Tag Archives: citrus peel

Orange and Ginger Sponge Cake

brenda gateway's orange and ginger sponge cake - at fanny and brenda!

I was awoken this morning by the sound of some appallingly obtrusive snoring from the next bedroom. I had never heard such disgusting sounds, at least not within the realms of civilised humanity. I poked my gracious head around the door and saw an elephantine lump breathing and belching flatulently, a vision that might have been redolent of a particularly nasty pyscho horror film. Fanny was on her back under the duvet, her head wrapped in her lacy bonnet, her substantial red nostrils flaring with every intake of breath dreaming no doubt about her latest Brazilian. It was a sight that few could have withstood without mental damage, but magically I survived.

I will have you know however that it was too damned early, and Ruby the cat was annoyed by the unnecessary sleep interruption. Desperate times call for desperate measures and frankly I felt like eating a large and sumptuous cake as compensation for the rude awakening. I stamped downstairs and decided on making a refreshing stimulating and quite fabulous orange and ginger sponge cake. Here is the recipe.

Zesty Orange and Ginger Cake

Preheat oven to 160°c

brenda gateway's orange and ginger sponge cake - at fanny and brenda!

For the cake
• 250g butter
• 250g self-raising flour
• 1 level tsp baking powder
• 125g golden caster sugar
• 125g soft brown sugar
• 4 large eggs
• finely grated zest of 2 oranges
• 2 heaped dessert spoons glace ginger

For the butter icing
• 75g butter, softened
• 75g icing sugar, sifted
• 1 dessert spoonful of glace ginger pieces
• finely grated zest of 2 oranges

For the glaze topping
• 100g icing sugar
• juice of an orange (approx 100g)
• zest of 1 orange


Grease two loose bottomed cake tins and place a sheet of baking paper on the base of each. This will help later when you have to extract the cake from the tins.

brenda gateway's orange and ginger sponge cake - at fanny and brenda!

Put all of the dry cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine them with the butter and the zest till you have a rather lovely fragrant doughey mixture.

Add the eggs, and whisk to blend giving a soft cake mixture.

Stir in the glace ginger dispersing it well.

Split the mixture between the two loose bottomed greased cake tins

Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Check with skewer that the cakes are cooked. If still slightly gooey in the centre give them another 4-5 minutes.

Take out and place on a rack to cool.

brenda gateway's orange and ginger sponge cake - at fanny and brenda!

Sandwiched buttercream icing

Once the cake has cooled mix the softened butter and the icing sugar in a large bowl.

Add half the grated rind.

Take one of the cakes and add a layer of icing to it.

Add some of the glace ginger to the layer that will be in the middle of the cakes.

brenda gateway's orange and ginger sponge cake - at fanny and brenda!

For the topping

Mix the icing sugar and juice of half an orange

Add the zest

Pour the thin liquid over the top of the cake allowing it to overflow down the sides

Leave to set for a couple of hours – giving you a slightly crispy topping!

Candied lemon peel

candy lemon citrus peel recipe 

A short while ago I produced a citrus candy peel recipe for oranges. This recipe takes lemon citrus peel which cooks slightly differently due to the nature of its skin.

This recipe refines it a bit and delivers a soft lemony citrus peel.


Slice as finely as possible a lemon

Place in a pan of cold water and place on hob. One it starts to boil, reduce the flame and let it simmer for twenty minutes.

Empty out pan, drain the slices, and start again.

Place cold water and lemon slices in the pan and heat up. Boil for twenty minutes.

Repeat so that you do this four times.

Now place your slices in a pan, with a cup of of caster sugar and about 250ml of water

Heat up and let simmer for twenty minutes.

Take off flame and place lemon slices on drying rack for about 24 hours.

Then place in a sterilised jar to keep.

Candying peel

It’s strange how the last days of a warm summer have passed and how quickly Christmas is now approaching. On the train today I saw two glittery ‘snowmen’ on a city roof along with some other festive decorations. The build up has begun and while it’s easy to complain about it all, actually it is a useful prompt to start some of the preparations for the food to be enjoyed at that time.

mixed candied candy citrus orange lemon lime peel

Today I have been candying citrus fruit peel – 3 oranges.  I am intending some of this peel to go into the Fanny and Brenda Joyous Christmas Cake and some of it to go into my really very delicious mincemeat.

mixed candied candy citrus orange lemon lime peel

Now wash the fruit. Cut off the ends. I did the same with the oranges, lemons and limes. Make sure all of them are unwaxed.

Cut the skin into quarters as it makes the peeling a bit easier.

mixed candied candy citrus orange lemon lime peel

Peel off the skin and cut into narrow slithers

Place them in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.

Tip the water out and repeat twice. This will tenderise the skin.

mixed candied candy citrus orange lemon lime peel

Meanwhile in a bowl whisk up 400g of caster sugar in 200g of water.

Now tip into a small pan and turn on the heat. Let it simmer for about five minutes and then add the peel

Cook on a slow simmer for about 50 minutes.

When soft strain them and place them in a tray to cool down.

(I keep the resultant syrup for using in tarts and dribbling on ice cream….)

Once they have cooled you can use them in the fruit mix for the christmas cake or mincemeat or they can be covered in caster sugar and enjoyed individually.

I have found that  different citrus types cook slightly differently. Please check out my blog about candying lemon peel.

mixed candied candy citrus orange lemon lime peel