Blood Orange Loaf Cake

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As you will have seen from my last post I couldn’t help but pick up a few blood oranges while I was at Borough Market the other week and as they’re in prime season right now I thought I’d share with you all my version of the classic lemon loaf but with a blood orange twist.

It’s super simple and easy so let’s get started!

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You will need:

  • A standard loaf tin
  • 220g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 115g unsalted butter (preferably at room temperature)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 blood oranges
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 60ml (about 2/3 oranges worth) fresh blood orange juice

For the Icing:

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) fresh blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar
  • Extra sugar for caramelising the orange slices.

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C for fan ovens. Grease or line your loaf tin.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until everything’s mixed well.
  3. In a seperate bowl beat together the butter, sugar and blood orange zest until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time until well mixed.
  4. Add about a 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the buttermilk and blood orange juice and mix then fold in the remaining flour.
  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tray then bake for about 1 hour or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. I found an hour of cooking then covering the top with foil and cooking for another half hour was perfect. Once removed let the cake cool until chill to the touch.
  6. Remove it from the tin and stab with toothpick or skewer repeatedly all over the cake.
  7. While the cake is cooling, whisk together the blood orange juice and icing sugar until smooth. Pour over the holes in the cake until it has absorbed it all.
  8. Then heat the sugar in the pan, between 50g-100g depending on how many slices you want to caramelise and add an equal amount of water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved then don’t touch it until it turns golden. Slice an orange thinly then lay the slices in the pan, turning once thoroughly coated. Place them on a drying rack and leave for 10-15 minutes until completely cool then place on top of the cake.

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Then enjoy! Whether you serve it cold or still slightly warm it’s perfect with a cup of tea or whip up some cream with some leftover zest for an indulgent yet refreshing pudding. Not to mention you can swap it for what ever citrus fruit takes your fancy from lime to lemon to grapefruit!

DSC06265DSC06279I hope you give this recipe a go as it’s perfect for even the most novice of bakers and a certified big hit if my family’s anything to go by, as it didn’t even last the night! If you do make it I’d love to know your reaction or see any pictures, and as always please let me know what you’re baking this month as I’m always on the lookout for something new to try!DSC06281

 

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A Trip To The Market

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Borough Market is one of those places that has long been on my wish list to visit as it is the ultimate treasure trove of different and fresh produce, the Aladdins cave of wonders of food if you will. Since the 13th Century it’s been bringing lovers of food from all around the world to share in the best of British and international produce. So with one of my best friends by my side who happens to be a chef and highly experienced in traversing food markets, I was ready and willing to be led on a culinary journey (and to eat my own body weight in food along the way).DSC06095DSC06096

Walking through the market I was overwhelmed, as it’s truly a sensory experience like no other where you are encouraged to touch and smell everything so you can truly immerse yourself in the fresh produce.
DSC06098DSC06103DSC06105DSC06094 On our travels we couldn’t help but swing by the Ginger Pig to get something to take away for later, as a massive fan of their cook books I couldn’t miss the chance to try their sausage rolls straight from the source! We tried a sweet chilli as well as a pork and stilton  one, which was my favourite thanks to the quality of the meat as well as the richness of the stilton, topped off with the buttery flakyness of the pastry. Needless to say it’s a stall that I’ll definitely be revisiting again!DSC06106

The best part of going anywhere like this with someone who works with food everyday is the sheer amount of knowledge they bring to the table. It truly richens your experience as she was able to tell me what to go for depending on what was in season and the signs to picking the best produce, not to mention answering all my questions about things I didn’t recognise. For example those longer, grey looking carrots? They’re called salsify which can be cooked similarly to any root vegetable but have a kind of oystery taste. See, learn something new everyday!

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Not to mention the sheer quality and beauty of the produce makes it a beautiful experience in itself, I mean just look at the colours! This is something that you definitely won’t see at any supermarket. It makes for a foodie’s paradise, strolling through the stalls imagining and dreaming of everything you could make.DSC06109DSC06110DSC06116

But finally came the time to stop dreaming and start eating and my friend promised me we had saved the best till last, and judging by the 30 people strong queue I was inclined to believe her. We went for the salt beef sandwich by The Northfield Kitchin, which I was assured was one of the best stops in the market. The smell of the freshest local beef combined with pickle and just enough spicy English mustard to provide a bit of a kick meant I was drooling at the mouth before we’d even got close.
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Each one loving prepared in respect owed to the excellent quality of product means that you can taste the care and devotion in every mouthful, which combined produces one hell of a sandwich and one that was worth every second of waiting.

DSC06129I mean look at this beauty.DSC06130DSC06135

From the look on our faces you can tell it was pretty much love at first sight bite.

DSC06136Thoroughly stuffed and satisfied we took a moment to revel in the magic of what we had eaten until we decided it was finally time to move on to see what the rest of the market had to offer, and you never know, potentially pick up a couple more snacks along the way.DSC06140

The best part of the market is that for those of you that aren’t quite so carniverous there’s still plenty of treats to tempt you, from fresh scallops to fallafal and haloumi burgers that would make even the most devout meat-eater go weak at the knees. Unfortunately due to my fixation on sandwiches and sausage rolls I didn’t take any photos of these treats (bad blogger award I know) but be sure to check out @boroughmarket’s instagram for more drool worth photos.DSC06142DSC06144

I couldn’t help but pick up a few of my all time favourite blood oranges along the way, which might be making their way to a recipe soon…DSC06151DSC06156DSC06157DSC06161DSC06162One last look around the treasure trove and I had finally literally had my fill of Aladdin’s cave of wonders. But of course we couldn’t leave without taking a jewel or two for the road…

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I would love to know if you’ve been to Borough Market and what your favourite stalls are or if there’s any other markets around the UK that you love to visit please let me know! In the meanwhile I’ll just be dreaming about those doughnuts for a little while longer…