Make this sparkling ruby jewel of a cake while blood oranges are in season. I really like the tangy flavour of the skin and pith which is why I've suggested you slice them skin-on (make sure you've scrubbed the skin well before using).
If you can't find blood oranges, use tangelos or regular oranges instead. Fabulous served warm with clotted cream or vanilla yoghurt.
The tartness in blood oranges decreases toward the middle and end of the season allowing raspberry notes to shine through, according toLen Mancini, director of Redbelly Citrus. "This is the ideal time for making blood orange desserts, jams, preserves and jellies."
- Prep Time : 20 - 25 minutes
- Cook Time : 45 -50 minutes
- Yield : 8 - 10
- The blood oranges
- blood oranges - 4, scrubbed and sliced thinly
- sugar - 1 1/2 cups
- water - 1 1/2 cups
- The Cake:
- softened unsalted butter - 250g (2 cups), sifted
- sugar - 1 cup
- 1 blood orange - zest only
- vanilla - 1 teaspoon
- free range or organic egg - 3
- plain flour - 3 cups, sifted
- bi-carbonate of soda - 2 teaspoons
- pinch salt
- buttermilk - 2 cups
Preheat oven to 180degC. Line a 25cm diameter cake tin with baking paper and grease sides with butter.
Prepare the blood oranges: place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Lower heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add the sliced blood oranges and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until skin is soft and semi-translucent. Remove pan from heat. Using tongs, line the base of the tin in decorative fashion with the blood orange slices, starting from the outside and working in. Use remaining slices to line the sides of the tin.
For the Cake: Cream the butter and sugar until light, add the orange zest and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time. Sift in half the dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix well, then add remaining dry ingredients. Beat well after each addition.
Spoon mixture into the prepared tin and bake 45 - 50 minutes or until cake is pulling away from the sides and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave in tin 10-15 minutes before carefully turning out onto a platter.
For the glaze: return pan with blood orange syrup to heat. Bring to the boil and reduce until thickened. Remove from heat and brush syrup over top of cake while still warm.
Tip: add 1 -2 tablespoons Aperol or Campari to the glaze for an extra flavour hit.