The only way to describe my first attempt at this cake is disaster, failure and my reaction to the result a little outrageous. But on a second try I discovered that this is an incredible recipe!
2 cups self raising flour
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
Zest and juice of one orange
130g butter, melted
¾ cup milk
Preheat oven to 180’C. Grease a 22cm loose bottom cake tin. In a large bowl sift flour and sugar together. Add in milk, eggs, juice, zest and butter. Mix until smooth. Pour into the cake tin and top with half the blueberries. Bake for 20 minutes and then sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top and bake for another 20 minutes. Check with a skewer!!! Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and allowing the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make muffins make the same batter, half fill muffin cups with batter and top with 4 or 5 blueberries. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes and store in an airtight container.
I decided to give this recipe a go, looked tasty, fruity and easy enough for a week night. Everything started off okay until I repeatedly dropped the orange I was zesting into the flour and sugar mix making for a sticky gluggy orange. I then greased up the loose bottomed tin that my Gran so kindly sent me. Looking at the tin, it looked big enough until I poured the batter in and it was about .5cm from the top. Not enough room for rising. So upon consultation from Daniel I then greased a deeper pan and poured the batter into that pan. Topped with half the blueberries and put it into the oven. For 20 minutes as directed. At 20 minutes I added the other half of the blueberries and returned to the oven for another 20 minutes. The next part may or may not be my fault. The recipe did not state to check it with a skewer. It said it was prone to dropping in cold draughts so I figured it was also prone to dropping if touched. So I removed the cake from the oven. Sat it on the bench for 10 minutes as directed and then opened the spring form tin, beautiful, a nice spread of blueberries. So I lift it from the bottom and onto a wire rack when I see blueberries dropping out of the bottom of the cake. I put a knife into the middle and it is raw, completely raw. So I quickly scoop it all back onto the base of the tin and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes. Check with a skewer and it seems better, at this point I have a cake ring with a sunken mush in the middle. I remove it from the oven and let it cool again. I try to cut a slice because I was waiting for it to be done so I could have some for dessert. But it wasn’t to be, the inside was still liquid. The next part is funny in hindsight. Daniel turns the tv off and says he is going to get ready for bed. At this point it is about 10pm. I feed the fish and go to lift the cake into a cake box to deal with in the morning at which point something in my brain snaps. I throw myself on the floor like a small child and start bawling my eyes out. Daniel comes in from the bathroom and picks me up, telling me its ok and its only a cake. A cake that has now taken an hour and a half of my life. I slowly calm down and then my brain snaps again, I start hacking the cake to pieces with a palette knife, hard crusty bits, runny goopy bits and blueberries go everywhere. At this point I am certain that Daniel really does love me because anyone who didn’t would have run, far far away. Once my hacking fit was over, I scooped what I could find out of the middle and put the remaining hacked circle of cake into a container and went to bed.
The problem with all of this is that the cake that remained was delicious. And I wanted more. So on Saturday I decided to make half a batch and make it into muffins instead so I could control the cooking. They turned out perfectly and boy am I glad I gave them another go. I can highly recommend making this recipe as muffins or as a cake if you actually test instead of guessing the readiness. It is light, orangey, a bit like orange poppy seed without the poppy seeds and the blueberries make it an all-round amazing basic cake.
I think this would be best for a morning tea, maybe for this coming Easter weekend and is delicious by itself or you could use it as part of a dessert, served warm with ice cream. This recipe in the muffin form is definitely moving up the list to join the raspberry and white chocolate muffins as a favourite in our house.