whole blood orange rosemary olive oil cake

I'm working on a little something for next year's Passover week which uses whole oranges in the cake. When I saw Hetty Mckinnon's recipe for an orange and rosemary olive oil cake I wondered if I could make the cake using that technique. 

I've been waiting for blood oranges to come into season and when they appeared in the fruit shop a week ago I bought 4 and set to work. I've discovered you can cook the oranges in the microwave in just a few minutes rather than boiling them for an hour. Once the puree is made it keeps well in the freezer.

I tweaked the recipe a little to fit into my new purchase, a small copper bundt tin from Williams Sonoma. Isn't it a beauty?

I also added an extra egg because my cake batter needed it. I guess orange puree is less juicy than orange juice. Hetty's cake is topped with a dusting of icing sugar but I just love the look of blood orange icing so I made some. Rosemary flowers are in bloom so I finished the cake with a few of the mauve flowers.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a small bundt cake. If you'd like to make a large bundt cake, just double all the ingredients and bake for the same length of time. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Whole Blood Orange Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake inspired by Hetty Mckinnon
1 large blood orange or 2 small blood oranges
1 cup self-raising flour 
pinch salt
2 large eggs, beaten 
½ cup caster sugar 
2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil or a neutral tasting oil
½ cup Greek yoghurt

Prick the oranges in a few places. Place into a microwave safe bowl with a tablespoon water. Lightly cover and microwave on high for 4-6 minutes. Every orange is different so start checking at 4 minutes. When the oranges are soft allow to cool and when cool, cut into quarters removing any seeds. Chop roughly then blitz the oranges and any juices in a food processor until pureed. You could also boil the oranges until soft if you don’t have a microwave. Measure out 125g of the orange puree and freeze any leftover puree.

Grease and flour a small bundt tin. Place the tin in the fridge until required. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sift the flour and salt together into a small bowl. Set aside.

Mix the eggs, sugar and rosemary together in a bowl. Add the oil and mix until well combined. Add the flour, orange puree and yoghurt to the egg mixture in thirds; stir to combine. When just combined, pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely. When cool, dust with icing sugar or you can top with some blood orange icing.

25g unsalted butter, melted
½ cup sifted icing sugar
3 tsp blood orange juice
Rosemary leaves/flowers

In a small bowl combine the melted butter with the icing sugar and mix until smooth. Add enough blood orange juice to form a thick icing. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cooled cake decorating with a few rosemary leaves and flowers if desired. Allow to set before serving.

The cake unmoulded like a dream and the cake was delicious as well so I had a good day in the kitchen.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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