1/2 teaspoon each of two ground spices (cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.) - optional
6 eggs, separated (360g-380g weighed in their shells)
125ml vegetable oil
1 orange, or 2 unwaxed lemons, zested and juiced
1 orange, or 2 unwaxed lemons, juiced
50g caster sugar
300ml whipping cream
50g icing sugar
150g orange or lemon curd
2 to 4 meringues, crumbled
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:20min › Ready in:50min
Preheat oven to 180 C / 160 C Fan / Gas 4. Use a standard traybake tin (9"x12" / 23x30cm) or a round 25cm cake tin. Grease your tin and line the bottom and sides with baking paper. Get 3 mixing bowls ready.
In the first bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and spices (if using) together with a fork.
In the second bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed.
In the third bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the oil and water until doubled in volume and fluffy; again, start at low speed and gradually increase to high speed. Add 2 teaspoons of the zest and whisk again on high speed for 1 minute.
Add the yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until fully combined and smooth. Add one-third of the egg whites, folding gently, to loosen the mixture. Then add the rest of the whites and fold gently until no white streaks remain. Pour the cake mixture into your prepared tin and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes if baking as a traybake, or longer if baking as a round cake. The cake is done when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin (gluten free cakes can be too delicate to turn out of the tin while still hot).
While the cake is baking, heat the orange or lemon juice with 50g caster sugar on the hob until reduced to a syrup. Poke the cake deeply all over with a skewer immediately when out of the oven, to ensure the syrup is absorbed all through the cake, then pour the syrup over the top.
Or, try 300ml double cream whipped to soft peaks with 50g icing sugar and the orange or lemon juice, and spread on the cooled cake.
Alternatively, as shown in the recipe picture, spread the top of the cooled cake with orange curd or lemon curd, and crumble some meringue over.
The recipe picture shows a base layer of leftover pre-cooked chocolate choux pastry, mashed down to 1cm depth, before the sponge mixture was poured in. The cake doesn't require a base layer, but the chocolate taste combined with orange in the batter and topping was well-received. (The star rating is courtesy of my local church group.) - 10 Nov 2015