By Evonne Lyn Lee
Chinese New Year means oranges in abundance. Don’t just hand them over, bake an all-natural orange cake to grace the festive goodie table.
Total Time: 2 hours
A: Cake Batter
250g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
250g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon orange essence
2 oranges – orange rind and 2 tablespoons juice
B: Egg White Mixture
4 egg whites (from eggs under A ingredients)
30g caster sugar
C: Quick Marmalade
1 orange, rind and juice
2 teaspoons golden syrup
1. Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and line a 16cm square cake pan with a removable base.
2. Sift flour and salt together twice.
3. In a cake mixer or using a hand whisk, beat butter and sugar until mixture turns pale and becomes light and creamy.
4. Add egg yolks into butter-sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix until just incorporated – do not overmix so that cake crumb will be tender.
5. Pour in orange extract and mix until well blended. Gently fold in flour in two batches, alternating with orange juice and yoghurt. Use a zester (extreme right in photo) to get a very fine zest. Alternatively, for more texture, opt for rind by using a grater (see left in photo).
6. In a separate mixing bowl, using a hand whisk or cake mixer, beat egg whites until foamy, gradually adding sugar until stiff peaks form.
7. Next, gently fold it into egg yolk batter in 2 additions until fully incorporated.
8. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until crown of cake turns golden brown and is cooked.
To test, insert a satay stick into centre of cake until it comes out clean. If cake is not cooked, return cake to oven. Continue baking until it is cooked – when cake pulls away from sides of pan, it is done.
9. In the last 10 minutes of cake baking, make topping. Combine rind and juice in an enamel saucepan, cook over medium heat until it reduces to half. Pour in golden syrup and mix till well blended.
10. Spread topping over cake top while it is still warm. Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 minutes.
11. To unmould cake, place it on top of a jar.
Gently push cake mould downwards – it will slowly slide down. Transfer cake onto a cooling rack, removing loose base at the same time.
12. Refrigerate cake to keep it fresh. To serve, cut out a strip and slice. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bring it to room temperature before eating.
BUYING TIP: Opt for good quality butter with at least 80% butterfat which ensures a rich and fragrant buttery cake.
TECHNIQUE: For a light, tender and moist crumb, separate eggs into yolks and whites. Beating it individually helps to build structure in cake.
Photos: Evonne Lyn Lee
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