Raspberry orange cake

Baking goes well with the quiet of the morning. I like to sift flour and zest citrus fruits on a neat kitchen countertop while drinking caffè latte.  Cakes and biscotti require some precision in preparation. Yet dessert should be as uncomplicated as a bowl of fresh fruit. This cake is made with the classic trio of flour, eggs and butter.  It is sweetened with oranges and honey and filled with the scarlet juices of fresh raspberries.

Ingredients

  • 360 grams of organic unbleached wheat flour or lemon-scented flour
  • ten grams of baking powder
  • 180 grams of unsalted butter
  • 180 grams of local honey or natural agave syrup
  • the zest of one orange
  • the juice of one orange, about 100 ml
  • six fresh organic eggs
  • 180 grams of fresh raspberries
  • a bowl of fresh berries to garnish

Preheat the oven to 170 °C. Cut baking paper to fit a tart pan and the sides of 26 cm in diameter. Alternatively,  fit your favorite cake tin with baking paper in the same way. Sift the flour and the baking powder into a large bowl. Wash the orange well and grate the colorful and aromatic zest into the flour. Squeeze the juice of the orange.

Mix the honey and orange juice with a hand-held mixer or food processor until the honey dissolves into the juice. Add the butter and mix the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Push the ingredients down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula so that the butter and orange-honey become a unified cream.  Incorporate the eggs one at a time with the mixer. When adding the eggs, pay particular attention to the time. Eggs should be mixed no longer than two minutes. This enables the cake to rise well in the baking process.

Scrape the mixing bowl clean with all the butter mixture using a spatula. Fold it by hand gently into the sifted flour into a pale yellow batter. Add the fresh raspberries and stir. Pour the cake batter into the tart pan and spread it until level with the spatula.

Bake the cake at 170 °C for 35-40 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size of the tart pan. The cake is baked when the sides are set, the top is lightly browned and the center bounces back when pushed with your finger tip. Allow the cake to cool in the baking tin. As it cools it will crack in the middle. The raspberries in the cake create a moist-textured cake. Once it has cooled slightly, cover the cake with baking paper until ready to serve. This homemade dessert will keep well two days after baking.

Serve the raspberry filled cake with a big spoon of mixed fresh fruit salad made with strawberry, raspberry and oranges.

♦  Suggested combinations
This uncomplicated cake recipe makes for a beautiful birthday party cake. Pair it with a scoop of homemade orange granita. In late summer substitute the raspberries with bright purple figs.

♦  Notes
Adding fruit juice to a cake batter makes it possible to reduce the amount of butter used while baking. The result is light and fresh.

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