Bake a zesty orange loaf
The next year’s lot of kindergarten kids are starting their orientation at our school, and we’ve been asked to provide morning tea for the
poor suckers parents embarking on this exciting new school journey. Perfect excuse for a ‘Better Cook’ post, thought I. (You may have already noticed that I use the word ‘week’ rather loosely.)
For no other reason than the fact that we have oodles of oranges in our fruit bowl, I decided to try out an orange cake. Then I thought that a loaf would be a preferable shape to cut up into little squares for people, so I hunt for an orange loaf recipe instead. (I wouldn’t dare try just putting an orange cake mix into a different shaped tin – that would surely be a recipe for DISASTER!) I eventually found this one on Taste.com with a yummy creme fraiche topping. Not that it matters to me if it’s yummy or not, as I’m (albeit fairy non-commitally) doing the 5:2 diet. And yes, today is a ‘2’ day, which means a 500 calories limit. Just opening the tub of creme fraiche will probably put me over my daily allowance.
But back to the cake. (*whimpers) I am always a little bit shocked at just how few steps there are to making a cake. This one just involved beating together 185g softened butter, 1 cup caster sugar and 2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind until light and fluffy. (Tip: be more intelligent that I was and choose a large bowl, thus avoiding flicking little bits of buttery sugar all over yourself that you can’t even lick off because CALORIES.)
Next I added three eggs, beating between each addition. (Thank god the cleaners have their fortnightly visit tomorrow, because the kitchen is now completely batter-spattered.) Finally, I stirred in 2 cups sifted self-raising flour (yes, I gave up at this point and swapped bowls), 1/2 cup of creme fraiche and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Done!
Pour it into a greased loaf tin and put it in an 180 degree oven (nobody’s taught me how to do a degree symbol yet… someone? Anyone?) for about an hour. The recipe said an hour to an hour and ten, but mine was teetering on the brink of burndom at an hour, so check at 55 minutes, just to be on the safe side!
After 10 minutes in the tin, I put in on a wire rack to cool completely while I
put on a load of washing, tidied the house, woke up my daughter, picked up my son from school and took him to swimming made the topping. To make the frosting, you need to beat together 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1/2 cup thickened cream, and half a teaspoon grated orange rind until just firm peaks form. Then add the rest of your 200ml carton of creme fraiche (hope you didn’t put in extra earlier, otherwise you’re screwed). Fold it in gently and then bung it onto your loaf. Be warned, this makes a LOT of frosting. Even very thickly covering the loaf, there was still a bit left over. So much so, that I simply had to have a lick. Or two. Damn, now I can’t have dinner.
I then sprinkled it with some extra orange rind to make it look all fancy-like, then cut off a slice so that it looked pretty for styling purposes. Then I ate it. Think I’m going to have to ‘2’ all over again tomorrow. Which means I starved myself for most of the day for nothing. Bugger.
(PS The cake tasted gooooood. But it was the first thing I’d eaten all day, so anything probably would have.)
VERDICT: Success! (the cake) Failure (the diet)
Lessons learned: Choose your bowl size wisely. Don’t make a cake while starving yourself.