It was my birthday on Saturday, so I made myself an experimental cake:
It’s a variant on the chocolate and marmalade cake that I’ve been making. I wanted to aim for a more fresh, real flavour, so I dumped the 450 g marmalade, and instead used two whole oranges. I gently simmered them whole for thirty minutes to soften them, then blended them, and used the resulting semi-liquid in place of the marmalade.
When it first came out of the oven, I th0ught it had about the best texture of any cake I remembered — light, and very very moist. But the flavour was disappointingly bland. And once it had cooled completely, it settled into the rather dense texture you see above.
So it’s a step backwards from the original in both texture (compare with this photo) and more importantly flavour. Turns out that marmalade is a more intense flavour than oranges — to my surprise, really.
- Some experiments fail. That’s OK; so long as you can understand what went wrong and why, you’ve taken a step forward.
- A texture that’s good when a cake comes out of the oven might not stay good.
- Fresh fruit can lose its freshness of flavour when combined with other ingredients, where preserves fare better.
- Finally, a good one. This is the first iteration of this cake that I have got out of the tin cleanly. That’s probably in part just because oranges are less sticky than marmalade, but also because I came up with a better way to grease and line the tin. (I’ll document it another time.)