Orange + Caramel Upside Down Cake

Following on from my post at the end of last week, I did indeed bake a citrus cake over the weekend - an Orange & Caramel Upside Down cake. It certainly hit the spot and the last slither was finished off for elevenses yesterday morning.

Orange + Caramel Upside Down Cake

Serves 8 - 10

2 smallish oranges, thinly sliced

250g caster sugar

100ml water

For the cake:

Softened butter for greasing

20 cardamom pods

4 large eggs

150g soft light brown sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 smallish oranges

100ml sunflower oil

200g ground almonds

50g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Line the base and sides of a 23cm-diameter springform cake tin with a large piece of foil (this will hold the caramel in the tin). Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4. Butter the foil, then line the base with a circle of baking parchment. 

Put the caster sugar and water in a large frying pan. Heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Add the orange slices and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the oranges in the sugar syrup for 5 mins, or until softened, then remove and arrange in the base of the tin. Increase the heat under the syrup and cook, without stirring, until it turns a rich nutty brown. Carefully pour the hot caramel over the orange slices and leave to cool.

Put the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and bash until the pods split. Tip on to a board and remove the seeds, discarding the pods. Return the seeds to the mortar and grind to a powder. Set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until thick and pale. Add the citrus zests and ground cardamom, beating until combined. Measure out 100ml of orange juice. Whisk the oil and then the juice into the batter.

Toss the ground almonds with the flour and baking powder and quickly fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 mins or until well risen, golden brown and the cake is just beginning to come away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins.

Turn the cake out on to a plate or board and gently peel off the lining paper and foil. Use a good sharp knife to cut the cake and serve warm or cold with half-fat creme fraiche.

Recipe: Justine Pattison

Photography: Buttercup Days