This recipe, originally called Tilley’s Marmalade Cake, was passed on by my mother-in-law who got it from a friend: I have no idea who Tilley was, by the way, or where the recipe originated. However his, or her, cake is delicious and a firm favourite. The original recipe is fairly basic and has seen a few personal adaptations since it was originally given to me. I have changed the title to reflect the addition of orange flower water, which I love and which turns this cake into something an extra bit special.
I know I make my own marmalade but it is precious and mostly gets saved for enjoying on toast: for this recipe I buy a jar of chunky marmalade from the supermarket. There are three main changes I have made to the recipe. Firstly, I am more generous with the marmalade, replacing the original two tablespoons with three generous ones: it would not be wrong to add four! Secondly, I add the zest of an orange, to supplement the chunks in the marmalade. Finally I add some orange flower water which pervades the whole cake with a delicate perfume. I stopped short of using some of the orange juice to mix the cake in place of milk as the orange flower water already gives a strong flavour. In addition, if I choose to ice the cake I use a little orange flower water to mix the icing, making the quantity up with water. I have given no amounts for the icing as it depends on the proportions of the cake and the thickness of icing wanted. Decorate the cake with a few strands of orange zest: which can be crystallised if you wish.
Fragrant Marmalade Cake
6ozs/170g soft margerine
zest of 1 orange
3 generous tbsp Marmalade
2tsp orange flower water (or more, maximum of 1tbsp or it will be overpowering)
6ozs/170g self raising flour
2 tbsp milk
½tsp orange flower water plus additional water to mix
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Line a 6-8inch (15-20cm) round cake tin or a 2lb loaf tin.
2. Cream together the margerine and the sugar until well combined and fluffy.
3. Break the eggs into a jug, mix with a fork and add a little at a time to the bowl, mixing in well.
4. Wash the orange well and remove the zest. Reserve a little zest to decorate if you wish. Stir in the zest, marmalade and orange flower water and mix well.
5. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in gently.
6. Gently fold in the milk and spoon into the prepared cake tin.
7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50-60minutes or until the centre is cooked (a skewer inserted into the cake will come out clean).
8. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
9. When completely cool combine the icing sugar and orange flower water with enough water to make a thick spreadable mixture and use this to cover the cake. Decorate with a little orange zest if you wish. This zest can be candied in advance by gently cooking in a little sugar and water for about 5 minutes and removing from the liquid. Once it is completely cool and dry it can be used to decorate the cake.