Grandpa Urchin's Scene Stealing Tunisian Orange Cake

Ever since the great whole lamb in a pit extravaganza, I have repeatedly had demands for the recipe for the cake that my dear ol’ Dad brought along that day. And I do have to say that this irks me somewhat. After the extreme amount of effort I put in, digging a hole in the ground and setting fire to it and cooking a whole frigging lamb for 10 hours, by and large, a lot people seemed to be more interested in the frigging cake that was dished up afterwards. I love him to pieces but the old devil certainly knew what was doing that day, turning up with a twinkle in his eye. I would even go so far to say that he purposely made his legendary Tunisian Orange Cake just to steal some of my thunder. Seriously, I am sure he did. In fact I know he did (Freud would have a field day with this). However, it is a very lovely cake. Moist, tangy and quite simple to make. I had some more today at a family get together and this time he made not one but two (See? See what I mean!?) As always, it disappeared in seconds so I begrudgingly got the recipe of off him.

Here it is.

Tunisian Orange Cake

50g slightly stale white breadcrumbs

200g caster sugar

100g ground almonds

1 ½ tsp baking powder

200ml sunflower oil

4 eggs

Finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed orange

Finely grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon

For the citrus syrup

Juice of 1 unwaxed orange

Juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

75g caster sugar

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick


1. Line the base of a 20cm round and 5cm deep tine with greaseproof paper, then grease and flour the tin. Mix the breadcrumbs with the sugar, almonds and baking powder. Whisk the oil with the eggs, then pour into the dry ingredients and then mix well. Add the orange and lemon zest. Pour the mixture into the tin, place in a cold oven and turn on the heat to 180C.

2. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown. Check with a skewer by inserting it into the middle, if it comes out clean it’s done. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate.

3. Meanwhile, make the citrus syrup. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring gently to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves from the syrup.

4. While the cake is still warm, pierce it several times with a skewer, then spoon the hot syrup over the cake allowing it to run into the holes. Leave to cool. Spoon any excess syrup over the cake every now and then until it is all soaked up. Serve with cream or a dollop of Greek yoghurt if you fancy it.

Now if you’ll forgive me, I am going to sit in a darkened room and listen to ‘The End’ by The Doors.

Father? Yes Son? I want to kill you………


Kavey said…
That cake was bloomin' gorgeous! And your dad wasn't bad either!
But, before you get too despondent... you have to remember that most of us are more willing to make a cake than dig a huge grave in our back garden!
meemalee said…
That cake was dreamy ...

but you are still King of the Firepit!
Unknown said…
Love the sound of this and love how you cooked a lamb in a pit but your dad stole the show with his cake!
Katie said…
Your Dad sounds like an old devil! Can you plan your revenge and steal the show at one of his do's?
Thanks for sharing his recipe - looks lush.
Lisa Cookwitch said…
I read your post about The Pit and the Pear Tree with utmost admiration. (And a side sprinkling of "Oh dear god why??") so much kudos to you for that amazing amount of hard work. There's a reason us lazy Greeks don't do that anymore...

MMmm...cake! Thank you.
Deanna said…
This is the beauty of the circle of life. You have created young twin Urchins. Soon you can usurp their efforts with your recipes and so on and so forth.
Naomi Knill said…
Fandabbydozy :) Thanks Grandpa Urchin!

(You're amazing too Danny - that's what you want to hear really isn't it?!)
Unknown said…
this cake looks damn fine! great isn't it when these parents of ours come and invade hyperspace and steal our thunder? I've had my mum at the cottage all weekend and she's been making some amazing stuff with rhubarb... and taking all the glory! x
BribedwithFood said…
Hoorray for the orange cake!!!
Ailbhe said…
Families,eh? Nuttin'buttroubledat'swahtdeyare. Still, it does look and sound like a nice cake...
Food Urchin said…
Kavey - You can't fancy my Dad! He's my er Dad...

Meemalee - thanks MiMi, where's my crown?

Gourmet Chick - it is a lovely cake but listen my Dad didn't steal the show...OK!

Katie - I am plotting my revenge as we speak.....or type

Lisa - thank you, I did ponder throughout the task the very same 'why? oh god why?'

Deanna - Ah you made it all sound quite poetic, hmm the circle of life *begins plotting*

The Ginger Gourmand - YES! that's exactly what I wanted to hear

Dom - Shut the parents out of the kitchen, that's what I say

BribedwithFood - are you happy now? (touch my carrot)

Ailbhe - iknowwhatyameancanlivewithemcantlivewithoutembloodisthickerthanwaterandallthat
gastrogeek said…
OM and G!! I absolutely adored that cake, and kept trying to steal extra bits when I thought noone was looking - you've got quite the gourmet family it seems :)
Dan said…
Holy Shit - Finally. This was frigging gorgeous. Loved it - will be making this next week for sure. Thanks to you and thanks to your Dad.
Anonymous said…
I don't know, you'd have thought the whipper-snapper would be quite proud that his dear old dad had made this lovely cake,what worries me is 'a'how long has he been sitting in dark rooms and 'b' pacific island tribes used to cook their enemies in such a pit and then eat them !!!!!! was this a pratice run!!!!!!!
Food Urchin said…
Gastrogeek - Yes, we are quite the gourmet family. I like to think that my endeavours are rubbing off on everyone else.

Dan - ok so everyone is still hyping the cake, frigging gorgeous this, bloomin' gorgeous that....gah!

Anonymous - ha, I should have sussed it at the 'dear ol' Dad' bit. Father, sleep with one eye open. (love ya really x)

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