Yes, I know it’s not the New Year, well not for around 6 weeks (where has this year gone?), but Mary does say that this could be made at another time of the year and I have every intention of finishing this challenge by the end of this month so I won’t be able to make it in the New Year
This cake uses ‘potato flour’ and I actually bought some potato flour nearly 12 months ago as I was going to make this last year, but after eating too much at Christmas, I really didn’t feel like another rich cake, so the page was turned and I went on to a different cake…
The oven was put on to preheat at Fan 160°C and my 23cm (9″) deep round cake tin was greased and the bottom lined with baking parchment.
Into a bowl I cracked 3 large eggs and added to this another 2 egg yolks (saving the whites for later), together with 275g caster sugar. This was mixed together with my electic whisk over a pan of hot water until it was thick and mousse like. The test to see if it is ready is it should leave a trail on top of the mousse when the whisk is lifted out. Once the mixture was at this stage it was put to one side.
In a separate bowl the 2 egg whites were whisked together until stiff but not dry. This was folded into the egg mixture, together with 65g sifted self-raising flour, 65g potato flour (if you haven’t any of this or are unable to find any – I got mine from the local Health Food shop – then you can use cornflour instead) and the grated rind of a lemon. The mixture was turned into the tin and put in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
I could smell the cake cooking after 30 minutes, so decided to have a quick look, it had well and truly risen and looked good so far. I’ll admit I was busy doing other things and I didn’t hear my timer beep when there were 10 minutes still left – I normally look at my cakes at this time to see if they are done or not, instead I only heard the final beeping of the timer to say that 50 minutes were up. The cake was enormous, but I think it was slighly overcooked as Mary says the cake should be well risen, golden and the surface should spring back when lightly pressed. My cake appeared a little ‘crispy’ on top, rather like a meringue!
Once removed from the oven it was left in the tin for 10 minutes before being turned out and the parchment removed from the bottom. This was a very delicate cake and I felt it could have collapsed at any time it was so light. The cake, to my dismay started dipping in the middle as it cooled. The top cracked and it must have dipped in total a good couple of centimetres.
Whilst the cake was cooling in a small pan I weighed out 50g granulated sugar and added to this 3 tbsp water. This was heated over a low heat until the sugar had completely dissolved. The syrup was then brought to the boil for two minutes before removing from the heat. Once cooled 150ml sweet white wine was added together with 1tbsp brandy.
Once the cake was cold, using a serrated knife a cut was to be made in the top of the cake about 2.5cm in from the edge and about 4cm deep. Seeing my cake had already dipped by 2cm whilst cooling, I only cut into it by 2cm. It was very difficult to cut the top out of this cake as it is very delicate and light. I eneded up taking the top off in four pieces, there was no other way to do it! Into the middle of the cake I drizzled about two-thirds of the sugar syrup.
It was time for the filling. Whilst the cake had been cooling I had very patiently peeled and cut segments out of three oranges (in total you need about 225g orange segments). I did have a smile when I was doing this as I very carefully removed all the pith and cut each segment out of its ‘case’ – I couldn’t imagine myself bothering to do this a year or so ago, but I thought it would make all the difference when we came to eat it! I also whipped up 450ml double cream and sliced another orange (which hadn’t been peeled) very thinly. Mary does suggest using ‘red berries’ in the cake if you make it in the summer months. I was tempted to do this as I had frozen earlier in the year some redcurrants and raspberries that I had picked from the allotment, but I was slightly concerned that the raspberries would be too ‘soft’ for this cake and that the colour would seep through.
Into the middle of the cake I spooned about half of the cream and on top of this placed the orange segments. The lid was then put on top and I was pleased to see that the lid was now level with the top of the remainder of the cake – so perhaps it should have dipped as it would have been about 2cm proud of the edges. The lid was then drizzled with the rest of the syrup.
The remaining cream was smoothed over the top and sides of the cake and the thinly cut orange was used to decorate the top. I was rather pleased with how this cake looked and it wasn’t long before we cut into it to sample it. It was such a light cake and although it had been soaked with quite a lot of alcohol it wasn’t over-powering.