Saturday, 14 August 2010

Grandpa Urchin's Scene Stealing Tunisian Orange Cake

Ever since the great whole lamb in a pit extravaganza, I have repeatedly had demands for the recipe for the cake that my dear ol’ Dad brought along that day. And I do have to say that this irks me somewhat. After the extreme amount of effort I put in, digging a hole in the ground and setting fire to it and cooking a whole frigging lamb for 10 hours, by and large, a lot people seemed to be more interested in the frigging cake that was dished up afterwards. I love him to pieces but the old devil certainly knew what was doing that day, turning up with a twinkle in his eye. I would even go so far to say that he purposely made his legendary Tunisian Orange Cake just to steal some of my thunder. Seriously, I am sure he did. In fact I know he did (Freud would have a field day with this). However, it is a very lovely cake. Moist, tangy and quite simple to make. I had some more today at a family get together and this time he made not one but two (See? See what I mean!?) As always, it disappeared in seconds so I begrudgingly got the recipe of off him.

Here it is.

Tunisian Orange Cake

50g slightly stale white breadcrumbs

200g caster sugar

100g ground almonds

1 ½ tsp baking powder

200ml sunflower oil

4 eggs

Finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed orange

Finely grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon

For the citrus syrup

Juice of 1 unwaxed orange

Juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

75g caster sugar

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick


1. Line the base of a 20cm round and 5cm deep tine with greaseproof paper, then grease and flour the tin. Mix the breadcrumbs with the sugar, almonds and baking powder. Whisk the oil with the eggs, then pour into the dry ingredients and then mix well. Add the orange and lemon zest. Pour the mixture into the tin, place in a cold oven and turn on the heat to 180C.

2. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown. Check with a skewer by inserting it into the middle, if it comes out clean it’s done. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate.

3. Meanwhile, make the citrus syrup. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring gently to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves from the syrup.

4. While the cake is still warm, pierce it several times with a skewer, then spoon the hot syrup over the cake allowing it to run into the holes. Leave to cool. Spoon any excess syrup over the cake every now and then until it is all soaked up. Serve with cream or a dollop of Greek yoghurt if you fancy it.

Now if you’ll forgive me, I am going to sit in a darkened room and listen to ‘The End’ by The Doors.

Father? Yes Son? I want to kill you………

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