The sun may have stopped shining but here’s something the celebrate that things are well and truly cold now. The mascapone cheese icing stops the spiced orange cake being too sweet.
Steps 1-3 need to be completed a couple of hours before baking but if you’re short of time you can get away without soaking the sultanas and using orange zest in the icing instead of peel.
200g Self raising flour
4 Large eggs
200g Baking spread
225g Caster sugar
1 tsp Mixed spice
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
250g Mascapone cheese (full fat)
200g Icing sugar
Optional Decoration: Dark chocolate, caster sugar
1) Zest two oranges for the cake. Peel half of the remaining orange into thin strips (keep them small so that the cake cuts easily) and zest the remaining half for the icing. Don’t throw the leftover orange away you’ll need it later!
2) Add the orange peel to a small pan with just enough water to cover it and 10g of caster sugar. Bring the pan to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for one minute, then drain and lay the orange peel onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Cover with 15g of the remaining sugar and leave to dry, preferably on a radiator or sunny windowsill.
3) LEAVE TO SOAK/ DRY for 2-3 hours.
4) Halve the three oranges and juice them. Save two tablespoons of the juice for use in the icing later.
5) Grease and line two 20cm cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
6) Cream the remaining sugar and margarine together, gradually add the beaten eggs. Drain the sultanas and stir in along with the zest from the two oranges.
7) Fold in the flour along with the cinnamon and mixed spice.
8) Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake will come away from the sides of tin and a skewer will come out clean when it’s done.
9) Once the cake has cooled beat together the icing sugar, butter, mascapone cheese, zest from the half orange and as much of the orange juice saved in step 1 to get a consistency of icing you would like. Spread the icing between the two layers and on top of the cake.
10) Decorate with the orange peel and other decorations as required. I used chocolate and caramel leaf shapes but the orange peel on its own is still effective.