This Sicilian Orange Cake is the famous orange cake from the once popular Café Agostini (this cafe has closed on 22 July, 2005) owned by Margie Agostini, in the heart of Sydney ’s suburb for the rich and famous, Woollahra. Customers have often been heard to say that “Margie’s orange cake is to die for”.
I found this recipe on Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escape Cookbook a while ago but was surprised to find out how this recipe was linked to Australia:
Rick Stein: "To be accurate, I suppose this cake should be known as Margie Agostini'sorange cake. It was her signature dish at her greatly missed Caffe Agostini in Woollahra in Sydney. It seemed to me to be just made for Sicilian oranges. The recipe came from an article in the Times by Jill Dupleix, although I had eaten the cake at the cafe a few years earlier and I thought it was amazing. As Jill says, it has to be the richest, moistest, butteriest and yet lightest orange cake in the world."
~Ellie, Almost Bourdain, Aug 16 2009
Right now, after gone for almost 10 days [it feels like 10 years tho], I'm back with the renowned Sicilian Orange Cake. This is a perfect orange cake. Ask around if you don't believe me. It became a blogosphere phenomenon since 2009, and everyone who tried it, loved it!
I believe no one will say no to this buttery, moist and full with mild aroma of orange citrus cake. It's a simple cake, yet so pleasing.. I had to agree with Ellie excerpt above, it is the richest, moistest, butteriest and yet lightest orange cake in the world..
I came to know this cake from Ellie of Almost Bourdain. Early this week, Ellie decided to leave the blogging world, and I had to admit that I'm quite shock to hear the news. Personally, I'm a big fan of Ellie's blog. Her appetizing photos and inventing recipes were so inspiring. Most of my baking/cooking goodies came from her site, whether it get published here or not. There's more recipes waiting to be tried and her blog would be my online "recipe-book" for years coming. :)
And to be honest, I baked this cake for her. My so-called farewell tribute for her leaving. To Ellie, you'll be missed.. Wish you the best of luck with your life and I hope we get to see you again...soon :)
(Adapted from Almost Bourdain)
Makes 1 x 22-cm cake, to serve about 8
250g lightly salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250 g caster sugar ( I cut down to 230g)
4 medium eggs
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
250 g self raising flour (make sure you get self raising flour!)
85 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
For the icing (optional):
125 g icing sugar
5 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 22-cm clip-sided round cake with non-stick baking paper.
- Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until very pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating very well between each one, if necessary adding a spoonful of flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. Beat in the orange zest. Add the flour all at once and mix in well, then slowly mix in the orange juice.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. If it starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a sheet of lightly buttered foil.
- Leave the cake, in its tin, to cool on a wire rack, then carefully remove the sides and base of the tin and peel off the paper. Put it onto a serving plate.
For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the orange juice until you have a spreadable consistency. Spread it over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, and leave to set. Serve cut into slices, and store any leftovers in an airtight container.