This cake is based on Annabel Langbein’s Orange Lightning Cake from her recent book Simple Pleasures. It’s an easy cake where most of the ingredients are combined at the same time.
The original recipe calls for an uncooked whole orange. I substituted candied cumquats and lemon for the orange, as I had a jar of cumquats from winter bottling in the store cupboard which I though would be quite piquant. The cumquats were cooked. I added half a lemon (uncooked) as I thought the cake might be a little sweet. I cut down on the sugar in the recipe for the same reason.
I used a fluted tin for presentation.
1 orange (unpeeled)*
1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda
125 gms softened butter
1 cup sugar#
1 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup sultanas or raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin or fancy tin and line the base with baking paper.
Cut the orange or other fruit into segments, remove the seeds and whizz in a food processor until finely chopped.
Dissolve bi-carbonate of soda in 1/2 cup water and add to the food processor with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Whizz to combine. Add sultanas or raisins, and walnuts if using, and stir with a spoon or pulse several times to just combine.
Pour into prepared cake tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean 50-60 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a cake rack. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar, or fresh berries, or lemon or orange water icing.
* I substituted 1/4 cup candied cumquats and half a lemon.
# If using cumquats use 3/4 cup sugar.