…wow, it’s still unbelievably cold here in this little corner of the United Kingdom. In the end we had a relatively mild Christmas period but they suddenly, mid-January and the big freeze hit. of course it’s nowhere near as cold as our Canadian friends but for the UK it’s been cold and it looks likely to stay that way for a while. I’m also back at the cottage for the first time in a fortnight and it’s always cold inside until the fire gets going so baking is a great way to keep warm. I’ve baked bread for the first time in a quite a while and really enjoyed it. (How did I ever not know how to bake bread? It’s one of life’s most basic and yet important skills and it tastes so damn good…) and of course i’ve also baked this orange, honey, blueberry and yoghurt cake, which is a nice simple one to get back into if you haven’t baked for a while. Happy Days.
orange, honey and blueberry yoghurt cake
I adore this cake. It’s light, simple and the perfect balance of sweet and sharp. The whole oranges, with their pith and peel and flesh bring the bitterness whilst the honey compliments them with its amber sweetness. This is one of those cakes you find in many cultures from the traditional Greek Portokalopita Syrup and Yoghurt Cake to the Italian Torta di Arance or the classic Jewish Almond and Orange Cake. All have pretty much the same ingredients, some with almonds and polenta or semolina, others with flour. I’ve used flour here because that’s what I had in my store cupboard but feel free to simply swap out the flour for fine polenta, the texture is divine. It’s also ridiculously easy to make as it’s an ‘all-in-one’ style cake which means it all goes into the bowl and is beaten together at the same. I also love this cake because it’s like sunshine on a plate and during these glory winter months it reminds me of the Mediterranean, sitting by the sparkling sea and drinking Aperol Spritz!
- 2 small whole oranges – roughly 250g
- 125g ground almonds
- 150g butter – very soft
- 50g Fage Greek Yoghurt
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 50g (roughly 2 table spoons) honey
- 3 large free-range eggs – beaten
- 250g self-raising flour
- a handful of blueberries
grease and line a 25cm loose-bottom tin and pre-heat your oven to 180C
place the oranges in a pan of water and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 25 mins, drain the water and set aside to cool before blending (skin and all) into a smooth pulp – a hand-blender will do this in seconds.
place the blended oranges, along with the rest of the cake ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl) and beat well for 3 mins, adding the blueberries in the last 30 seconds
pour the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake on 180C for 10 minutes and then 160C for 40 mins or until golden and risen
remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin on a wire rack – serve with Greek Yoghurt and honey and a shower of icing sugar
eat and of course, enjoy!