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Orange and Cardamom Love Cake

It took three days to make this cake, but please don’t be put off by this crazy little fact. I simply took my time and broke down the recipe to few easy steps that only required a fraction of time. On day one I boiled the orange and kept it in the fridge overnight, on day two made the cake and syrup, poured the syrup over the cake and left it to soak up over night. On day three made the custard and folded it with whipped cream and then dressed the cake. The cake needs at least a day to soak up the orange syrup and for the flavours to bind so there is no need t rush things when making this love cake.


1 large orange (preferably navel variety)

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

8 cardamom pods (crushed to powder and sieved though a fine sieve)

260g almond meal

70g semolina

1/3 cup thick greek style yoghurt


To boil the orange place it into a saucepan filled with cold water (enough to cover the orange), bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes then discard the water and refill again with cold water and repeat the step of bring to simmer and tipping the water out, then refill the pan again with cold water and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering the orange for 2 hours before tipping the water out fort the last time. The reason for refreshing the water three times is to reduce bitterness that comes from the orange pith as some oranges can be quite bitter.

Preheat oven to 160C fan.

Grease and line a 22cm round cake pan.

After cooling the boiled orange, cut into pieces and remove all the hard bits, then blitz in a food processor until smooth, stopping and scraping the sides to make sure there are no chunky pieces of orange left. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the 8 cardamom pods. Sieve though a fine sieve to remove the leftover husk and mix with the orange puree.

In a bowl of stand mixer place 4 eggs and 3/4 cup caster sugar whisk for 15 minutes on medium-high speed. Once eggs are whipped to a pale thick mass, using a spatula gently fold in the orange puree, then semolina and at last the yoghurt. Fold the ingredients carefully, however, making sure the mixture is evenly mixed through.

Pour the cake batter into prepared cake pan, level it out with a spatula and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the centre of the cake feels springy to touch.

Once the cake is baked, remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before moving it to a platter (choose a platter you are going to serve the cake in. It needs to have a bit of a rim to hold the syrup from spilling out.)

Prick the cooled cake all over the top surface with a skewer and slowly pour cooled orange and cardamom syrup all over the cake reserving a few table spoons of the syrup for later. Refrigerate overnight before topping with diplomat cream and serving.

For the orange syrup:

1 large orange, sliced

1 large orange, juiced

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

6 cardamom pods, bruised to crack open


In a sauce pan mix water, sugar, orange juice and cardamom pods, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved add the orange slices and simmer ever a low heat for at least 30 minutes or until slices have become transparent. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

For this recipe you will only need the syrup, the orange slices can be added as a garnish or even better if you have extra time on hand dry them out slightly on a cooling rack and dip in melted dark chocolate, refrigerate until set and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve the chocolate coated orange slices with tea or coffee or eat them for a midnight snack!

For the Orange Blossom Diplomat Cream ( Custard folded through whipped cream)

250g milk

3 egg yolks

60g caster sugar

10g plain flour

10g cornflour

15g butter, cold

1/2 tsp orange blossom water

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

150ml heavy cream (cold)

Heat the milk in the saucepan until it just starts to simmer. In the meantime while the milk is heating up in a heatproof bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until pale, then add both flours and whisk until combined and without any small lumps left. Once the milk has come to a simmer gently pour it over the yolk mixture in three batches while whisking continuously to prevent yolks from scrambling. Return the mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring with a wooden spoon until custard just starts to boil, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the cubes of cold butter, cardamom powder and orange blossom water. Let the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, cover closely with cling film to prevent skin forming and refrigerate until cooled completely.

When the pastry cream has cooled, whip the cold cream on medium speed to stiff peaks, be careful not to over whip the cream. Whisk the cold pastry cream to loosen it up. Add a few tablespoons of whipped cream and fold thoroughly, then add the rest and fold gently trying not to deflate the cream. Refrigerate until needed. The cream will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.


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