Fresh Orange Peel Cake
( SERVES 10 )
This year I discovered that the tender, home-candied orange peel that was used in the tart filling also makes a delicious addition to a madeira cake. The raw skins will weigh approximately 150g, which will increase to 200g once they are candied. A little more or less doesn't matter. The juice and sugar topping enhances the citrus flavour, but may be omitted if you prefer.
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- To prepare the peel, wash the oranges, cut in half and squeeze the juice. Strain the juice into a jug and set aside to make the topping later.
- Use a spoon or knife to remove the juicy membranes from inside the orange halves, leaving the skin and pith intact. Discard the membranes and cut the skin and pith into chunks. Put into a small saucepan with the water. Simmer for about 25 minutes until the skins are very tender. Add the sugar to the saucepan and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the liquid has almost evaporated. Set aside until cool, then tip out onto a board and chop finely.
- To make the cake, lightly butter a loose-bottomed, 22cm round cake tin and line the bottom of the tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degC. Put the caster sugar and softened butter into a large mixing bowl and cream using an electric beater until light and fluffy. Beat in the room temperature eggs one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder and beat into the mixture together with the milk. Beat just until smooth. Lightly beat in the chopped peel.
- Scoop the mixture into the baking tin, smooth the top and push any pieces of peel under the surface, so that they won't harden during baking. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer poked into the middle of the cake comes away clean. Remove from the oven.
- In a small bowl, make the topping by combining the strained orange juice and the sugar. Spoon this mixture over the top of the cake while it is still hot.
- When the cake has cooled to lukewarm, lift the cake out of the baking tin and set on a rack until cold.