Thursday, 7 July 2011

Marmalade Cake

I made marmalade for the first time this year. It was a mixed bag of citrusy success but it did get me into the preserving mindset. It's surprisingly addictive! Consequently, we had several jars of my own grapefruit brew and some lemon too (to please The Boy who thinks that grapefruits are a favourite of the devil). Our jar tower was added to considerably by my Mother in Love who gifted us with jars of deliciously dark seville orange marmalade and a fabulous friend who gave us a sample of her first batch of orange marmalade.

With a self-catering weekend away approaching, I wanted to make some cake for those lazy afternoon tea moments where you're in need of something to tide you over until dinner and a biscuit just won't do. Usually, I'd make lemon drizzle cake as it's something that The Boy adores but my marmalade mountain was staring me down as I reached for my recipe book.

I must admit that marmalade cake isn't something that I'd normally go for. I'm a recent marmalade convert so I suppose I assumed that a cake flavoured with it would be a little full on. This recipe, however, is basically just a great tea cake with a hint of citrus tang. It's a great way to use up marmalade that hasn't set as well as you'd hoped; my grapefruit and lemon concoction is quite a soft set so it's ideal for this.The mixed nuts really make a difference and I was toying with the idea of adding soaked sultanas too but decided against it for my most recent batch. If they take your fancy, soak them for as long as you can (ideally overnight) in orange juice, cold tea or water (depending on your tastes) and fold them before you pop them in the loaf tin.

Take a thick slice into the sunshine and enjoy with a cup of tea!

Marmalade Cake
Makes 12 - 14 slices

175g butter, softened
225g self raising flour
175g light brown muscovado sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
100g mixed nuts, roughly chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
140g (homemade) marmalade

 - Preheat your oven to 180c. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.
 - Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together into a large mixing bowl.
 - Stir in the sugar then add the butter and eggs into the bowl with all but 2 tbsp of the marmalade.
 - Beat the mixture until it is pretty much smooth. If you can, do this with an electric mixer. I didn't have one which made it a bit of a time consuming process.
 - Fold in the nuts and spread the mixture evenly into your prepared loaf tin.
 - Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out without any batter sticking to it. Cover the cake with foil after 30 minutes (or when the top is golden brown) so that it doesn't burn.
 - Put the cake to one side to cool slightly while you prepare the marmalade glaze. Mix the marmalade with a tablespoon or so of boiling water - you want it to be the consistency of runny honey.
 - Prick the cake with a skewer or fork and pour the glaze over the top, spreading out with the back of a spoon to ensure that it is coated.

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