Cyrus and me had a late and lavish Sunday breakfast the other day, and after we finished we both felt a craving for a nice piece of cake. Well, none was available readily, so I set about baking. Scouring my cook books, I did not really find anything that appealed to me at first but I certainly developed an eagerness to make it an opportunity to use some very nice candied citrus and bitter orange peel which had been sitting in my fridge since a somewhat over-excited Christmas shopping session (it was a few weeks into January, so I am not suggesting anything here that may be considered a health risk… 🙂 ). I finally settled for this spice cake recipe, using a sponge cake recipe as the base and combining it with a recipe for a Dutch spice cake which I discovered in the internet.
Ingredients (serves 6 to 8):
- 150 grams of butter, room temperature
- 120 grams of icing sugar
- 50 grams of ground blanched almonds
- 25 grams of baking cocoa
- 2 heaped teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 level teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 level teaspoon of ground cardamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground anise
- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
- 1 ground mace
- 2 teaspoons of rose water
- 4 whole eggs
- 250 grams of cake flour (German type 405)
- 1/2 package of baking powder (approx. 8 grams)
- 50 grams of finely dices candied citrus peel („Zitronat„)
- 50 grams of finely diced candied bitter orange peel („Orangeat„)
- Beat the butter to a pommade, i.e. beat the soft butter vigorously while briefly holding over a water-bath in intervals but without letting it melt. The butter should adopt a very creamy consistency and glossy look, not unlike hair pomade.
- Pass the icing sugar through a fine sieve and incorporate into the butter in several batches. Beat energetically with a baking spoon all the time. The butter and sugar mix should have a very smooth and creamy consistency.
- Work in the ground almonds, cocoa, spices and rose water.
- Incorporate the eggs one by one.
- Mix the flour and the baking powder and pass through a fine mesh. Incorporate into the dough in batches.
- Finally, incorporate the candied citrus and bitter orange peel.
- Pour into a buttered cake mold (approximately 12 x 20 cm.).
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then make an approximately 1.5 cm deep lengthwise inscission.
- Reduce the temperature to 160 degrees Celsius and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.