Tomorrow our choir rehearsal is running all day, rather than the usual 2 hours 45 mins, and we are having a cake sale. I thought orange and cardamom cake might be nice (and it’s very quick and easy).
It’s my variation on a basic lemon drizzle cake – it would be nice with lemon and/or lime but I had oranges to use up.
cake ingredients: 100g softened butter, 175g golden caster sugar, 175g self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 eggs, 5 tablespoons buttermilk (or yoghurt thinned down a little with milk), finely grated rind of 1 large orange, teaspoon of ground cardamom seeds (they usually come in green pods, in which case you need to open the pods to get at the black seeds, and then discard the empty pods – but I have a supplier in Sweden who keeps me stocked up with bags of just the black seeds)
syrup ingredients: juice of the orange you grated for the cake, 100g golden caster sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cadamom seeds
Preheat oven to 180C (or a little lower if using a fan oven) and grease and line a large loaf tin.
Put all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and airy (I use a free-standing food mixer, but a hand held mixer or wooden spoon will work just as well, as long as the butter is very soft). Spoon in to lined cake case and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The sponge should be firm and bounce back when you press lightly on it and a skewer or cake tester should come out clean.
While the cake is baking, put the syrup ingredients in a small bowl and stir.
While still warm, make little holes in the cake with a skewer or cocktail stick and carefully spoon over the syrup. Leave to cool in the tin. Enjoy!
(I sometimes make this in a traybake tin instead of a loaf tin, which avoids the problem of the top of the cake rounding up and the syrup rolling off before it can sink in)
I also made double chocolate cookies and orange shortbread. These are to give away and I had packed up most of them before I remembered to take photos – so these are just the few left over for Mark and me and a couple of our older neighbours.
I love baking, but Mark and I have a tendency towards chubbiness, so I don’t want the temptation of cakes and cookies in the house, so I take pieces of cake to some of our older neighbours in the street. They don’t often bake these things for themselves and they are so much nicer warm from the oven than full of preservatives and weeks old from the supermarket. Last week our next door neighbour invited me for what she called old ladies afternoon tea. I was the youngest by at least 40 years (the oldest being 91 and still doing her own gardening!), but strangely I fitted right in. My mum always says I was born middle-aged, but I suspect I was actually born an old lady!