Absolute delight: Orange cake with lavender

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The addition of lavender sugar is a little twist and very subtly adds depth to the flavour.

375 g caster sugar
fresh lavender flowers, rinsed and dried thoroughly
150 g butter, softened
4 tsp grated orange zest (about 3 oranges)
3 large eggs, beaten
375 g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
270 ml milk

60 g castor sugar
60 ml fresh orange juice
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
100 ml water

250 ml icing sugar
30 ml fresh orange juice
orange zest to decorate


Preheat your oven to 170°C

Grease a 23cm ring tin well.

Place the castor sugar and lavender flowers in a food processor and whizz together until the flowers are finely chopped and mixed into the sugar.

Cream the butter and lavender sugar together. Add the orange zest and eggs and beat until well incorporated. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk, then mix everything together until combined.

Scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and pop in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Start preparing the orange syrup about halfway through baking. Place all the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Allow to boil gently for 10 minutes until the syrup has reduced slightly.

Pour the hot syrup over the cake when it comes out of the oven, then allow to cool completely in the tin.

To make the glaze: sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the orange juice in stages until you have a pourable glaze (you may need to add more or less than 30 mils until you have the right consistency.) Remove the cold cake from the tin, flip it over and pour glaze over the top, allowing it to run down the sides. Decorate with orange zest (finely grated zest or curls) and serve.


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