If baking is science then sponge cake proves I’m scientist……
Growing up, chocolate was my go to flavour for any cake. But being married to someone who likes any cake that’s not chocolate, I realised that its time I expanded my flavour horizon. So my culinary research to my husband’s heart landed on this recipe. Amma vouched that its a foolproof one and that my cousin Shalu Chechi makes it regularly. That meant that this recipe has a 5 Star rating from the family.
This recipe was first published in a very early edition of Vanita by Mrs Freeda Ipe who was a renowned chef of her time. But the process of making candied orange peel was shared by my cousin Shalini Tony, so partially the credit goes to her too. This cake is an easy-peasy citrusy sponge and the orange glaze just adds the extra bit of sweetness to the cake.
Unsalted Butter (at room temperature) – 115 gms/ 1 stick
Sugar (if too coarse, run it on the mixer) – 1 & 1/4 cup*
Flour – 2 cups *
Baking Powder – 3 Tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Milk – 1 Cup* (At Room Temperature)
Eggs – 3 nos (At Room Temperature)
Candied Orange Peel – 1.5 tsp – 3 tsp (method detailed below)
Orange flavoured sugar syrup (optional) – 2 tbsp (syrup from candied orange peel)
(* 1 cup = 250 ml)
Unsalted Butter – 5 tbsp
Icing Sugar – 2 cups*
Orange Juice – 2-4 Tbsp
Orange Zest – 1.5 tsp
Candied Orange Peel
Orange Peel – 8 nos (small easy-peelers)
Sugar – 8 tbsp
Water – 1 cup
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
Prepare the baking dish (6 inch. round ( 2nos) or one 9 inch round) by greasing it with any sort of shortening or butter. Dust it with plain flour.
In a deep mixing bowl, place all the wet and dry** ingredients for the cake and give it a stir with the spatula. (** The dry ingredients -flour,baking powder and salt is better to be sifted before adding to the cake mix)
Now use an electric beater at a slow speed and blend the cake batter for 30 seconds.
After this, use a spatula to combine the mixture from all sides. Now beat using an electric beater at the highest speed for 3 minutes.
The cake batter can be transferred into the baking dish. Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes or until it is done.
Once the cake is done, let it cool down over a wire rack. Take it out of the baking dish after 15 minutes and let it cool for a couple of hours before you pour the glacé.
For Orange Glaze
Melt the butter on a sauce pan and do not let it boil. Remove it from the flame
Add the sifted icing sugar and orange zest and blend it well.
Slowly add the orange juice, one spoon at a time till you get a pouring consistency.If you find the orange juice lacks the zing, add a little bit of lime juice !
This can be poured over the cake and for sandwiching between the layers.
The suggestion in the original recipe is to cut the cake into three layers and sandwich them using the glaze and pour the remaining over the top layer of the cake.
You could also make a simple glazing with just icing sugar and lemon juice .
The cake tastes good just as a plain sponge too!!
For Candied Orange Peel
Boil the orange in a sauce pan filled with water.
Once the peels are softened, take them out and place them on the work top. Discard the water used for boiling the peels.
Using a table knife , slowly scrape away the white part of the peel.
Boil a cup of water with 8 tbsps sugar in a saucepan to make sugar syrup. Once the syrup starts boiling, add the orange peel into it and let it coat well for about 5 minutes.
Take the candied orange peel using a strainer and spread it out on a parchment paper.
This can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for future purposes.
The orange sugar syrup can be stored in the same way as the orange peel and refrigerated. I have used it in the cake to avoid the eggy – smell as this cake doesn’t use any essence or extract. I have also used it to make orange flavoured coffee and hot chocolate!!