A few days ago I visited my friend Marianna at her house and ate this wonderful Orange Cake. Marianna told me that she had eaten this cake somewhere else and she asked for the recipe. They gave her the recipe but the recipe had three whole oranges, including the peels, olive oil, sugar, eggs, I didn’t ask what leavening agents were used nor the amount of ingredients but I remember that she mentioned 4 eggs and only 1 cup of flour. She made the cake but it didn’t come out successful. She had to make the cake again, adding a lot more flour and of course, it came out successful.
I never heard of using whole oranges in a cake before and liked this idea , so I told her that I would try and make a similar cake.
Yesterday I cooked a Sweet & Sour Pork recipe and I asked my husband to buy some oranges. As usual, my husband always brings more than I ask him to, so in the end I had three oranges leftover. The first thing that came to my mind was to make this cake.
As I have said many times, I always use what I have at hand and this time I used one of the margarines I had in the refrigerator for a couple of months, after our visit to Elais factory, although I had both white and brown crystal sugar I opted for the brown crystal cane sugar and I decided to incorporate the leftover strawberry pulp from the Strawberry Liqueur, as well.
After 55 minutes of baking I started checking the cake to see if it was dry inside but it was still wet. I tested it several times putting a knife in the centre and after 1 hour and 20 minutes I took it out of the oven because it was beginning to brown dangerously on the outside.
I must say that this was by far the best orange cake I have ever eaten. Although the cake turned out to be a very dense cake, it developed a crust outside while it was moist inside, with an amazing strong orange taste and flavour. The predominant flavour was of course that of orange but although you cannot sense the taste of strawberries, the fact that they were marinating in booze for 1 whole week and then in the syrup, it subtly added significantly to the taste of the cake. The seeds of the strawberries also added a crunch which was surprisingly very pleasant to eat. I can assure you that if you like the taste of oranges, one slice of this cake is not enough as it’s flavour is so addictive you will surely be asking for more!!
If you would like to make this cake but don’t want to make a liqueur to take the pulp, what I would do is use fresh strawberries, which you can marinate in brandy and sugar for a few hours, then puree them and strain.
You can use the leftover juice to make jelly if you like, but I would boil it until it reduces to the consistency of a syrup. You can use the syrup on desserts, ice cream, pancakes, crepes etc.
We don’t get cake flour in most of the supermarkets in Greece, so I make my own. What you need to do is for every cup of flour you use, take out two tablespoons of all purpose flour and add 2 tablespoons corn flour (starch).
In most of my recipes I have been using vanilla essence and more rarely vanilla beans but these are quite expensive, so as I am trying to cut down the cost on a lot of things, I have used vanillin, which is much cheaper.
I baked the cake in a silicone cake round form diametre 22 cm x 10 cm high (8 3/4″ x 4″ high) but a 26 – 28 cm (10 – 11″) spring form pan will also do the job.
Whole Orange & Strawberry Cake, recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Serves: 12 – 14
250 grams soft margarine (or butter if you like)
1 cup brown cane sugar
3 whole medium size Valencia oranges
1 cup strawberry pulp
3 cups cake flour
A pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 vanillin ampoules or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Icing sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 F. Grease and flour a 22 cm round cake bundt form or a 26 – 28 cm baking tin (skip this step if you are using a silicone form).
Sift the flour with the corn flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix in the vanillin and salt.
Cut the oranges in the middle and then again in the middle and remove any seeds, if any. Purée them in a food processor.
Beat the butter with sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add the orange puree and the strawberry pulp and mix.
Finally add the sifted dry ingredients.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove to a wire rack to cool and unmold.
Sprinkle some icing sugar on top.
My friend Marianna gave me a copy of her book “Η γλώσσα της Γεύσης” . This book, translated as The Language of Taste, is a culinary dictionary with is a must for all Greek chefs or foodies, but also for those studying the Greek language, as you will find any information you wish relating to food, through the history of food. Hope to see it in English soon.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!