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Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

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It’s late September, mid Spring in Sydney. Blood oranges are still available at the markets but not for much longer. This cake does blood oranges two ways – candied on the top of the cake, (which started off as the bottom) and whole oranges, skin and all, blitzed through the batter.

The occasion for cake was as a house warming present for a work colleague who has recently moved house  – to my street – in fabulous Rozelle.

The basic cake recipe is the same as for my blood orange mini cakes:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/08/09/little-blood-orange-cakes-with-blood-orange-toffee/

Ingredients

2 + 2  blood oranges

200g  + 200g sugar

125g very soft butter

2 free range eggs

½ tsp vanilla essence

200g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Method

Candied Blood Oranges

Finely slice 2 of the oranges, discarding the ends and keeping as many slices intact as you can.

Dissolve 200g of the sugar in 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Carefully place the orange slices in the syrup and simmer them until they are soft and sticky. Remove from the syrup using tongs. If the syrup is not reduced enough, cook it for a few minutes extra to thicken – but don’t let it go to toffee.

Cake

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

Grease a 20cm springform cake tin. Line the base with baking paper, cut slightly larger than the circle base, making sure the paper comes a little way up the sides of the tin. This is  as a precaution, in case the syrup leaks out of the tin.

Chop 2 of the blood oranges in quarters and remove each end. Blitz in the food processor until reasonably finely chopped – there should still be some small chunks in the mixture.

Add the butter and 200g of the sugar and blitz in the food processor. The mixture will look very curdled! Add the eggs and vanilla and blitz again, the mixture will still look very curdled!

Gently fold in the flour and baking powder, making sure not to over mix or the cake with toughen. The cake mixture will now look “normal”.

Place the candied orange slices on the paper base in the springform tin, as artistically as possible, remembering, as this is an upside down cake, that the bottom becomes the top.

Place the batter over the top of the slices. Gently tap the mixture to even it out. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool the tin on a wire rack. When the cake is cool (not cold), carefully turn upside down on a serving plate. Release the springform clasp, and carefully remove the ring. Even more carefully, take off the base and peel away the baking paper.

You should have a beautiful upside down cake with fruit intact! Brush the cake with the blood orange syrup, or you could serve the syrup on the side as a sauce.

Serve with whipped cream or sour cream or creme fraiche. I prefer the latter two as the cake is very sweet and needs to be offset by a little sourness.

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Blood Orange Cake with Lemon Drizzle and Candied Orange

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This recipe is based on the now famous orange almond cake of Claudia Roden, from A Book of Middle Eastern Food (1968).

I have cooked this cake many, many times over the years and made several variations. This version uses blood oranges as I had some left over from jam making.

Ingredients

Cake
2 blood oranges
4 large free range eggs
1 cup sugar
200 gms ground almonds
1-2 tsps baking powder

Candied Orange
1 orange
6 tbs sugar

Lemon Drizzle
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Enough icing sugar to make a lemon drizzle

Method
Cook the oranges whole by boiling in a saucepan, with a lid, with enough water to cover, until the oranges are soft (somewhere between 1-1/2 hours).

Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Process in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs and sugar, process again. Add ground almonds and baking powder and pulse to mix. The mixture will be quite loose, if too liquid, you can add more ground almonds.

Grease a 22cm springform tin if you want a flatter cake, or a grease a 20cm tin for a slightly higher cake.

Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake in a slow oven (150 degrees C fan-forced, 170 degrees C non fan-forced) for about an hour or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. You can cover the top of the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly.

Remove from the oven to cool to room temperature.

Candied Orange
Make the candied orange in the following way:
Cut the orange into fine slices, removing the flesh and juice , leaving only the skin.
Place into a saucepan of water, and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and drain the rind. Do this twice more.
Finally make sugar syrup with the sugar and 1/2 cup of water. When the sugar is dissolved, place the orange rind into the syrup and cook for 10 minutes or until the syrup is reduced and thickened.
Remove the rind and place on baking paper on a baking sheet making sure the pieces do not touch.
Dry in very low oven for 1-2 hours until the pieces are no longer “wet”.
Store in an airtight jar in caster sugar if not using straight away.

Lemon Drizzle
Mix the lemon juice with enough icing sugar to create the desired lemon icing that will drizzle down the sides of the cake.

Serve the cake iced with the lemon drizzle and decorated with candied orange pieces.

For this cake, I didn’t have enough candied orange, so added some of my cumquats in sugar syrup from a previous post.

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Mandarin and Passionfruit Cake with Buttered Macadamias and Candied Orange

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I am always interested in cakes which incorporate fruit into the bake as this ensures a moist cake and one with good keeping qualities. I used Annabel Langbein’s Orange Lightning Cake as the basis for this recipe.

The inclusion of mandarins gives a sweet juiciness; the passionfruit pulp adds tang and gives the cake a lovely chartreuse colour.

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The topping is smashed macadamias toasted in a mixture of coconut sugar and demerara sugar and a little butter, and candied orange – from my store cupboard on this occasion – although the process is easy enough to do yourself if you have the time.

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Ingredients

2 mandarins (unpeeled)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125 gms softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
Pulp of 2 passionfruit

Topping
1 tbl coconut sugar
1 tbl demerara sugar + 1 tsp for scattering over cake
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
A knob of butter
3 candied orange slices

Method
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease a 20cm spring form tin and line the base with baking paper.
Cut the mandarins into quarters, remove the seeds and blitz in a food processor until finely chopped.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda soda in 1/2 cup water and add to the food processor with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Whizz to combine. Add the passionfruit pulp and pulse several times to just combine.
Pour into prepared tin and place in oven.
Topping
Heat sugars in a frying pan over a low heat until dissolved. Add macadamias which you have bashed with a mallet or rolling pin, and cook until coated with the sugar mixture. Add the butter and toss the nuts in the butter/sugar mixture for a minute.
After about 30 minutes, gently open the oven door and scatter toasted macadamias over the cake while the cake is still in the oven. Close oven door and bake for a further 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean ( about 45 minutes bake time in all). However be sure to check before the 15 minutes if you see  – or smell – that the cake is cooking quickly. Leave to cool in tin before removing to serving plate.
Finish the topping by scattering the cake with a little demerara sugar and candied orange slices.

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