This divine orange cake recipe is something that everyone has to try at least once. Even if you think you don't like orange cakes, try it. You won't be disappointed. I have written about Damien Pignolet's Serious Orange Cake once before, but did not have a good photo to go with it. This post will rectify that transgression, not that one needs an excuse to bake this cake. I must acknowledge S who, despite being incapacitated by the flu, would let nothing stand in between her and the Serious Orange Cake.
On the pretext of being too ill to go out, she sent us off to the supermarket to get a slice of cake to appease her penchant for cake that night. We were also to purchase the ingredients for the Serious Orange Cake, under the impression that she would bake it when she felt better, sometime in the next few days. When we got back, that little minx was in the kitchen with the other ingredients for the recipe already prepared - not that I have anything to complain about! If not for her cravings and her diabolical determination to satiate them, I would have gone without these ethereal cupcakes, and the opportunity to share better photos.
Before you even get to taste it, the delicious, heady, buttery, citrus-y aroma that will fill your kitchen will envelope you and tease you with the anticipation of what's to come. Imagine a light, fluffy, soft, warm orange flavoured cloud. That's what this cake is like, fresh from the oven. Each bite of this moist, delicate cake is preceded by a titillating waft as you hold it in front of your mouth. Then it crumbles and melts in your mouth, tasting subtle at first, but then surprising you with a burst of orange flavour. Di-vine. Like I said in the previous post, I don't know how, but it is light and rich at the same time.
Damien Pignolet's Serious Orange Cake recipe is the ace that you can keep in your baking repertoire for days when you need a sure-fire, satisfying, elegant cake that will wow anyone, or even just as a 'pick-me-up' for yourself.
PS: As you can see, we turned them into cupcakes rather than one whole cake, for easy access and consumption.
Damien Pignolet's Serious Orange Cake Recipe
1 orange, weighing around 150g, washed well and diced, pips removed
150g self-raising flour, sifted
a small pinch of salt
180g butter, melted and cooled a little
Orange Syrup Ingredients:
60ml orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1-2 tablespoons Cointreau
Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Grease and line a 24cm diameter springform cake tin with baking paper. Place the diced orange in the bowl of a food processor with the sugar and process until very smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add the flour and salt and combine for 30 seconds. With the machine running, add the butter all at once. Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes; test for doneness by inserting a bamboo skewer--it should emerge clean and dry.
While the cake is cooking, make the orange syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the orange and lemon juices and the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the Cointreau to taste and simmer for 1 minute more.
When the cake is ready, remove from the oven but leave in the tin to cool for 5-10 minutes. Use a bamboo skewer to pierce the cake all over, then slowly spoon the syrup over the cake and leave until completely cool before turning out.