Saturday, 12 November 2011

Gluten Free Marmalade Cake

This marmalade cake is moist, light and gorgeous, with the added benefit of being gluten free. The chopped mixed peel and orange slice topping give it a festive look just right for winter, and it makes a delicious, easy and healthy alternative to a traditional heavy christmas cake. To make it even more celebratory you could double the base quantities and turn it into a layer cake, spreading a good thick splodge of marmalade or whipped double cream between the two sponges. The quality of marmalade will have a direct impact on the taste of this cake, so try to buy the best you can.

Adapted from the great recipe by Nigel Slater. See his recipe at the Guardian newspaper website here
Serves 8

for the cake base:
175g unsalted butter, room temperature
175g caster sugar
175g gluten free plain flour mix (Dove's Farm or M&S recommended)
1 large orange (for zest and juice)
3 eggs
75g good quality marmalade

1. Turn oven to 180C (160 fan), and grease and line an 18 or 20cm round cake tin.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

3. Finely grate the orange, putting the zest to one side for later.

4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring well between each addition.

5. Add the marmalade and grated orange zest, and beat again until well combined.

6. Next gently stir in the gluten free flour using a wooden spoon.

7. Finally add the juice of half the orange, mixing it gently into the batter.

8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. You'll know the cake's done when the top bounces back under your thumb and a skewer comes out clean.

9. When done, take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, before carefully placing it on a wire rack to cool further.

for the orange topping:
100g icing sugar, sieved
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 or 3 large handfuls of chopped mixed peel
2 large oranges, chopped into thin segments

10. When the cake is cool. you can add the topping. To make the orange icing glaze, combine the icing sugar and orange juice in a bowl and beat with a fork until the icing has a runny consistency. Spoon the icing over the cake, letting it fall down the sides.

11. Place the slices of orange around the outside edge of the top of the cake. Fill the middle of the top with chopped mixed peel, and then leave it to set for half an hour. Serve with just a cuppa if you're eating this for tea; or with a healthy drizzling of cream and the accompaniment of a good glass of wine as an after supper treat.

This cake was idly baked to the sounds of Marianne Faithfull's album 20th Century Blues

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