Since it first opened on a remote sandy beach in Cornwall over seven years ago, Simon Stallard’s outdoor restaurant, The Hidden Hut, has become something of a sensation in the South West. Stallard’s new cookbook of the same name showcases many of his most delicious yet achievable recipes; including this tasty orange cardamon cake, which we think would make a lovely Bank Holiday treat.
As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. It is a slow, although simple, process to prepare the cake, but the result is a sumptuous and fragrant bake that is worth every second of preparation time. This tastes sublime served with a scoop of crème fraîche or chocolate sorbet.
- 3 whole oranges (ideally blood oranges, if available)
- 375g ground almonds
- 375g caster sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder 9 large eggs
- crème fraîche, to serve (optional)
FOR THE SYRUP
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of ½ lemon
- 50g granulated sugar seeds from 4 cardamom pods
- 1 orange (ideally blood orange), peeled, pips removed, sliced into 5mm-thick discs
- 1 handful of pistachio nuts
- Put the oranges in a saucepan over a medium heat and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook gently for 2½ hours. Remove the oranges, then cut them in half and remove any pips. Put into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4 and line a 25.5cm round cake tin with baking parchment. Weigh out 550g of the orange purée and put it in a large mixing bowl. Mix the orange purée with the almonds, sugar and baking powder using an electric beater.
- While still mixing, add the eggs, one at a time, until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make the syrup, put the orange and lemon juice in a saucepan and add the sugar and the cardamom seeds. Cook over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, and then increase the heat to high. Cook for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid.
- Leave the cake in the tin and put on a wire rack, then arrange the orange slices over the top. Pour over the syrup and leave the cake in the tin to cool.
- Put the nuts between two sheets of baking parchment and use a rolling pin to crush them roughly. When the cake is cool, turn it out of the tin and sprinkle with the crushed pistachio nuts. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like.
Recipe taken from The Hidden Hut by Simon Stallard, published by Harper Collins (£20)