Once upon a time, I kept my interior monologue to myself. You know, that voice in your head that poses random thoughts like: “I wonder if I could ever get sick of porridge” or “Is there such a thing as bad karma for drivers who don’t stop at pedestrian crossings?” etc. But since Twitter came along, I’ve been spouting my verbal stream of consciousness to random strangers who live in the Twitterverse. Sometimes I receive a response, but typically I don’t. So you can imagine my delight when my recent tweet regarding marmalade got a reply. I tweeted, “Can’t get enough of marmalade. Is that normal?” To which ‘@The Marmalade Awards’ tweeted back, “Yes! We love it too…” Well, thank God for that. I am normal after all.
Turns out that the peeps behind ‘The Marmalade Awards‘ are a bunch of bitter-jellied orange preserve obsessives from the UK who hold marmalade in such high regard that they’ve dedicated a whole week to it. Founded in 2006, the initial idea behind these quirky awards was preserving, growing and widening one of the most English of customs – making marmalade. And who can blame them really? What’s not to love about spreading a spoonful of bittersweet preserved orange on your morning toast (gluten-free, of course). But as much as I love marmalade, this year’s winner, Hazel Rushton from Milnthorpe in Cumbria can rest assured that I won’t by challenging her position as Best Amateur Marmalade Maker in the country. If there was an award for the Best Amateur Marmalade Eater, however, well that would be another story.
At this point in the blog post you would be forgiven for thinking that the gist of this ramble is marmalade. But you see, the actual point is not marmalade itself, but rather, marmalade cake. Or to be more precise, a gluten-free marmalade cake that my trusty oven gave life to. Given that I turned my nose up at marmalade as a kid, I can’t be sure what sparked my interest in this recipe from The Great British Bake-Off cookbook (which just happens to be the best cooking show ever made), but nevertheless, it is a surefire winner and a recipe that you should keep up your sleeve for those unexpected guests that everyone always refers to.
What I love about this cake (other than the fact that it’s gluten-free and you’d never know it), is the inclusion of Seville orange marmalade which I have in good faith from The Guardian, Wikipedia and The Marmalade Awards themselves as the gold standard of marmalade. It’s all about the pectin content, you see, as it makes it set better. Right, noted.
My adaptations to the original recipe include substituting regular flour for my own gluten-free flour mix (I used version one in this recipe, but I dare say that any of the versions will work); reducing the icing quantity; and sprinkling grated orange on top of the cake. I also went for a square cake over a round one just because I thought it would look pretty. This is about as unpretentious a cake as you’re likely to find. There’s no bells and no whistles here – just a lovely, moist and zingy cake that you can whip up at a moment’s notice and have stashed away for cake o’clock throughout the week.
Gluten-free marmalade cake
Adapted from Great British Bake Off
175g unsalted butter – softened (Stork)
175 caster sugar
3 free range eggs
175g gluten-free self raising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
3 tbs Seville Orange marmalade
2 tbs milk
2 tbs Seville orange marmalade
75g pure icing sugar
1 tbs warm water
1 orange, grated on top
1. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. I used a square tin.
2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and make sure the rack is in the centre of the oven.
3. Beat the butter with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, continue beating until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
4. Gradually add the eggs, beating well all the time. Add a tbs of flour with the last of the egg. Sift in the remaining flour, salt and baking powder and gently fold in. Add the marmalade and milk.
5. Spoon the mixture into the in and spread evenly. Bake for about 50 mins until golden brown and firm to the touch. Run a round blade knife round the inside of he tin and turn out onto a wire rack. Warm the second portion of the marmalade and brush over the top of the warm cake. Leave to cool completely.
6. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the warm water and mix. Spoon the mix over the cake, letting it run down the sides. Leave to set before cutting. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
P.S. Closing date for Marmalade Awards entries is 17 February 2013. Further entry details including an entry form, category criteria, submission details and entry fees can be found at Marmalade Awards.
If you’re in the mood for more marmalade recipes, I reckon this marmalade prosecco cocktail sounds amazing.