One of the things I enjoy about cooking is the pleasure my food brings to others. I originally made this cake for my children (who were thrilled by the way!), but decided to share half with my colleagues once I realised how long it would take my little family to eat.
The office I currently work in is packed full of food lovers and so I have taken to regularly sharing my culinary outputs with them. In particular, there is one colleague who loves cake. I mean REALLY loves cake. We are lucky enough to have cake in the office every time a birthday rolls around, but Stephen would eat cake every day if he could. Luckily for him, I am happy to plug some of the non-birthday cake gaps.
This orange cake was a recipe I found in the rainbow version but not in the old edition of The Cook's Companion. There was an afternoon tea orange cake in the old version which I have made before, but the recipes were quite different and so I decided to include them both in the challenge. More cake can never be a bad thing...
This cake was very moist which may have been due to the fact that I almost always reduce the recommended cooking time for cakes. Eating a dry cake is never a pleasant experience and so as well as turning off the fan in the oven when I bake, I regularly reduce the recommended time by 10-15 minutes and then conduct an intermittent skewer test until I am happy with the result.
I reduced the icing quantity in this recipe by half (in an attempt to make this a healthier snack!) and found the amount to be ample, with a bit of creative spreading. Adding the orange zest to the top was largely to make the pictures more attractive, but no doubt added a nice zing to the finished product.
As I was making this cake, my very thoughtful 12 year old asked me, "Mum if this was not an orange cake what would it be?". I fumbled the answer at the time, thrown by the seemingly philosophical nature of the question. Tea cake? Butter cake? Cake?
I am still pondering that one.