Saturday, 4 October 2008


you might have noticed that there was no wonderful blackberry tart!!!! Much to my disappointment!!

During the week I had changed my mind and made a blackberry cake topped with meringue that I had seen on the cover of a magazine a few months ago, I was taking it out of the tin and IT FELL!!!! There was much screaming and gnashing of teeth but there was no salvaging it as it was smuched all over the top of my gas hob!! Thankfully I had a punnet of blackberries left so Monday night was the night, I was all set to go only to find my blackberries were gone mouldy!!! More disappointment and gnashing of teeth ensued (plus cursing m&s but I have since forgiven them as they had beautiful black Bursa figs in stock and we have them baked on top of porridge this morning) and I decided to make my big come back this week instead with a book review and some baked goods out of the book.

Rachel Allen's new book was out last week (it's not out until 6th October in the UK) and I have to say I think it's her best book yet! Now Rachel (lovely name ;-)) irritates me sometimes with her slight over-exuberance but I still watch her as she's one of the better Irish tv chefs currently I think, but this is her best book yet! Entitled Bake everything in the book is baked from the most simple recipe of baked figs to puff pastry and a wonderful gingerbread house which I am so making at Christmas (I'm singing carols already in my head).

This book is a lot better presented than Rachel's previous offerings in my opinion, the paper is lovely, matt and heavy, the photography is in a different vein too still being homely but more enticing focusing more on the food than the backgrounds, with the usual gratuitous Rachel shots sprinkled throughout. I've been reading through the recipes for the last few nights at bedtime and decided I had to make the Iced Orange Cake, one of 2 orange cakes in the book as I had some gorgeous organic, unwaxed oranges that I got last week and was dying to use as they smelled so wonderful and exotic.

So here's what you'll need for the cake

100g butter
2 eggs
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (I used 1 and a half as I wanted a super orangey cake)
100g caster sugar
100 icing sugar (I used 75g as I didn't want my cake to be too sweet)
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180/Gas4.
Butter a 20cm springform/loose bottomed tin and line the bottom with parchment.
Melt the butter over a low heat and when melted set aside.
Mix the eggs, orange zest, caster and iricing sugar together until thick and fluffy.
Add the melted butter and mix.
Then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold together gently.
Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth the top.
Bake for 30-35 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

I glazed my cake with a honey orange glaze using 100g icing sugar mixed with 1/2 tbsp boiling water, 1/2 tbsp orange juice and 1 tbsp honey but to be honest it was gorgeous just on it's own and would be a lovely cake to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. My cake sunk a little in the middle but it was my own fault as I just can't leave the oven closed coming up to the end of cooking time!! Twas divine though so serve with a dollop of yogurt or cream and enjoy!


lisa said...

The cake looks delicious, especially with the fig! I haven't seen Rachel on tv here in the US, but maybe I'll get to watch when I visit Dublin in November.

Amanda said...

This looks absolutely wonderful! I've saved it to try later, thank you for posting it!

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

YUM, perfect with a cappucino in the morning. I normally make lemon cake(my next post) but this would be nice for a change:)

Heather said...

mmmm that looks good! i love the picture with the fig. having fresh cake around is just heavenly.

Aimée said...

Mmm, delish, bookmarked for the holidays!

jen said...

Anything with citrus and I'm there! Can I have a slice?

Love the fig on top, too :-)

Rhyleysgranny said...

Oh dear what an awful time you've had. I hate when things like that happen. Your cake looks heavenly.fgkeerla

Anonymous said...

I bought the book aswell and there are some fab recipies,cant wait to start trying some.Orange cake looks yummy.

Polly Pierce said...

My favourite type of cake; especially with organic oranges!

TG someone else finds Rachel irritating; I thought I was all alone...

pea & pear said...

Oh this looks like something I want to eat right now.... I love it!!!!

The Caked Crusader said...

Have you been watching the accompanying tv show too on channel 249? It's very good.

Jo said...

I find Rachel irritating as well although she is less so in Bake.
I disliked how, in her previous programmes on telly, she seemed to overact the yummy mummy role. I'm really pleased to find I'm not the only one!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous Rachel. I've the book sat on the shelf now so I might just have to potter over and make this right away.

Kate said...

Oh no! Were you able to eat any of your blackberry cake or was it completely ruined?

I watched "Bake!" tonight and she didn't annoy me as much as usual - there is just something about her voice that gets to me.

English Mum said...

I've loved 'Bake'. My only criticism with UKTVFood is that they show one programme every night. And it's difficult to persuade my lot to watch a cookery programme every night for 2 weeks!

Coincidentally, my copy of the book arrived from yesterday too. Can't wait to get cooking. Oh and what a gutter about the meringue. I once dropped the tray halfway through pouring yorkshire puddings into the hot fat and the whole lot ended up on the floor. Happy days eh x

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