Thursday, February 05, 2009


There are a few foods for which I eagerly await. I am in so much anticipation for strawberry season, for example, that I can never stop myself buying the first punnet I see in the stores, even though it's April (or March, sometimes!) and I know they will taste sour. Or asparagus- there is nothing like British asparagus. As soon as I see bunches that haven't been flown in from Peru or Egypt, I snap them up. And fava beans! (Or broad beans, as they call them here.) It takes forever to de-pod and de-shell them, but by the Gods, they taste good.

So I'm always on the lookout for the stand-out foods of any time of the year. Unfortunately, in January/February, not much is out. Well, except for these:

Not very pretty, are they? They're Seville oranges. I bought a whole bag of ten for a couple quid, with absolutely no idea what to do with them. They're not very pretty on the inside, either:

They aren't eating oranges, although of course, you can't help but try some anyway, can you? They have a sour taste that goes on to become bitter. They also have an aftertaste that reminds me of something, but I can't think what. Maybe orange-flavoured liquers? That gives me an idea- you could probably steep a few slices in vodka; I bet that would be good.

Apparently, the thing to do with Seville oranges is to make marmalade. These make the best marmalade, I'm told. Unfortunately, I've never been a big fan of jams and marmalades. I gave The Limey the option of using them this way, but he declined, so off I went to look for recipes for these specific oranges.

Well, honestly, what's better than cake?

This recipe (scroll down) uses the orange zest for the cake itself, and orange juice for the syrup. It's lovely, and is reminiscent of Nigella's clementine cake, but with bite. I found that the syrup came out too runny to be called syrup, but I'm not complaining, because when you pour it over the cake, it absorbs it and the cake/syrup concoction becomes beautifully moist, but not mushy, although it's close. If I do this again, though, I'd add more sugar to the syrup.

This is not one of your light, fluffy cakes, oh no.


Woolly Stuff said...

mmm looks yummy. I keep checking the asparagus too!

soknitpicky said...

Well, looks like you found a very good use for an otherwise not-so-appealing bag of oranges. The cake looks yummy! BTW, thanks for the nice comments on the cardi. I basically never button a cardi all the way up.

Sinéad said...

Freaky. As I was reading this post I was thinking, don't make marmalade, make a cake! And you did! And it looks good. I just lurve orange cake. I use the juice and mix it with icing sugar to make a yummy sticky icing for the top. mmmm