A twist on the usual lemon drizzle cake, this unassuming recipe of a traditional sponge (equal measures of flour, butter, eggs and sugar) can be transformed into an impressively moist and vibrant cake by the addition of the unexpected saffron flavour- perfect if you happen to be preparing a birthday surprise very last minute…
for the cake-
150g self raising flour
150g golden caster sugar
50g ground almonds
3 whole eggs
2 oranges (for the cake use the zest of 2 oranges and the juice of one)
½ tsp baking powder
a scant teaspoon of saffron extract. (this comes in a little glass bottle, much like vanilla extract. I found mine in a little local Indian supermarket)
for the drizzle-
the juice of the second orange
85g golden caster sugar
1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled, it will come together in the end.
3. Add the orange zest, ground almonds, saffron extract and baking powder, then sift and fold in the flour. Pop into a loaf tin then into the oven for about 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the tin whilst making the syrup.
4. Simple heat sugar and the juice of one orange in a saucepan until the sugar has all dissolved, then boil furiously for about a minute. Poke holes in the sponge, and lavishly drizzle the cake with the all the syrup.
Allow the cake to cool completely to create the delicious sugar crackle-glaze.