Today I took an early mark. It was very exciting. There is something thrilling about being at home at two o'clock in the afternoon on a lovely sunny day. I contemplated spending the afternoon making some Sesame Street cupcakes (inspired once again by Bakerella) but instead I scoured the pantry and the fruit bowl. My rationale was that cake isn't so bad for you if you're mainly baking in order to prevent already purchased items going off. In this case it was two rather sad looking blood oranges!
I decided to get experimental and make up my own recipe for an orange and semolina upside down cake, with saffron and grand marnier for an added bit of ooh la la.
Syrup - 1 cup caster sugar, 1/4 cup blood orange juice, 1/4 cup grand marnier and a few threads of saffron, cooked on low heat for about 10 minutes
Cake - 125g of butter, zest of 1 lemon and 1 cup caster sugar creamed together, 3 eggs beaten in, then 1 cup plain flour, 2/3 cup semolina, 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/3 cup natural yogurt mixed in.
Construction - line tins of choice with baking paper on both bottom and sides (I used a 6" cake tin and some cupcake tins to see which would work out better), place some thin slices of orange on the bottom, pour a little syrup over the top, then add batter.
Bake - at 180 degrees, time will depend on pan size so use a skewer to check.
Serve - let them cool for 10 minutes or so in their tins, the syrup gets HOT. Carefully turn upside down and slowly peel off the baking paper. Trim as required. They are delicious when warm and I think would go very will with some spiced lemon ricotta or mascarpone on the side.
I reckon the 6" cake worked out better and much neater looking. The cupcakes taste amazing but don't look as perfect and pretty as I would have liked, mainly because of oozing syrup. Next time I might use a little less baking powder as some of the cakes had to be trimmed at the bottom so that they would sit flat when they were turned upside down.
I might go and eat another one now...