Hi everyone, are you ready to see and taste Blood Orange Tea Cakes today? It’s Jillian here with my Delicious Bites column for March. As spring is nearly here, I decided to make some blood orange tea cakes to celebrate its arrival. Can you remember the first time you tasted a blood orange? I can. Somehow when I was 15, I managed to persuade my parents to send me on a school trip to Europe. By the time we made it to Italy; we were desperate for some real orange juice. We ordered glasses of orange juice and when they arrived we were sure the waiter had mixed up our order. We sipped our drinks and even though they looked like glasses of tomato juice, they tasted like orange juice.
As soon as blood oranges arrive at the fruit market, I always pick up a few and all these years later I still get a kick out of their brilliant colour. Blood oranges are a little more tart than a regular orange and are great in salads and make a fantastic orange cake. If blood oranges are hard to find where you live you can replace the blood orange in this recipe with a regular orange. I added a little almond meal to the mix to make sure the cakes were nice and moist.
As mini bundt tins differ in size its a bit hard to predict how many cakes the mixture will make. I used quite large tins and made 3 cakes but I think youd get 6 cakes if you used mini bundt tins. If youd like to make a 9 inch bundt cake just double the recipe and the cake will take close to an hour to bake. No cake is complete without icing. Can you believe the vibrant colour of the blood orange icing? When I saw these poppies and realised they were the same shade as the blood orange icing, I had to have them.
Here’s the recipe for you.
BLOOD ORANGE TEA CAKES
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
100g (3½ oz) caster sugar
Finely grated rind of 1½ small blood oranges
1/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup strained blood orange juice
Grease and flour 3- 6 mini bundt tins. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Sift the flour into a small bowl and mix together with the almond meal. Set to one side. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, orange rind and caster sugar until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg then gradually mix into butter mixture. If the mixture starts to look curdled, add a spoonful of the flour mixture. Add the remaining flour mixture into the batter alternating with the orange juice to make a soft batter. If the batter looks too thick add a little more juice. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake the cake in the oven for 25 30 minutes until the top is lightly golden and cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack. When the cakes have cooled completely, ice with the blood orange icing.
BLOOD ORANGE ICING
15 g (1/2 oz) softened unsalted butter
1/2 tsp finely grated orange rind
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons blood orange juice
Optional – edible flowers
I decided to decorate the top of the cake with some basil flowers. As well as being very pretty and edible I discovered that basil goes really well with orange. have you discovered any other surprising flavour combinations?
Cream the butter and orange rind together. Add in the icing sugar and enough juice to make a soft icing. Drizzle over the cooled cakes. Decorate with edible flowers if desired.
And of course, always add some fresh flowers nearby as you set your table and serve your delicious bites.
See you all again next month with another Delicious Bites column. Bye for now, Jillian
(images/text: jillian lieboff)