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Sam’s amazing orange cake

October 14, 2011


Eleven year old Sam is getting to be such an accomplished little cook. Even Tara is starting to flex her little muscles in the kitchen – making us a really delicious vegetarian nachos dinner the other night. I particularly love seeing how much pleasure the kids get from cooking. The other afternoon Sam came home from school and made this cake. He sang along to himself as he made it. Very sweet. The mess in the kitchen was less sweet. But we were ready to forgive that when he came into the room bearing this cake on the platter, along with plates and cake forks. My dodgy photo does not do it justice.

I haven’t made this cake myself, but this is the second time we have had it in a week. The first time it was made as a combined effort by both kids. Both times the cake has disappeared faster than it could be cut. It really is the best ever orange cake. Surprisingly light and delicate, given that it has a whole raw orange in it. It might just take the prize in this house for the best cake.

(Note: I am quite sure that the kids did not make the syrup both times they made the cake. The cake is so moist it really does not need it, but I included the original recipe below if you want to try it.)

Serious Orange Cake (recipe from Damien Pignolet’s French cookbook)

1 orange – around 150g, washed well and diced, with pips removed
200g sugar
3 x 60g eggs
150g self-raising flour
small pinch salt
180g butter – melted and cooled a little

Orange Syrup
60ml orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1-2 tablespoons cointreau ( I don’t think my kids used this, they don’t know what it is)

Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare your cake tin.

Put the diced orange and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.

Add the flour and salt and combine for 30 seconds. With the machine running, add the melted butter.

Transfer to baking tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.

While the cake is cooking make the syrup. Bring all ingredients to boil in a small saucepan and simmer for a couple of minutes. Pour the syrup all over the cake after it has cooled slightly.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2011 7:35 PM

    Well done to both of them! This looks lovely and moist 😀

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 17, 2011 10:54 AM

      It really is a terrific cake. And I confirmed with the kids that they haven’t made the syrup before. In fact they were quite surprised to see that there was a syrup as part of that recipe – funny little things hadn’t noticed that part of the recipe. Lucky it wasn’t something essential that they missed!

  2. October 14, 2011 8:24 PM

    I think that’s fantastic that both your children love to cook – and the results look pretty good too.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 17, 2011 10:52 AM

      I am really happy that they share this love of food and cooking with me. Not sure I would have coped if I had a child who didn’t like food, or only ate white food, or only junk food….!

  3. October 15, 2011 5:00 AM

    Waw!!! This orange cake looks very pretty & delightful too,…:)
    The kids have done an amazing job! Yum!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 17, 2011 10:50 AM

      Yeah he is so pleased with this cake he made a double batch yesterday…and now I am home alone with one and a half cakes…very dangerous situation given my cake addiction!

  4. October 15, 2011 5:40 AM

    I think that’s wonderful. does Sam have any tips for preparing the ring tin? he’s done a beautiful job there. And I would love to hear what goes in Tara’s vegetarian nachos 🙂

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 17, 2011 10:49 AM

      Well Joanna, I am very pleased you noticed that. As you know I have no luck at all with that bundt tin, and it was top of the list to be thrown out at the next cull of the baking dishes drawer. When I saw the kids pull it out to use the first time I really had to bite my tongue to stop my own failures from holding them back. I went to warn them that the cake might not come out when they were about to overturn it, but as I was issuing my warning they just plopped it out onto the serving plate. A magic trick they have repeated each time. I think sometimes they spray it with oil, and sometimes they forget – but each time it just plops out for them with no trouble at all. I asked Sam your question about tips and he said “just put the batter in the tin. Oh, and if you remember, spray it with oil first”. So there you go – no help at all!

  5. October 15, 2011 7:37 AM

    I think you should enter him on Junior Master Chef! Tara needs to give us her recipe too please. 🙂

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 17, 2011 10:44 AM

      Ha ha…no thanks re Junior Masterchef. Tara was very happy to read your comment (Sam was getting too many compliments and she didn’t want to miss out). Sam wanted to make “Tara’s nachos” last night and she was most concerned that I might post a photo on the blog and credit it to Sam! Nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry~!

  6. October 16, 2011 5:50 AM

    Your kids are cooking Damien Pignolet recipes? Hahaha…why am I not surprised? Such clever children you have there! 🙂

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 17, 2011 10:43 AM

      I don’t think they realise the difference between Damien Pignolet or other trickier chef cookbooks and the kids cookbooks they have. They are all just cookbooks to them and they pick whatever appeals. Usually based on the picture, but this time there wasn’t even a picture!

  7. October 17, 2011 12:22 PM

    I cannot wait until my little Monkeys are a bit older and can do this sort of thing. They are keen, and I’m keen, now I just have to keep that enthusiasm for cooking rolling until they can actually reach the counter tops properly.
    Well done Sam and Tara!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 19, 2011 9:04 AM

      It happens too soon Brydie…enjoy the toddler stage. I miss it often and wish I could shrink my kids back for just a day or two, so I can enjoy that stage again for a short while!

  8. October 18, 2011 2:27 AM

    Extra plus points because your kids love creating delish foods 🙂 That looks scrumptious!

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