SUMMER ORANGE CAKE

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When summer arrives my cooking and baking habits change just as much as my wardrobe. I switch from hearty foods to light meals, full of fresh and seasonal ingredients.

One ingredient that always becomes a key staple at this time of year is oranges. Buying juicy, ripe oranges and using them for smoothies, ice lollies, salads and marinades makes all the difference and to me, instantly tastes like summer.

A favourite is this summer orange cake which is so simple to make but the perfect afternoon treat with iced tea or as a dessert with sorbet. There’s no butter included, just olive oil, but the sponge remains lovely and moist as well as lighter than a usual cake.

Here’s what you’ll need to make my summer orange cake:

  • Three oranges (around 300g) blitz in a food processor

  • Two large eggs

  • 200g granulated sugar

  • 120ml olive oil, plus a little extra

  • 300g plain flour

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 120ml orange juice

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 240g double cream

  • Zest of one orange

Begin by preheating the oven to 180c and grease a springform cake tin.

Pour the orange pulp into a large bowl and add the eggs, granulated sugar and olive oil before whisking. Next, sift in the flour and baking powder and mix in gently.

Pour the batter into a cake tin and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.

While the cake is cooling make a syrup by mixing the caster sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid reduced a little.

Prick the cake with a fork and generously brush half the syrup using a pastry brush.

Beat the double cream to medium peaks and fold in one tablespoon of the remaining syrup. Add the cream to the centre of the top of the cake before drizzling one final tablespoon of syrup on top and sprinkling the orange zest. Enjoy with iced tea on a sunny day.