- 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 250g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 250g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 100g full-fat soured cream
- 3 blood orange, finely zested
- 3 tbsp chopped pistachios, to decorate (optional)
- candied peel, to decorate (optional, see tip, below)
For the icing
- 170g icing sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tbsp blood orange juice
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and butter and line a 1-litre loaf tin.
Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl for 8 mins until fluffy and very pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then the soured cream and zest. Spoon into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, combine the sugar and juice and spoon over the cake. Sprinkle over the pistachios and candied peel, if using (see tip, below). Will keep in an airtight container for up to three days.
The perfect spongeBeat the butter and sugar for the recommended time, and don’t overmix when adding the dry ingredients. Gently incorporating these will result in a softer sponge with a finer texture.
Make candied peelTo make your own candied peel, use a vegetable peeler to peel large, wide strips of zest from 2 blood oranges. Remove any pith with a knife, then slice the peel into thin matchsticks. Tip 200g granulated sugar into a saucepan with 200ml water and warm over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the peel and simmer gently for 15 mins. Scoop the candied peel out of the sugar syrup using a slotted spoon and transfer to a piece of baking parchment. Leave to cool completely.