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  • Writer's pictureAmy Minichiello

Whole Orange & Ginger Cake

I attempted to put a rather large bounty of limes to good use after my sister-in-law had forwarded a video to me on how-to-not-let-the-last-of-the-seasons-citrus-go-to-waste. It sparked an idea. Sadly, my grand plan of boiling these little green spheres failed miserably when I was left with a whole lime and ginger cake that not even Ben could stomach! And that is saying something.

Beau and Vivvy made no sign of hesitation as they devoured every inch of the sweet creme fraiche frosting but I knew something was amiss when Beau screwed his face up and Vivvy proceeded to let the half-chewed contents speedily escape her mouth.

With the tropical flavours of lime, coconut and ginger combined I was sure I was onto a winner. The crumb was light yet moist, but that first moutful was overpowered with an intense bitterness that made the whole cake inedible. I am sorry to say that its final destination was the bottom-most section of the bin.

A few days later, 2 large orange orbs bobbed up, down and around in a bubbling "spa" treatment on the stovetop. I was determined to make this cake shine in all of its zingy freshness.

This time around I had the addition of the "helping" hands of two small humans. Needless to say that things got a little bumpy... I had not even turned my back for a second when I heard it. The sound of Beau losing his footing, the bowl turned onto its side, Beau's arm submerged in cake batter, cake batter then sliding down the face of the cupboard pooling onto the floor. Thankfully I managed to rescue most of it and I couldn't get it into the oven fast enough!

It was under the canvas of a cornflower blue sky, amongst the kaleidoscope of colour at the Tulip festival that this whole orange and ginger cake descended onto the tastebuds of the testers. I held my breath. I need not have been so worried. Everyone loved it. I loved it. Beau had two pieces. And this time it stayed firmly behind the walls of Vivvy's mouth and the bin didnt see a crumb!


Whole orange & ginger cake

Makes a 23cm cake

2 large oranges (about 350g)

300g caster sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

300ml light olive oil

150g self-raising flour

50g shredded coconut

150g almond meal

1 tbsp ground ginger

20g fresh ginger, finely grated

Creme fraiche frosting

70g creme fraiche

150g icing sugar, sifted

juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon

sliced crystalised ginger (optional)

Bring a pot of water that is big enough to fit two oranges to the boil. Slip the oranges in and allow them to bob around for at least an hour to an hour and a half. You want them to be soft enough that you can insert a knife into them easily. Drain and allow to cool. Trim the knobbly ends off and cut them into quarters, discarding any pips. Place the whole lot into a food processor or blender and blitz until they turn into a smooth pulp. You can always do this the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight.

Preheat your oven to 170c fan-forced and grease and line a 23cm springform tin then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. This should take at least 5 minutes. Turn the mixer down and slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin and steady stream, followed by the orange pulp. Beat together until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut, almond meal, ground ginger and fresh ginger until combined. Then fold this through the batter.

Spoon into your prepared cake tin and smooth the top evenly. Pop into the oven for about 65 - 70 minutes, or until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If you find that your cake is browning just a little bit too much at the 60 minute mark, simply pop a sheet of foil over the top and return to the oven to continue to bake.

When your cake is ready, allow to sit in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

While you are waitng for the cake to cool you can make the icing. Simply whisk the icing sugar, creme fraiche and lemon juice in a bowl until the desired consistency is reached. I would start off with the juice of 1/2 a lemon first and then see how you go from there.

Using a spoon, dollop the icing on top and then spread out towards the edge. Sprinkle over some thinly sliced crystalised ginger if you so desire. This cake will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge (once iced) for 5-6 days, if it lasts that long.


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