A Birthday Tea Cake

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Orange, Ginger & Cardamom Tea Cake with Almonds.

A birthday calls for cake, right?  This year I celebrated my international friendships by baking a wonderful tea cake shared by a dear friend from Singapore.  Hazel sent me this recipe several weeks ago after an interesting discussion on the various uses of young and old ginger in her country and the role it plays in traditional Chinese and Indian recipes. I've been saving the recipe for a special occasion and today seemed perfect!

I woke up early to gather my ingredients in preparation for baking, and with mise en place I began by running the ginger over the grater, enjoying the fragrance emanating from the tiny mountain of aromatic spice piling high. Then came the orange zest, which I worked gently into the sugar with the tips of my fingers, following Hazel's careful instructions, allowing the oils of the orange to impart their magic. And when everything was whipped up into a cloud of pale yellow, I ever-so-gently stirred in the freshly-squeezed juice of Cara Cara oranges before I poured it into my Mama's baking tin and topped it with sliced almonds.

The result was worth the effort. A cake so soft and delicate, with a melt-in-the-mouth texture that carried swelling hints of orange and ginger with a kick of  cardamom that lingered after every bite.  I closed my eyes as I savored the cake and drank my tea, pretending I was in that far-off island, sitting at Hazel's table, her happy eyes dancing with the joy of a recipe shared and loved.

And now I'm sharing it with you!

Join me for cake, dear.

Orange, Ginger & Cardamom Tea Cake with Almonds

200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger *
150g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
3 large eggs, room temperature
125g golden caster sugar
zest of a large orange
125ml freshly squeezed orange juice, room temperature

5 tablespoons of sliced almonds
Dusting of confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper (I used a large loaf pan), leaving enough overhang to assist in the removal of the cake. Set aside.

In a small bowl, rub the orange zest into the sugar with the tips of your fingers to release its aromatic oils and set aside to infuse.

With a mixer fitted with paddle attachment and set on medium speed, beat the flour, cardamom, grated ginger, softened butter, infused sugar and eggs until the batter is light and fluffy. ** Fold in the orange juice by hand with a spatula until just combined, taking care not to deflate the batter. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle almonds evenly over top of batter.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes in the baking pan. With the help of the parchment paper, gently lift the cake onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. Sift a fine dusting of confectioner's sugar to serve.

Recipe notes:

* Fresh ginger is easy to grate using a microplane grater when frozen
** Take your time creaming the ingredients together, making sure it's light and fluffy and somewhat doubled in volume before folding in the orange juice.

You can find Hazel on Instagram: @beurrenoisette_

No comments:

Post a Comment