Since publishing my original post about this cake I have been asked for the recipe by Barony Mill who mill the beremeal and so here it is.
Diana’s recipe from The Daily Telegraph caught my eye when I was in the middle of marmalade making - there’s always that little bit of preserve over that will not fill a jar but is perfect for baking - or even adding to beef, pork or chick pea casseroles. I opted to make Diana’s cake but, of course, as a spur-of-the-moment bake, I did not have all the ingredients that she specified. So, here’s Diana’s recipe as written, with my notes and tweaks following on. Being new to Orkney and rapidly becoming a beremeal devotee I had to add a little of that too.... recipes are only ever a starting point!
Use a good marmalade – the cheapest you can find will not do. I generally just sift icing sugar over it, but you can glaze it with some melted marmalade if you prefer.
175g (6oz) butter
175g (6oz) soft light-brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
125g (4½oz) dark, coarse-cut marmalade
finely grated zest of 1 orange
juice of ½ orange
175g (6oz) brown self-raising flour
Butter and base-line a loaf tin measuring 22 x 12 x 6cm (8 x 4¼ x 3in).
Beat the butter and sugar in a food mixer until light and fluffy. With the machine running add the egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the marmalade, zest and juice. Sift the flour and add the bran from the sieve back into it. Fold into the batter with a metal spoon. Scrape into the tin and smooth the top.
Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 35 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Leave for 10 minutes, then turn on to a wire rack, peel off the paper and set the right way up. Leave to cool (though it is lovely, if rather crumbly, when still warm).
Here’s the myorkneylarder version. It’s all as above but ....
• I used caster sugar.
• I used the juice of 1 Seville orange - they are generally not as juicy as sweet ones.
• I used 160g white SR flour + 40g fine beremeal with a pinch of baking powder.
• I found the mixture did curdle with all the acidic juice but it quickly recovered when the flour etc was added.
• I’m baking in a bottle gas oven which does seem to have very pronounced temperature zones, so I baked for 45 minutes at gas mark 4 but a rung below the centre, to minimise the cake over-browning on the top. Temperature to dial is only correct exactly in the centre of a gas oven but, if you bake a lot, you will get used to the vagaries of your own oven very quickly.
• The Seville juice made this cake for me: it was a fabulous flavour and brought out the nuttiness of the beremeal.