It’s this time of the year again, fir boughs and red ribbons and twinkly stars. But not just. December also means the first oranges of the season, impatiently I have been waiting for them to make their appearance on the weekly market. Oranges that are picked when they’re ripe, full of sun and sea breeze, the very best ones from Corse. And to celebrate the season, I made an orange cake, drowned in sugar and cointreau syrup, food for the soul. Here’s how you can make it:
What you’ll need
- 5 very beautiful very ripe oranges
- 150g of sugar (for the sugar syrup)
- 0.75dl cointreau (for the sugar syrup)
- 2dl of water
- 150g of sugar (for the batter)
- 6 farmer’s eggs
- a teaspoon of baking powder
- 200g of ground white almonds
- a tablespoon of flour
- 50g of molten butter
- 0.75 of cointreau (for the batter)
How to bake it
First start on the syrup. In a pan bring the water with the sugar to boil, reduce the heat to medium and let cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel two oranges and make sure to remove also the white skin. Cut into round slices, about 3mm thin. When the syrup is done, add the slices and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Then set aside in a cool spot.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C with the fan on.
Grate off the peel of the third orange, juice it with the fourth orange and add the peel to the juice. Set aside. Mix the eggs with the remaining sugar until the mass is almost white. This takes a good mixer and about 10 minutes, so it’s easier to work with a kitchen robot. Then add baking powder, almonds, flour and butter while continuing to mix. Finally add the cointreau, as well as the juice with the grated orange peel.
Butter a baking mould with a high rim and place the orange slices in its bottom. Then add the batter and bake for 40 minutes. When the cake is done, reduce the heat to 150°C and dry it for another 10 minutes in the oven while leaving the oven door slightly open.
Let cool in the mould.
Juice the fifth orange and add the juice to the sugar syrup. When the cake has cooled enough for you to touch the mould without getting burnt, turn out on a nice plate that is a little shallow so it will hold the liquid from the syrup. Heat the syrup to body temperature and then add the remaining cointreau. Pour over the cake and let drench over night.
How to eat it
It takes a little patience but it will be well rewarded, because it just tastes divine when the cake has absorbed as much of the tasty syrup as possible. Serve in nice plates and add a little syrup.