Friday, 2 November 2012

Bonfire Cake

I absolutely LOVE this time of year. Don't get me wrong - I love the summer, sunshine and heat, but there's just something special about those wintry nights. It starts off with Halloween, closely followed by Bonfire Night, and then it's pretty much Christmas! (Did I mention I will usually celebrate Christmas at least twice in December... I'll tell you about it sometime!)

I know it's not Guy Fawkes Night until Monday, but I wanted to post this spiced-orange bonfire cake today to give you chance to make it over the weekend - trust me, after spending a chilly night out watching the fireworks and bonfire displays, this makes an extra special treat to come back to!


For the cake:
1 large orange
300g margarine
300g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour
50g ground almond
1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice

To decorate:
200g icing sugar
Orange food colouring
2 tsp orange juice (reserved from cake)
A few tsp water (as needed)
Orange flavoured chocolate sticks (I used just over one box of Matchsticks)

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
Makes 8-10 slices

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease a round oven proof pyrex bowl.
  2. Zest the orange and squeeze the juice. Put around 2 tsp of the juice to one side for the icing - the rest will be added to the cake.
  3. Beat together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and mixed spice into the bowl and fold into the mixture. Add the zest and juice of the orange to the mixture and beat well.
  4. Tip the batter into the prepared bowl, then bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the bowl.
  5. Once the cake has completely cooled, turn in out onto a serving plate and carve the edges to achieve a more cone-like shape (see the photo above - you want it to look like a bonfire!). With the carved off bits, you could either eat these now, just to make sure they're OK, or you could freeze them and use the for cake pops later on!
  6. To prepare the icing, tip the icing sugar into a bowl with the orange food colouring and reserved orange juice, and mix well. You want the icing to be thick but spreadable and ever so slightly runny to make sure you can coat your cake evenly. If you need to, add one teaspoon of water at a time to the icing and stir in until you have the right consistency.
  7. Spoon the icing onto the top of you bonfire cake, then use a palette knife to spread this around the edges. Place the chocolate sticks around the cake, overlapping ever so often, to look like the branches of your bonfire. Break a few of the chocolate sticks onto the top of the cake.
  8. Note - the chocolate sticks make it a little tricky to carve this cake, so you may find it helpful to take one or two off to help you with slicing.
Happy Thoughts

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