Candied orange does not usually arouse good feelings in me: I have always thought that it spoils the roscón de Reyes terribly. Which person came up with a good idea to put it there? Is it the same one that puts liquor in the chocolates? What kind of evil invention are those candied orange slices covered in chocolate?
I hold my position firmly – and I know that I am not the only one in this club – but I have come up with a recipe where candied orange not only does not displease me but I like it a lot. It’s about this inverted spiced tart: a soft spiced sponge cake with a thin layer of candied oranges in syrup topped with cardamom. This cake is not cooked as you see it but the other way around, with the orange underneath and the cake on top, and it is turned over in the mold. Hence, obviously, the inverted thing.
The interesting thing about this recipe is that one can change the spices at will. This version has cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, but other flavorings could perfectly be used such as citrus zest, vanilla, anise, pepper, cloves, turmeric or even a pinch of cayenne.
As for oranges, it is better to use ones that have little navel, thin skin and few seeds. Valencia Late, usually sold for juice, are easy to find and good for this purpose. If you have the possibility of buying blood oranges, do not hesitate and go for them, the cake will be very rich and mega cute.
The one to cut thin slices of orange.
For a mold with a diameter of 24 cm
For the oranges
- 2 oranges (3 if they are small)
- 250 ml of water
- 100g white sugar
- 100 g of brown sugar
- 3 cardamom pods
For the cake
- 150 g of wheat flour
- 150 g butter at room temperature
- 150 g of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons chemical booster
- 25 g grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of salt
Wash the oranges very well and cut them into thin slices of 3 or 4 mm maximum.
In a frying pan or saucepan, where the slices will fit in a maximum of two layers, heat the water with the sugars and the crushed cardamom pods. Bring to a boil.
Once it has started to boil, lower the heat and add the orange slices. Cook for 30 minutes: they should be soft but not undone. Reserve.
Heat the oven to 180 ºC. Grease a 24 cm diameter mold with oil and line both the base and the edge with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, beat the butter at room temperature with the sugar until it has the consistency of a cream. It can be done with a mixer or by hand.
Add the eggs and incorporate well.
Add the ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Mix the flour, the chemical impeller and the salt in another bowl. Add to the previous mixture and integrate until it is homogeneous. It should be dense and sticky.
Put the ordered oranges at the base of the mold with half of the cooking syrup. Reserve the other half.
Pour the cake mixture on top and smooth with a spatula, being careful not to move the oranges.
Bake 40 minutes or until golden. Prick with a toothpick or knife and check that it comes out dry. Tip: If you are using a removable mold that does not close 100%, put a paper or tray in the base of the oven because a little of the syrup may leak during baking (and you don’t want to clean up such a mess afterwards).
Remove from the oven and unmold after 10 minutes. It is important not to let it cool completely or unmolding will be difficult. Pour the remaining syrup over the oranges.
If you make this recipe, share the result on your social networks with the hashtag #RecetasComidista. And if it goes wrong, complain to the Chef’s Ombudsman by sending an email to [email protected]
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.