Cranberry and Orange Loaf Cake

Saturday, 20 December 2014



Catkin, aged eighteen and a half years young, decided to take his leave last week.  Having faced a scare in November last year, he enjoyed his last thirteen months, spending a last summer in the sunshine, and seeing the beginnings of Christmas.  This year, for once, we were organised, and I think now I know why.  

We had a tree, gifts bought and at least half wrapped, cards being written, and most of the classic Christmas films on rotation.  He watched slept through Elf, Home Alone (1 and 2!), and While You Were Sleeping; gave Mouche his final orders (we're not sure what those were but are hoping they were something along the lines of behave yourself); loved his cupboard fort (he adopted a cupboard filled with blankets as his new bed); all before quietly letting us know that he was tired, and that perhaps it was time.  We weren't ready, but he was.

I made this cake last Wednesday whilst he was sleeping soundly on the sofa.  It's quite fitting, in hindsight.  My Dad always used to call him 'Orange Job' because he was the most beautiful shade of ginger, and, well, this is a wonderfully orange cake.


CRANBERRY AND ORANGE LOAF CAKE
Yield: one 2lb loaf            Time: 1 hour


INGREDIENTS

for the streusel
30g (1/4 cup) plain flour
30g (2 tbsp) golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
45g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold

for the cake
250g (2 cups) plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
110g (1 cup) cranberries (fresh or frozen - unthawed), chopped
65g (1/2 cup) pecans, chopped
1 large egg
105g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
100g (1/2 cup) golden caster sugar
240ml (1 cup) buttermilk
80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest (approx. two oranges' worth)

for the glaze
120g (1 cup) icing sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
orange zest


INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oven to 160C fan / 180C / 350F.
Line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.


  1. First, make the streusel: In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.  Cut in the cold butter and rub the mixture between your fingers until you have a breadcrumb consistency.  Set to one side.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, cranberries and pecans.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar and golden caster sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and orange zest.  
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.  Pour into the prepared loaf tin.  Top with streusel mix, pressing down to make sure it sticks.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour until a knife comes out clean.  I topped mine with foil at the 30 minute point to avoid it burning!
  6. To make the glaze, use a fork to gently mix together the icing sugar and orange juice.  Once combined, stir in the orange zest.  Drizzle over the cooled cake, and leave to set before serving.


NOTES

Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.

***


Catkin, 1996-2014

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