A couple of weeks ago I went along to York Central’s Clandestine Cake Club event which was held in the fabulous York Cocoa House on Blake Street just around the corner from the Minster. Although I have been a member of the Clandestine Cake Club for nearly 2 years now, it was the very first time I had ever managed to get along to the York Central group. This month’s theme was Literary Cakes which to me was a brilliant theme. As a trained primary school teacher, a mother and a massive bookworm it just had to be a child’s book which would provide the inspiration for my cake.
After taking a while to decide, I settled upon Paddington Bear. I first enjoyed the Paddington Bear stories by Michael Bond as a child in the 1970’s at Infant School. Our teacher read the first book to us and I also enjoyed the TV series that used to come on just before the 6 o’clock news! When I became a Key Stage One teacher nearly 20 years ago I had a cuddly Paddington toy and a book which I used to share with the children at story time. The book ended up being passed down to my own two children who are now teenagers. My hubby loved Paddington too and I remember him exploding with laughter reading the stories to my children at bedtime. So my cake just had to be a cakey version of one of Paddington’s Marmalade Sandwiches!
I then started looking for recipes containing orange and or marmalade and then remembered only a few days previously Mary Berry had been showing how to make her Spiced Orange Cake on The Great British Bake Off Masterclass. It sounded like a great way to try out the cake and to experiment with it to turn it into a marmalade sandwich!
Here’s how it was done:
I copied the idea for a sandwich cake from the jam sandwich cake that Frances made on this year’s Great British Bake Off. I googled the jam sandwich cake mould and found this one on Amazon!
I put a whole orange into a pan of boiling water and let it boil for about 30 minutes.
Once the orange was cold, it was blitzed in my food processor into a huge pulp.
All the other cake ingredients- baking powder, flour,caster sugar, baking spread, eggs, cinnamon and mixed spice were added to my food processor and mixed together along with the orange pulp (less 2 tablespoons reserved for the icing).
The silicone sandwich mould was carefully greased and dusted with a little flour.
The mixture was spooned into the mould. I placed it onto a baking tray really so it was easy to get in and out of the oven.
The cake took about half an hour in the oven. It rose beautifully and smelled gorgeous. What a shame that the picture had a huge shadow of me taking the photo on my phone camera. It was dark outside and it was being taken in funny light in my kitchen!
The following day I cut up the skin from an orange into small, thin pieces and covered them with boiling water. I added some caster sugar and boiled for another minute. Afterwards I tossed some more sugar in with the orange strips.
I made the cake frosting by putting butter, the last of the orange pulp, a tub of mascarpone cheese and some icing sugar into a large bowl and whisking them together. This made a deliciously creamy frosting. I couldn’t resist nabbing a teaspoonful out of the bowl!
Cutting the cake horizontally was quite tricky. I never get it straight but at least I didn’t have a thin crust and a massive chunky doorstep!
To fill the cake I added some Oxford Chunky marmalade. This worked out at roughly half the jar. I chose Oxford marmalade as it’s the one I usually buy to eat at home, it isn’t too sweet and it has lovely chunky shreds in it.
The jar of Oxford marmalade, my favourite marmalade.
On the other cake I spread it with a layer of orange mascarpone icing. I tried to make it generous but I was worried I wouldn’t have enough for the top of the cake.
Thankfully there was enough frosting for the top of the cake!
The candied orange peel. It should have been left a bit longer to dry out but I ran out of time.
To finish I added a Paddington ribbon round the edge of the cake and some Paddington cupcake picks. I would have liked to have made a fondant model of Paddington instead but I didn’t have time. Instead I found these decorations on Ebay which were great.
The cake went down well at cake club that night. I had about a third of the cake left along with some of the other cakey leftovers to take into work with me to share with my colleagues. It also went down well in school and I was delighted that the cake turned out the way I wanted it to. I would love to make it again and I bet it would work well with lemon or lime as a change with different spices to complement the main flavour. Watch this space!
Love Sam xx