The Earl Gray cake ruined my family’s life. They were incensed by the lack of stay-at-home cake, and so today I had to whip up a duplicate. Family cake is a curious affair: there are unwritten rules about the baking and the eating, and whether or not it is acceptably to scoff at breakfast.

So, I made Orange and Almond cake with a fresh apricot and orange jam in the middle. It was nicely moist and summery, and the icing has that delicious tart-sweet orangey tang, and a pretty colour. It over-rose (a particularly zealous use of bicarb was the cause as I only had plain flour). As ever, all thought, wishes and directions are essentially arbitrary. You know what you are doing better than me.

Here is the recipe, should you wish to recreate it.

Orange and apricot jam is nicer to eat than photograph.

For the cake
Zest of two oranges
200g Self raising
150g Caster sugar
120g butter
A few drops of almond essence
1.5 tsp baking powder
A splash of milk should you feel its on the dry side.
2 medium eggs.

For the drizzle and the jam

Juice of 1.5 oranges
2 large ripe apricots
caster sugar and icing sugar

for the icing
Juice of 1/2 orange
icing sugar

1.grease and line 2 round cake tins (small ones). Set the oven to gas mark 5. Cream the butter and sugar (I used the trusty electric whisk). Zest the oranges and add the zest and the almond essence.

2. add the flour, baking powder and whisked eggs to this and beat until smooth. add the milk if its a wee drop dry.

3. bake (dirge-oven took 30 mins, but you be the judge)

4.Juice the oranges, reserving 1/4 of the juice for the icing.

5.Reduce the juice (having added sugar) and lightly stew the apricots as you do so.

5. Remove the apricots along with a little bit of the liquid and pulverise. Sweeten to taste.

6.Prick both cake halves and drizzle with the drizzle.

7.turn out and allow to cool. then, spread with the apricot jam, and ice.

Blessedly sunshining in oor back garden.

It looks like it has a tongue sticking out of it...

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