You could think of this cake as being no more difficult than performing a single somersault off the 1m springboard, compared to the Middle Eastern orange cake requiring you to make a giddying dive, with all the bells and whistles, off the 10m platform.
After all, it’s just an orange cake, with a couple of flourishes for colour and texture. We only make it when navel type of oranges are in season and we have access to sweet berries at a reasonable price. The pieces of strawberry in this cake came from sub-tropical southern Queensland; the oranges from a good friend’s garden.
Take note of item 7 in the method. This is the kind of cake that is ready to come out of the oven when you think that is almost ready. I usually ignore that advice and the end result is just that little bit drier than ideal. Hardly a surprise – I never could master even a basic dive?!
50g shredded or desiccated coconut
1 large orange
125g butter, softened
100g caster sugar (use about 10g more if the orange is a bit tart)
¼ tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
12 ripe raspberries, or equivalent in pieces of ripe strawberry
- Toast coconut in a non-stick pan until it begins to change colour. Remove from pan immediately.
- Zest and juice orange (you will need about 125ml of juice).
- Preheat oven to 170C and prepare a 20cm cake tin (line base with baking paper).
- Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Add vanilla, eggs and milk and beat well. Add orange juice and beat briefly then fold in flour, orange zest and coconut.
- Spoon into prepared tin and distribute berries evenly on top of the cake batter.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until batter only just tests clean. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.