Thursday, 6 June 2013

Dan Lepard's Orange Walnut Cake

Well, the end of May passed in a blur of trying to catch up with the gardening, finishing clearing my mother's house and a cold, wet week in northern France. Not much baking to post about, although I did leave FB a tin of Marmalade Flapjacks to sustain her while we were away.

One good part of the slightly disappointing holiday was bringing back apple pie, macarons and a box of mini croissants, pains au chocolat and pains au raisins to get us through the first weekend back home. I also picked up two new plates in the supermarket to enhance my blog photos, one of which I'm using in the photo below.

Once the French goodies were eaten, I found myself with a whole bag of oranges which needed using quickly. I wouldn't usually have enough fruit in the fridge to tackle a recipe calling for 5 oranges, but in this case it was just what I needed. This Orange Walnut Cake from Dan Lepard uses the zest of 5 oranges and 150mls of orange juice. My oranges were very juicy so I only needed two of them to supply enough juice for the recipe.

This is another cake made by a slightly unusual method (no surprise really!) but it resulted in a cake with a lovely moist texture and a close tender crumb. The only changes I made to the recipe were to use hazelnuts instead of walnuts and to bake the cake in a longer, shallower tin than specified (same volume though), so that I could cut smaller slices. The batter was quite liquid, so I didn't attempt to swirl in the sprinkling of nuts and cinnamon between the layers of batter. They seemed to disperse themselves evenly throughout the cake without this. I estimate I used about 50g of nuts, and although I sprinkled the cinnamon straight from the jar, I don't think I used even half a teaspoon.

The fresh ginger and ground cinnamon in the cake were subtle background notes to the intense orange flavour, and my personal view was that the chopped nuts were an unnecessary textural distraction from the tender crumb. I think I'd leave them out quite happily if I made this cake again, although I admit that using the specified walnuts, with their stronger flavour, might have given a different result.


Foodycat said...

5 oranges! Wow! But I love the idea of fresh ginger with that.

belleau kitchen said...

stunning texture... must try this x

Phil in the Kitchen said...

That does look delicious and I do like the sound of those flavours a lot.

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes said...

That looks like a good one Suelle! I have been trying to get a coffee walnut cake just right but still haven't quite got there. Walnuts are funny things, they go bitter so quickly and I think that many of the ones that are preshelled are already on the turn as it were. But on the other hand sitting cracking nuts for 40 minutes adds a lot of time to the process that most people just don't have. Sorry I haven't visited for a while, I haven't been reading many blogs but now I have found something called bloglovin and am attempting to keep in touch more often with old chums. love Joanna

CandyB said...

I have just made two - this recipe is fabulous! I 'iced' with a glace icing which included cream and sprinkled more walnuts on top. I posted a photo at