Orange cake 

We went to Marrakech a few weeks ago. It was our second time in this beautiful, busy and colourful city and my fourth trip to a country that doesn’t fail to amaze me from every point of view, but in particular from a culinary perspective. Moroccan food is as varied as its people, and despite vast quantities of spices you find in every corner, their dishes aren’t overpowered but enhanced by a few herbs and spices. Orange cake is a staple dessert in Moroccan houses, always served with aromatic and sweet mint tea, it definitely puts to evidence the widely available and unrivalled Moroccan citrus. This cake is moist, tangy and sweet. My version of it has kefir and not much butter, but you can choose to make it with olive oil (just use mild, not extra virgin) if you are after a healthier version. It’s a very easy recipe as you mix all the ingredients at once and it doesn’t need any icing; it’s sweet enough as it is!

150g gluten-free self-rising flour
100g butter
130g caster sugar
70g kefir or plain yogurt
2 large free-range eggs
Zest and juice of one large orange

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease or line a deep 20cm/8in tin.
2. Set aside half of the orange juice adding 1 tbsp. sugar. Mix all of the other ingredients, whisking vigorously.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the tin.
4. While the cake is cooling in its tin, pour the orange juice and sugar you had put to the side and bring to the boil stirring slowly. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the orange drizzle. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve.

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