil and the eggs together, then add to the dry ingredients
- Mix all together, and add the citrus zest.
- Pour the mix into the tin and place in the cold oven.
- Turn on the oven to 180 degrees and bake for 45-60 mins until golden and firm to the touch
- Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool. Pay attention to the sides not sticking when you unlock the springform
- Make the citrus syrup by putting all the ingredients into a small pan, heat and stir to dissolve the sugar then simmer about 5 mins to thicken slightly.
- Allow cake and syrup to cool. Place the cake on a plat, and pierce it all over with a thin skewer
- Pour the syrup all over the cake and allow it to soak in. Baste it with any that appears on the plate.
- Leave to stand ideally overnight to allow the flavours to develop
- Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.
So this is a cake which is really a pudding, and which has a long history with me. I first came across a tunisian orange cake at the Old Bakery, a coffee shop cum restaurant in Kingsbridge, Devon. I had a slice with a cup of coffee on one of the many fabulous visits we have had down to the South Hams with the Old Friends. As soon as I tasted its most, almost sticky yet fragrantly acidic and not too sweet flavour, I was smitten. I asked for the recipe to no avail, but it stuck in my memory and I sought it out when I got home.
Since that time (some years ago now) it has become a periodic staple. It is great for afternoon tea, but I usually serve it when friends have come for dinner. Its flavour and texture wows and it benefits from being made the day before, so it is a breeze - no last minute hassles. I usually serve it with a dollop of creme fraiche to cut through any excess sweetness. It is delicious.
It is so accomodating we used it as the pudding at the first pop up we did, and it was well received there too. Our friends in the Big House have started to use it as an alternative to christmas cake/christmas pudding because the spice scented syrup does have those overtones (cinammon and clove) of all things christmassy. So an all round star, and made from things you probably have in the house/store cupboard. In fact that is the reason I made it yesterday - I wanted to make a pud but didn't have much in. But I did have a stale baguette, which I used to make the breadcrumbs - so delicious and made of store cupboard stuff mainly. Ideal. The citrus syrup that is poured over the cake adds a depth of flavour and moistness which adds to the overall luxuriousness of the mouth feel! Try it, you won't regret it.