Apologies. My last post was last July. That is pretty bad.
My excuse is that we got married. Then there was Christmas. Then January is just filled with weekends away. Getting married was the biggie. Here is a photo to prove I’m not fibbing (ok here have three because you’ve got to see the flowers AND the cakes as well!!)
Haha no I didn’t make my own cakes. Our family friend Sue (responsible for my ever trusty chocolate and lemon raspberry cake recipes) made them and flip were they delicious or what.
Anyway enough of these excuses, here I am trying to distract you from my neglect when really I should be telling you about a delicious cake I made.
So I found myself home alone on Saturday morning and having done all of our much needed house and garden work I decided to count up all of my jars of jam. Oh yeah thats another thing that I have been doing instead of writing here. Jam making. Lots of it. If anyone has ever read Margaret Mahy’s Jam then you can kind of imagine what our house looks like. There are secret depositories of preserved delight hidden all over the show, including in an old shoe box under the sofa!
So when I saw the marmalade stash I remembered you can make marmalade cake. After having a cheeky google and finding a nice looking Nigel Slater recipe I clicked onto the fact that I actually had the Nigel Slater book in question. Like I actually possessed the hard copy of this recipe. So I did something radical. I hunted out the book, found the recipe, put my devices away and proceeded to read his words about this delightful cake and bake away the morning in absolute tranquility. It was incredibly zen.
For the hour it baked away it filled the house with the sweet smell of marmalade and butter. I basked in the warming notion that I was finally baking this cake not for any imminent purpose but because I just fancied it. There was something incredibly indulgent about whipping together the butter and sugar knowing that this cake was just going to be devoured by Dylan and I. We had no company due, it was a warm cake just for us. If that isn’t the definition of bliss then I don’t know what is. It has been too long since I did this kind of restorative making.
I had every intention of taking styled photos but the icing didn’t dribble the way I had hoped. At the end of the day this is just a round cake with some glaze on the top. Not exceptionally attractive. Here is a photo instead that steals a moment of us sitting at our kitchen table enjoying every mouthful. I think that says more about this cake than some staged photo with stone washed linen tea towels and brooding light don’t you think?
We decided this would be a good morning tea cake. Not too sweet or too heavy plus it slices nicely. Marmalade might be polarising but even as someone who isn’t that into the bitter fruit jam this cake was magical.
The recipe here is adapted from the loaf cake the Nigel Slater features in his Kitchen Diaries book. If you are into reading cookbooks then I highly recommend this one to you. It is a joy and ever so soothing to read.
Sweet Marmalade Cake
Adapted from the recipe by Nigel Slater
Makes one rather tall 15cm cake (could make a far shorter cake using a 20cm tin and reducing the time significantly). I recommend using a 15cm tin that is at least 7cm deep.
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
150g icing sugar
2 tablespoons marmalade
Orange juice or lemon juice to thin
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line and grease a tall 15cm round cake tin (mine was 6cm deep and it was a very close call!). Grease right up to the very edges so the cake travels up rather than sticking to the tin and spilling over.
Cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest until light as air. Add in the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until lighter still. Add in the marmalade next, don’t be shy. Carefully mix in the flour and baking powder. Stop mixing just as it the last spot of flour has disappeared. Mix in the orange juice until just combined.
Pour into the lined tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Check on the cake after 40 minutes, you may need to cover the top with tinfoil to prevent excessive browning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Whisk together the icing sugar and the marmalade, add as much citrus juice as you wish until you reach the desired consistency. Pour over the cooled cake and let it drip over the sides.
Enjoy a fresh slice of cake for your morning tea x