Its summers and Oranges are in abundance! There’s something about Citrus fruits, the slightest aroma of them, or even an image of that big English lemon or that juicy Tangerine instantly livens up the soul. If you know me well, you probably know how much I love to bring different flavor combinations in recipes and having food that has something special about them.
Orange and Rosemary are a delectable pairing. I love the way the deep citrus nature of the orange mixes up with the unique inherent flavor of the rosemary to create this upside-down Orange and Rosemary cake which is sure to awaken your senses in every way. I sometimes feel herbs are still an unexplored territory. I mean not like they are not widely used, of course, they are! But just that they are still an underrated territory. I don’t see much of experimentation there. I don’t see herb butter, herb soufflé being made at home so often as I see the other stuff happening. For me, herbs are absolutely classic. I don’t think at any point of time in life, you will ever see those beautiful tiny greens missing from my kitchen. They are my little darlings and I love to play with them in my creations!
When it comes to sweet treats, herbs are definitely underrated, it’s easy to assume that only savory food is suitable for herbs, but the reality is that they add a special and unusual element to sweet food. Basil, rosemary, and thyme go so well with citrus fruits and this combo is a deadly one for summers. Herbs are relaxing for me just as citrus fruits are refreshing for the soul. Who doesn’t want to unwind with those delish creations with a cup of coffee at the end of a long summer day, right?
Playing with the Tangerine
I have not used the Indian Oranges here but the Tangerines. These are sweeter than our Indian variation of course and it’s easier to handle them while making such upside-down cake recipes. When you cook the tangerines in sugar syrup, as I have done in this one it enhances the flavor and can be easily munched upon including the outer rind. In all, the tangerine slices are first boiled in the syrup to take the bitterness out of the rind. If we don’t do this, the cake will have a nasty bitter tang to it, but by boiling them first they taste like the chunky bits in a good marmalade, and are the best bits really!
Substitution of Flour:
This recipe can also be made with the whole wheat flour and I bet it is going to taste as delicious as this one. You can also mix half of wheat flour and half of the white flour. That will work superbly as well. I personally have an inclination for wheat flour but in this one, I just decided to go with all-purpose flour (white flour).
Also, I have added orange essence in this recipe. This was done because I wanted to add that extra orange flavor and also wanted the cake to be devoid of that eggy smell or the bad after taste that sometimes comes out of egg-based cakes. For this purpose, vanilla essence works well but try not to use it as it will interfere with the two main flavors of the cake. Orange essence will just work well enough, don’t worry, it is widely available.
Working with Rosemary:
You can use dried rosemary also for this cake but I personally feel fresh herbs work best for cake recipes. Dry herbs work wonderfully well in cookies. But I prefer fresh ones only for cakes. If you can’t find fresh rosemary, use the dried one, but if you ask me just go a step ahead and source fresh rosemary for this cake!
I had a lot of fun developing this cake, and I really think you’ll love it too. Do let me know if you try it out and leave me a comment, let’s bake together!!!
This unusual upside-down cake recipe is surprisingly delicate and delicious. It isn’t too sweet and a subtle hint of rosemary takes this cake to a new level. The delicate orange keeps the sponge moist and delightful. A perfect cake for afternoon tea.
For the Cake:
1/2 cup oil
50 gms Brown Sugar,
100 gms All Purpose Flour,
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tbsp Orange Zest
3 tbsp orange juice
Few drops of orange essence
Orange Sugar Syrup:
110 gms sugar
60 ml water
- Mince the rosemary and keep aside.
- Slice the orange into thin slices around 1/2 cm each. In a large non-stick frying pan, add the sugar and the water for the syrup and cook on low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved, then add the orange slices and ensure they are evenly submerged. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Once the orange slices are softened, use tongs to transfer them to the cake tin and arrange it in a circle.
- Now, using a beater, beat the oil and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly between each addition.
- Sieve the flour in a bowl. Now add baking powder and add rosemary to it. Add this in bits to the egg mixture and combine well till you get a smooth mixture. Do not over mix. Add the orange zest and give it one last mix to distribute it evenly.
- Line your round cake tin with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture over the top of the oranges and gently spread it out so it is flat on top. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake upside down and remove the parchment paper. You can store this in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.