This week, Katherine and I took a long overdue holiday. We have spent the last five days amongst some of the most incredible scenery North Wales has to offer. If you like walking over snowy mountains, this place is for you. Not only is the landscape incredibly dramatic, but it is peppered with historic monuments, burial grounds, wells and even a bunker which I presume dates back to the Second World War. The sparsely populated county of Gwynedd, North Wales, is truly inspiring – we shall be returning, car under foot, to visit the fabled ‘Roman Steps’.
During our trip to one of the most beautiful areas Wales has to offer, we celebrated Katherine’s birthday. As one might expect, Katherine had requested that I make her a cake to mark this special occasion, and I dutifully consented to her demands. After all, any man worth his salt fulfils the desires of his woman, otherwise a jolly painful earache may ensue. This is the reason why my version of the good old marmalade cake came into being. It is essentially a basic sponge mix with added marmalade, both inside and out. However, because it is baked in a slightly different manner the consistency of the cake comes out a little heavier, which is perfect for a treat such as this.
Good quality marmalade is a must for this cake. Let’s face it, marmalade isn’t an expensive commodity but it can taste pretty awful if bought on the cheap. Remember, this blog isn’t about making good food taste a little dodgy by skimping on the main ingredient. It’s about reducing the cost of a meal without removing any of the flavour that defines it. Seville oranges make a good, sharp marmalade and therefore contrast wonderfully with the sugar in the cake. Even so, a little drizzle of icing to finish is advisable.
Seville Marmalade Cake
Makes 1 large cake
• 3 eggs, weighed
• Butter, golden caster sugar and self-raising flour in equal measure – in order to get exact amounts weigh the eggs and use the same weight of these ingredients; this should be roughly 7 ounces or 200g.
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 3-4 tbsp milk, depending on consistency
• 3 generous tbsp Seville marmalade, plus extra to glaze
• A little icing sugar mixed with water to drizzle over the top
1. Grease and line a 20cm springform pan, heat the oven to 180C. Cream together the sugar and the butter, with a hand whisk, until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in the eggs one by one. This requires thorough mixing between each egg. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently until just mixed. Fold in the marmalade and stir in a little milk if necessary. The batter should flow, but not too freely. Bake for around 50 minutes, or until the cake makes no sound when listened to.
3. Allow to rest before turning onto a wire rack. Glaze with warmed marmalade before the cake is completely cool. When cool, drizzle it with the icing. To make the icing simply dissolve 30g of icing sugar in a little water.
Cost: Though this cake includes an ingredient which is more expensive than those which generally find themselves in a sponge cake, its price is reduced by its simplicity. As such, this price of this cake comes in at around £2.30. This is an absolute bargain since the cake is extremely filling and would probably produce 12-16 slices.
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