It is that time of year for marmalade making! Which means it is essential to use up whatever is left of last years marmalade stores to make way for the new. I guess you can tell I’m slightly obsessed with citrus this year. Andrés found blood oranges in the market the other day and seemed surprised when, upon finding them in the kitchen I immediately peeled one and ate it, the juices running down my hand. Blood oranges are my absolute favourite – the colour wheel of reds, oranges and purples delights me – and it turns out they’re superbly good for you too, which is always an added bonus for favourite foods.
Anyway, on Sunday I made the new batch of marmalade (having recovered sufficiently from the earlier in the week mess) and, because it was overcast and dark in a way only a January afternoon can be dark, I decided to use up the almost-last jar of 2015 marmalade in a cake. A brief scour of the web combined with Annie Bell’s Baking Bible lead to this: a rather glorious, bitter, damp, orange loaf cake that I intend to eat around 4pm most of this week.
In truth, it is an exceedingly simple riff on a pound cake and could probably be adapted to use up whatever jam you have skulking in the back of the fridge. I used ingredients I had to hand, hence the use of honey – feel free to substitute for more soft brown sugar. Personally, I love this because it is not very sweet and the marmalade glaze gives it a bitter edge. Serve it with vanilla ice-cream for a winter dessert.
Marmalade Poppyseed Loaf
Makes one loaf tin
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
90g soft brown sugar
60g runny honey
175g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
zest and juice of one orange
2 tbsp poppyseeds
marmalade to glaze
Preheat the oven to 170C and line a loaf tin with butter and parchment.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, beating after each one. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl and add in two tablespoons to the egg mixture. Beat lightly.
Fold in the honey, marmalade, orange zest and poppyseeds. Lastly fold in the rest of the flour mixture followed by the orange juice.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for half an hour, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Let the cake rest in the tin for ten minutes before turning out and cooling. I spread the marmalade directly from the jar onto the still warm cake so it has a chance to absorb some of the syrup. Slice when cool. (Slicing when warm will lead to the cake falling apart.) Eat.