how to bake: orange, cardamon and sour cream cake

photo-72

This is my husband’s favourite cake.

And no wonder really- it’s intensely orange, moist and delightfully soft. The cardamom adds a touch of the exotics.

This recipe comes from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s wonderful book, Moorish- Flavours from Mecca to Marrakech. It’s also a great way to use the oranges I bought the other day to roll over the threshold to bring in prosperity for Chinese New Year.

What you need:

  • 130g soft unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, free range from happy clucking chooks, of course
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon seeds, finely ground and sieved. You can use pre-ground in need I guess…
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200ml sour cream

For the syrup:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 6 cardamon pods, cracked
  • 1 cinnamon stick

What you do with it:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C
  • Cream the butter and sugar
  • Add the vanilla and zests and mix in
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom together
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour alternately with the sour cream
  • Slap it into a tin (23cm springform cake tin) that you’ve had the forethought to grease and line in the usual way.
  • Bake for 50-60 mins- until a skewer comes out clean
  • Use the cake cooking time to prepare the syrup, ie bung the ingredients together into a saucepan and simmer gently for a few minutes. Strain.
  • When the cake is done, pierce it all over with the skewer and pour over the syrup evenly.
  • Leave it to cool completely in the tin.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.