Seville orange season is, for me, easily the best thing about January. Making marmalade is a January ritual in my kitchen, and there is nothing better to cheer up a cold, dull day than a bowl piled high with bright oranges. As a result of this, one of February’s rituals is a marmalade cake. Each year, after I have made a fresh batch of marmalade, I rediscover my love of marmalade cake.
I went to the farm shop in search of Seville oranges for my annual batch of marmalade, but when I came across a box of the thinnest, pinkest young forced rhubarb, I couldn’t possibly resist. I felt compelled to make a batch of this, my stalwart rhubarb recipe. If you happen to have been a reader of my craft blog (back in the day), you may find this recipe familiar. I make no apologies for posting it a second time, however. It’s an utter delight (assuming that you like rhubarb, of course…)
It’s been a while since I posted a cake for the weekend, but I have a particularly scrumptious cake to share with you today. Last year, I made a Simnel Cake, and decorated it with crystallised primroses. It was the first time that I’d used primroses on a cake, and I was delighted with the result. A week or so ago, I saw a picture on Instagram of a Banana Primrose Lemon cake, and became I slightly obsessed with the idea of recreating it.
With several bottles of homemade elderflower cordial in the fridge, I was reminded of that seasonal favourite of mine, elderflower drizzle cake. As I also had a bowlful of gooseberries from the farm shop sitting on my work surface, I felt inspired to combine the two. Gooseberries and elderflowers, growing almost simultaneously, as they do, are perfect partners in taste. I cooked up the gooseberries with some butter, sugar, and a couple of heads of elderflowers to infuse them with flavour and scent. Once cooled, I stirred through some double cream, and used this simple gooseberry fool as the filling for an elderflower sponge. To finish, a glaze of elderflower icing, its sweetness balanced by the tartness of the gooseberries.