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

 

Graduation Belfast Style

So as you will probably know last week I headed back up to Belfast to finally pack up the remnants of the past three years of my life, and probably more importantly to graduate university! I’m still waiting for it all to sink in and the possibilities that now lie ahead of me, but in the meantime I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite parts of the day.

After the ceremony (which went by in the blink of an eye) I finally got my piece of paper proving that those three years of hard work weren’t for nothing and left me severely needing a drink. With the family in tow we headed to the newly opened Miel et Moi which is Belfast’s first licensed patisserie for some cocktails and cakes (my favourite combination).

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And boy did we have plenty to choose from! From tarts and eclairs to cakes and gateaus they have everything you could dream of, and with them all freshly baked every morning it was hard to resist not getting one of everything.
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In the end we managed to cut it down to just four deciding that dividing and conquering was the best way to tackle the amazing treats on offer. Trying to tick every box we went for viennese whirls, lemon madelines, a strawberry and white chocolate eclair and a rosewater gateau.

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Note the problem of ‘resting bitch face’ (of which I am a chronic sufferer of), but I can assure you that faces actually translates into me having the time of my life haha.DSC02943 DSC02948

As you can see they were so good it was impossible to get pictures of them all before we’d sneaked a bite. I have to say as a girl who has tasted her fair share of cakes and pastries the bar was set pretty high, but I can honestly say these blew me away. I have never tasted a viennese whirl so buttery and crumbly with the lemon curd cream filling perfectly providing a balance of tartness to the sweet. The lemon madeline (which I had to order to channel my inner Sansa Stark, Game of Throne fans you’ll know what I’m talking about) was so incredibly moist and fresh I could’ve eaten hundreds of them. Now while eclairs aren’t exactly my bag, my eclair obsessed sister assures me that it was the best she’s ever eaten, but my favourite has to be the rosewater gateau. I have never experienced a sponge like it,, it had the texture of air while melting in your mouth and the delicateness of the rosewater can only be described as the taste of summer. Paired with a combination of teas and bellinis with freshly made coulis it was the perfect high tea to celebrate the end of my time at university. Not to mention the setting was pretty idyllic too.DSC02917DSC02972

After all that it’s probably not really a surprise that we couldn’t resist going home without picking up a couple for the road. But with pastries this delicious it’s just too hard to say no!  DSC02912

If any of you are in or around Belfast, or even visiting in the future I highly recommend you swing by for a visit as with breakfast, lunch or dinner menus it’s perfect for every sort of celebration or even for an everyday treat. I’m still coming to terms with the post graduation blues so I’d love to hear your graduation stories, or if you have any cute places you like to visit I am always on the lookout for new recommendations. And if you haven’t graduated yet, good luck!