Here’s something ironic. I write a food recipe blog and I have trouble following recipes. I’m forever substituting, deleting, thinking I know better and generally being a know-it-all. Mr Firehouse is always commenting on this fact. Recently he spied me working in the kitchen, pen and paper in hand. He wanted to know what I was writing and I commented that I was writing down accurate measurements for a recipe, to blog about later. He was genuinely shocked. You see, I think he thought that my inability to follow a recipe was innate, something I couldn’t control. But often-times it’s not. Partly it’s my curiosity. Will it taste better with brown sugar instead of white? Will it cook faster if I parboil? And partly it’s a kind of experience. I know that the flavours of one recipe might be perfect, but I prefer not to follow the cooking instructions, because I’ve done it before, my way, and it’s worked. Sometimes, like for this particular loaf, it’s seasonality. I loved the idea of a yoghurty, moist, citrusy cake but blueberries are not in season and rather than use the frozen (and often just as good ones) I thought of trying a classic American fall combination of cranberry and orange. The recipe for the cake comes from Donna Hay and was shared with me by my good friend and fellow baker Jill, all the way from Australia. I added the crumble topping for extra texture and also because as you now know, I can’t leave well enough alone.
- 150g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup caster/superfinesugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup yoghurt
- 1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ cups self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted
- 150 g fresh cranberries
- 2 tbsp. cold butter chopped
- 2 tbsp. of brown sugar
- 3 tbsp. of flour
Preheat oven to 160C /325F. Place the butter, sugar, eggs,yoghurt, orange zest and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour and whisk until well combined.
Fold through the cranberries and spoon into a lightly greased loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
In a separate bowl place all of the crumble ingredients and using just the tips of your fingers rub them all together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Sprinkle over the loaf and bake for 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.