Living on the Central Coast means I am in the heart of New South Wales citrus country. In my yard we grow oranges, lemons and four kinds of lime. All the neighbouring properties have at least a few citrus trees too, and throughout winter the smell of citrus zest is in the air.
Being winter, I love a lush, decadent dessert every now and then. This is my caramel orange syrup cake – gooey, warm, delicious comfort food.
Orange Drippy Syrup Cake
Prep time: 15 mimutes Cooking time: 1 hour
2 cups caster sugar
Zest and flesh of 3 oranges
2 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup ground almonds (aka almond meal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cup caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
In a large saucepan heat sugar with ½ cup water. Stir until sugar dissolves, then leave to boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the pot. The sugar and water will turn a lovely caramel brown colour. At this stage add the butter and stir briskly with a metal spoon. Be prepared for the mixture to froth up.
Preheat the oven to 160*C.
Zest the oranges, then peel them, removing all the white pith. Cut each one in half from top to bottom then cut out the middle in a v-shape to remove the sinewy part of the segments. Cut into slices about 1cm thick.
Arrange the orange pieces to cover the bottom of a 22cm non-stick springform cake tin. Pour the caramel over.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, ground almonds and salt.
In a second bowl, beat butter and caster sugar together with an electric hand mixer, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add orange zest and mix.
Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mix, and stir well, followed by half the sour cream. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and sour cream. Gently pour the batter over the oranges in the tin and spread carefully until level.
Place cake in oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and a bamboo skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to rest in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn upside down onto a serving platter. Release the spring and gently open the tin so that the cake drops onto the platter.
Serve with double cream or good quality vanilla ice cream.